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. 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 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.The growth of several additional manufacturing districts led to the incorporation of the town of Blackstone in 1845.
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.
Designated a Preserve America Community in June 2004.
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