DescriptionThick forests, rocky land and untamed rivers discouraged Roger Williams from settling the area north of Providence in the 1630s. Called the “place by the waterfall,” Pawtucket is where the Blackstone River—designated an American Heritage River—forms Pawtucket Falls as it tumbles into the Pawtucket River.
With its abundant water power and timber for fuel, Pawtucket soon enticed blacksmiths to set up shop. Despite a setback in 1676 when the town virtually was destroyed in King Philip's War, Pawtucket grew quickly as an innovative manufacturing center, emerging as the birthplace of America's Industrial Revolution. In 1793 Samuel Slater started North America's first successful cotton-manufacturing mill, which was operated by water power.
Pawtucket is part of the Blackstone River Valley, through which the Blackstone River flows for 48 miles. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1986 as a national historic region, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor helps preserve the history of the American Industrial Revolution. The area spans nine Rhode Island towns and covers 250,000 acres from Worcester, Mass., to Providence.
A popular recreation area is Slater Memorial Park on Newport Avenue (US 1A). The park offers recreational facilities and attractions, including an 1894 Looff carousel and gardens.
The Pawtucket Red Sox, the AAA International Baseball League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, play at McCoy Stadium; phone (401) 724-7300 for Pawtucket Red Sox information.
Visitor InfoBlackstone Valley Tourism Council and Visitor Center 175 Main St. PAWTUCKET, RI 02860. Phone:(401)724-2200
Self-guiding toursMaps and brochures for walking, bicycling, fall foliage, canoe and driving tours are available at the visitor center.
Things to SeeRhode Island Watercolor Society