PRESS & MEDIA
National Park Service Founders Day Celebration Set for August 25 at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark
Whitinsville, MA (August 13, 2021) – Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park are hosting a special celebration for Founders Day, the 105th birthday of the National Park Service, on Wednesday, August 25, at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, RI. Festivities will run between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and include free guided tours of Old Slater Mill, a Plein Air Painting session, GearHeads/Junior Rangers activities, and an awards ceremony for the Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) program.
The Blackstone River Valley VIP program was recently named the Region 1 (Northeast) 2020 George and Helen Hartzog Award by the National Park Service for Outstanding Volunteer Program. Since the creation of Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park in 2014, the VIPs have volunteered 85,047 hours to the VIP program. The volunteer value is over one million dollars.
The National Park Service acquired the Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark District earlier this year. The Historic Landmark District includes the 1793 Old Slater Mill, the 1810 Wilkinson Mill, and the 1758 Sylvanus Brown House. Also included in the transfer are the approximately three acres of land surrounding the structures, including the raceway infrastructure for both mills and Hodgson Rotary Park on the west bank of the Blackstone River. The property was donated to the National Park Service by the Old Slater Mill Association (OSMA). A new virtual exhibit celebrating OSMA’s 100th anniversary will be unveiled inside Old Slater Mill on Founders Day.
“This Founders Day, we are celebrating not only the creation of the National Park Service, but also the continued strong partnership with the Heritage Corridor, its amazing VIP program, and the 100-years-young Old Slater Mill Association that have helped make our national park in Pawtucket and the Blackstone River Valley thrive,” stated National Historical Park Superintendent Eric Breitkreutz. “My staff and I are so looking forward to hosting this public celebration and honoring our Hartzog Award-winning program.”
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park currently offers free guided tours of Old Slater Mill at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, and is open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays. The Wilkinson Mill and the Sylvanus Brown House are currently closed. To learn about visitor services at other Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park sites and learn more about the Founders Day event, visit nps.gov/BLRV.