Preserve America Community:
Uxbridge (population 11,156) was founded in 1727, and, for almost 100 years, its economy was based principally on agriculture. In 1810, however, the course of its history changed dramatically when Uxbridge became the site of one of the first woolen mills in New England. By mid-century, the community had been transformed into an important textile manufacturing center.
Canoists on canal, Uxbridge, Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Blackstone River Valley)
The town currently is working to rehabilitate one of the important reminders of that era, the Central/Stanley Woolen Mill, the earliest buildings of which date to the 1850s. It is estimated that adaptive use of the 100,000 square foot structure and half-acre mill yard for retail and recreation uses could draw an estimated 200,000 people annually.
The mill complex is only one of a multitude of historic properties in Uxbridge; 375 homes and buildings, plus railroad, canal, and aqueduct structures, have been identified as historically significant by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Among those open to the public are the Cornet John Farnum House (1710) and River Bend Farm, which now serves as a visitor center for the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park.
For more information
Town of Uxbridge: www.uxbridgema.com
Blackstone Daily/Uxbridge: www.blackstonedaily.com/uxbridge.htm
Updated April 29, 2009