September 2 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until September 4, 2022
“It’s About Time…”
“IT’S ABOUT TIME…”
What does Labor Day mean to you?
For more than a century, people have honored the contributions of workers in the United States on Labor Day. Many people are not always free to celebrate on the holiday, however, and there is a long tradition of gathering to enjoy rest and leisure on other surrounding days of rest.
Join us for a weekend of special tours, meditation, music, and picnicking in the shadow of America’s first cotton spinning mill. There will be special programs at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark from September 2-4, 2022, all free of charge.
In addition to picnic tables onsite, there will be a tent and yard games. The RI Spinners Guild will be onsite to explain traditional spinning practices. All visitors are invited to participate in a public art project.
Please feel free to bring your own blankets and chairs.
Note: The Labor Day holiday will be observed on the site and there will be no programs on Monday, September 5, 2022. The grounds will be open from dawn to dusk.
Visitor Center: 10 AM – 4 PM
Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet, watch the park film, and explore exhibits.
Pack a Picnic: 12 PM – 2 PM
Pack a picnic, a blanket, and bring the whole family for old-timey games, music, and other activities.
Move and Recharge: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Participate in a free Contemplative Dance Practice session. This group activity combines meditation and movement (created by Barbara Dilley and offered locally by Nikki Lee).
Bring your own blanket, yoga mat, or cushion to be comfortable on the ground. When you arrive, arrange your cushions underneath the trees in the picnic area on the side of Old Slater Mill. This program is offered in partnership with Metamorphosis Dance Company.
Special 45-minute ranger-led tours will be offered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. These tours are presented in lieu of the usual program of general mill tours. See historic artifacts and learn about the history of work inside Old Slater Mill. No reservations are needed.
10:30 – Strike!
Join Ranger Jillian Forrester as she investigates the history of America’s first wage earners strike. Led by 102 women weavers working in Pawtucket, this strike lasted for over a week in the spring of 1824. Learn about the ways people navigated challenging working conditions 200 years ago and discuss the legacy of the strike.
12:30 – Who’s Scared of Slater Mill?
Hark! Do you hear the factory bell? In 1833, Thomas Man wrote a rambling, scathing poem (“Picture of a Factory Village”) about the harsh realities of work in local factories. Join Ranger Mark Mello for a tour built around Man’s lengthy and lyrical critique of the mill system. Together, we will explore the gothic history of the village of Pawtucket, separating truth from fiction.
2:30 – Slater Mill and the Slave Trade
Colonists in Rhode Island played a major role in the global slave trade. When local investors sought to invest in manufacturing in the 1790s, their mills also became part of the world’s cotton economy. Learn about Rhode Island’s gradual emancipation laws and the Black laborers who made the industrial boom in Pawtucket, RI, possible. Led by Ranger Allison Horrocks.