By 1776, enough colonial settlers had arrived in what are now the
towns of Blackstone and Millville for the area to be organized as
the new South Parish of Mendon. Farms, small mills, and an iron
forge pre-dated the establishment of the Blackstone Manufacturing
Company cotton spinning mill in 1809. The growth of several additional
manufacturing districts led to the incorporation of the town of
Blackstone in 1845.
Monument Square, Blackstone, Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Blackstone
River Valley) Blackstone (population 8,804), named for the Reverend
William Blackstone, an early settler, is located on the southern
border of Central Massachusetts with Rhode Island.
The town became an important transportation center with the 1828
opening of the Blackstone Canal, and later served as an important
railroad hub connecting Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Much of
Blackstone remains relatively undeveloped and a measured approach
to combining residential and commercial growth has helped preserve
a quiet, rustic landscape, with stone walls and picturesque views.
Blackstone is one of six communities in the Blackstone Valley in
Massachusetts that has adopted local scenic roads bylaws to protect
its historic landscapes. It has 59 properties included in the Blackstone
Canal Historic District, as well as three more historic districts.
One recent preservation partnership protects the historic Daniels
Farm, a National Register property that includes 19th-century farm
buildings and a rare 1871 cider mill. This holistic effort protects
the historic landscape, the farm's structures, and 250 years of
the Daniels family papers. The site will be opened as an historic
working farm open to the public.