Exploring the Blackstone River Valley


Includes the villages of Leicester Center, Greenville, Cherry Valley, Rochdale, Mannville and Lakeside

Settled in 1713, Incorporated in 1714

  • Leicester was purchased in 1686 by a group of businessmen from Roxbury, MA
  • Originally known as Towatid (a native name for the area) and was then changed to Strawberry Hill before becoming Leicester
  • The colonial term “minutemen” originated in 1774 during the Revolutionary War by Colonel William Henshaw of Leicester. He suggested its use when he stated “We must have companies of men ready to march upon a minute’s notice”
  • Home to Reverend Samuel May, a strong abolitionist whose house was part of the Underground Railroad
  • In the 1780’s, Pliny Earle started producing the carding machines that were sold to Samuel Slater which led to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the United States

Resource Links

Leicester Town Hall

Historical Cemeteries in Massachusetts

Leicester Public Library

Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce

Leicester Historical Commission

Leicaster Walking Tour

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