Welcome to the web site of the Blackstone Canal Conservancy

Blackstone Canal Conservancy, Incorporated



The forty-five mile long Blackstone Canal was opened in 1828 connecting Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island. As a result, Worcester quickly become the second largest city in Massachusetts and has retained this status ever since. The canal also greatly improved transportation within the Blackstone River Valley allowing the development and growth of inland industrial sites in the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The canal ceased operation in 1848 after the opening of the Boston and Worcester Railroad and the parallel to the canal, Providence and Worcester Railroad.

The Blackstone Canal Conservancy has been established as a voluntary group to educate the public about the canal and to work towards the preservation of its remains, which are quite extensive. It is intended that the conservancy will work with the federal Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Massachusetts, the Blackstone River State Park in Rhode Island, and other local parks and with associated groups such as the Blackstone River Watershed Association.

In furtherance of its mission, the conservancy conducts public meetings with speakers on canal and other related topics about once every year. These are open to the public free of charge.

The conservancy conducts workdays to clean up various sections of the canal and open the canal to canoeing and the towpath to walking. These workdays solicit the public's participation and are conducted in conjunction with the heritage corridor commission and the state parks.

The conservancy hopes to solicit monetary and in-kind contributions for various projects to protect the canal and increase the public's use of it. Such projects would include footbridges over various gaps in the canal's towpath, archeological survey and restoration of locks, and boats to transport the public on watered sections of the canal.

The conservancy plans to serve as a repository for historical materials connected with the canal and hopes to eventually establish a museum for them, probably in conjunction with the state parks or national heritage corridor.

The conservancy plans to seek out various reports and literature written about the canal and make them available to the public through reprinting or other appropriate means. In this effort, the public will be expected to pay for the costs involved.

The conservancy plans to provide speakers to other groups to educate their members on the canal, its history, present condition, and future possibilities.

The conservancy is a non-profit corporation and a federal 501(c)3 organization.  Dues and contributions are deductible from federal income taxes as provided for by law.  The conservancy also has a Massachusetts sales tax exemption.

For further information, contact the President, David Barber, 16 Ballou Road, Hopedale, MA 01747, 508-478-4918, dgbarber@cs.com