'Ancestors of the Blackstone Valley' series starts Wednesday

'Ancestors of the Blackstone Valley' series starts Wednesday

PAWTUCKET - The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Slater Mill Historic Site and the Museum of Work & Culture present a series of three free public speaking and oral history programs.

"Ancestors of the Blackstone Valley" is about the people and cultural groups who shaped Rhode Island's historic Blackstone Valley over the last 400 years.

The first of the series happens Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Slater Mill, 67 Roosevelt Ave. "It's Family Business - Draper Mills, Textiles and the Peculiarity of Family Business" will be presented. Draper Mills, once the largest maker of power looms for the textile industry in the United States, operated in Hopedale, Mass. for more than 130 years. The program will discuss textile industry expansion and how family dynamics shaped the industrial and post-industrial business models.

On Friday, July 25, at 6 p.m., the series moves to the water, aboard the Blackstone Valley Explorer riverboat, from the Central Falls Landing, 45 Madeira Ave. Experience a scenic and interpretive cruise and learn about early Native Americans, the Rev. William Blackstone, the start and expansion of America's Industrial Revolution and more about the Blackstone River Valley's social and cultural development.

The final event is Thursday, Aug. 14, 4-7 p.m. at the Museum of Work & Culture, Market Square, Woonsocket. "Your Family History" is a collection event. The museum is compiling an archive of our local work history for an interactive exhibit. This event will allow people to share their photographs or documents, which will be recorded and cataloged (and immediately returned) so that individuals' heritage can become part of the museum. There will be a location where interviews with people who worked in the local mills will be recorded and preserved as part of history. Appointments will be taken.

For more information on the series, contact Dianne Mailloux 401-724-2200 or email keep.bv.beautiful@gmail.com .