PRESS & MEDIA
New National Park Service Signs Installed in Whitinsville
New National Park Service Signs Installed in Whitinsville
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Celebrates Whitinsville’s Industrial Story
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park unveiled new interpretive signs in Whitinsville on October 12th. Pictured left to right: Eric Breitkreutz, Superintendent of Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park; Adam Gaudette, Northbridge Town Manager; Dick Moore, Board Chair of Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor; Jeannie Hebert, President of Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce; Senator Ryan Fattman; Representative David Muradian; Senator Mike Moore; and Devon Kurtz, Executive Director of Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Not pictured is Congressman Jim McGovern, who attended electronically. Photo by Carol Dandrade.
(Whitinsville, MA) October 15, 2021 – The historic district of Whitinsville, MA, has a new addition with the installation of interpretive signs installed by Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park (BRVNHP). Three new signs help tell the story about Whitinsville’s important role in the industrialization of America. In addition, the Northbridge Historical Commission’s National Register Historic District map sign located on Church Street has been restored.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (BHC) on October 12th, local and elected officials celebrated BRVNHP’s presence in the community. The National Historical Park was created in 2014, and its boundaries include a newly-established historic district in Whitinsville.
“Over the past two centuries, American life has been transformed in every way by the forces of industry pioneered right here in the Blackstone River Valley. These new interpretive signs and restored map, marking the vital role that Whitinsville played in the industrialization of America, will ensure that the history and heritage of our region are preserved for future generations,” said Congressman Jim McGovern.” I was thrilled to help unveil such beautiful tributes to our past at this week’s ribbon cutting. I’m grateful for the work of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, the National Park Service, and the Northbridge Historical Commission for coming together and bringing history to life in such an informative, thoughtful way.”
Locations for the new National Park Service signs include one on the town common at the intersection of Church Street and Linwood Avenue, another in front of the Town Hall Annex at 14 Hill Street, and a third in front of the 1826 Red Brick Mill Building at the Alternatives’ Whitin Mill Complex at 50 Douglas Road.
“It has been wonderful to re-affirm our national park’s partnerships with the Town of Northbridge and the Northbridge Historical Commission by working with these partners and the National Heritage Corridor to finalize and install the important new wayside interpretive panels and refurbished map,” said Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Superintendent Eric Breitkreutz. “Whitinsville’s key role in the Valley’s and America’s Industrial Revolution, and the amazing mill village system that remains preserved here, is a major part of our national park’s interpretive story. It is a pleasure to help the town and our national park better tell this story in Whitinsville with these beautiful new wayside panels.”
The restoration of Northbridge Historical Commission’s map was BHC’s project with Northbridge Town Historian Ken Warchol. The project was made possible by Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT), which helped clean and refresh the original map and donated the newly printed sign. Sophomore students of the Painting and Design Technology department, led by Tom Lamont, also repainted the existing sign frame. Additional photography and graphic support came from Blackstone Heritage Corridor Photography Ambassador Bob Evans and Experience Design of Providence, RI.
“35 years ago, on November 10th, the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor was established to celebrate the ongoing story of the American Industrial Revolution,” noted Devon R. Kurtz, Executive Director at BHC. “Today, we unveiled the first official National Park wayside exhibit highlighting Whitinsville’s contribution to the Corridor’s narrative. Together, the BHC and the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park look forward to sharing more such milestones in the future.”
“A National Park along the Blackstone River and Canal was a dream of local leaders back in the Great Depression,” noted Senator Richard Moore, BHC’s Board Chair. “Thanks to Congressman Jim McGovern and others in the Massachusetts-Rhode Island Congressional delegation, we can finally celebrate a new National Historical Park in the Blackstone Valley. The Whitinsville and Hopedale nodes are great examples of America’s Industrial Revolution! We look forward to further development of this National Park enhancing educational and recreational opportunities in the Valley along with the National Heritage Corridor in our two states.”
To learn more about the history of Whitinsville, visit nps.gov/blrv/learn/historyculture/whitinsville.htm. To take a self-guided tour of Whitinsville, visit blackstoneheritagecorridor.org/whitinsvillewalkingtour/.
About Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor:
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor works with community partners to preserve and promote the Valley’s historic, cultural, natural, and recreational resources for current and future generations. Learn more at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.