Place:Uxbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States


Alt namesUxbridge Villagesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003924
Wacuntugsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003924
Waeuntugsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003924
Coordinates42.067°N 71.617°W
Located inWorcester, Massachusetts, United States
Contained Places
Prospect Hill Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Uxbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts first colonized in 1662 and incorporated in 1727. It was originally part of the town of Mendon, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. The town is located southwest of Boston[1] and south-southeast of Worcester, at the midpoint of the Blackstone Valley National Historic Park. The historical society notes that Uxbridge is the "Heart of The Blackstone Valley" and is also known as "the Cradle of the Industrial Revolution". Uxbridge was a prominent Textile center in the American Industrial Revolution. Two Quakers served as national leaders in the American anti-slavery movement. Uxbridge "weaves a tapestry of early America".

Indigenous Nipmuc people near "Wacentug" or “Waentug” (river bend), deeded land to 17th-century settlers. New England towns are beginning to acknowledge their indigenous lands. Uxbridge reportedly granted rights to America's first colonial woman voter, Lydia Taft, and approved Massachusetts first women jurors. The first hospital for mental illness in America was reportedly established here. Deborah Sampson posed as an Uxbridge soldier, and fought in the American Revolution. A 140-year legacy of manufacturing military uniforms and clothing began with 1820 power looms. Uxbridge became famous for woolen cashmeres. "Uxbridge Blue", was the first US Air Force Dress Uniform. BJ's Wholesale Club distribution warehouse is a major employer today.

Uxbridge had a population of 14,162 at the 2020 United States Census.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Colonial era, Revolution, Quakers, and abolition

John Eliot started Nipmuc Praying Indian villages.[2] Several praying Indian towns included Waentug (or Wacentug) and “Rice City” (later settled as Mendon.) “Great John”, sold Squimshepauk plantation to settlers in September of 1663, "for 24 pound Ster".[3] Mendon began in 1667, and burned in King Phillips War. Western Mendon became Uxbridge in 1727, and Farnum House held the first town meeting. John Adams’ uncle, Nathan Webb, was the first called minister of the colony's first new Congregational church in the Great Awakening. The American Taft family origins are intertwined with Uxbridge and Mendon. Lydia Taft reportedly voted in the 1756 town meeting, considered as a first for colonial women.[4]

Seth and Joseph Read and Simeon Wheelock joined Committees of Correspondence. Baxter Hall was a Minuteman drummer. Seth Read fought at Bunker Hill. Washington stopped at Reed's tavern, en route to command the Continental Army. Samuel Spring was one of the first chaplains of the American Revolution. Deborah Sampson enlisted as "Robert Shurtlieff of Uxbridge". Shays' Rebellion also began here, and Governor John Hancock quelled Uxbridge riots. Simeon Wheelock died protecting the Springfield Armory. Seth Reed was instrumental in adding "E pluribus unum" to U.S. coins.[5] Washington slept here on his Inaugural tour while traveling the Middle Post Road.

Quakers including Richard Mowry migrated here from Smithfield, Rhode Island, and built mills, railroads, houses, tools and Conestoga wagon wheels.[6] Southwick's store housed the Social and Instructive Library. Friends Meetinghouse, next to Moses Farnum's farm, had prominent abolitionists Abby Kelley Foster and Effingham Capron as members. Capron led the 450 member local anti-slavery society. Brister Pierce, formerly a slave in Uxbridge, was a signer of an 1835 petition to Congress demanding abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia. Local influences from the First and Second Great Awakenings can be seen with the early Congregational and Quaker traditions.

Early transportation, education, public health and safety

The Tafts built the Middle Post Road's Blackstone River bridge in 1709. "Teamsters" drove horse "team" freight wagons on the Worcester-Providence stage route. The Blackstone Canal brought horse-drawn barges to Providence through Uxbridge for overnight stops.[3] The "crossroads village" was a junction on the Underground Railroad.[7] The P&W Railroad ended canal traffic in 1848.

A 1732 vote "set up a school for ye town of Uxbridge".[3] A grammar school was followed by 13 one-room district school houses, built for $2000 in 1797. Uxbridge Academy (1818) became a prestigious New England prep school.

Uxbridge voted against the smallpox vaccine.[4] Samuel Willard treated smallpox victims, was a forerunner of modern psychiatry, and ran the first hospital for mental illness in America.[8][9] Vital records recorded many infant deaths,[10] the smallpox death of Selectman Joseph Richardson, "Quincy", "dysentary", and tuberculosis deaths.[10][6] Leonard White recorded a malaria outbreak here in 1896 that led to[11] firsts in the control of malaria as a mosquito-borne infection. Uxbridge led Massachusetts in robberies for a quarter of the year in 1922, and the town voted to hire its first nighttime police patrolman.

Industrial era: 19th century to late 20th century

Bog iron and three iron forges marked the colonial era, with the inception of large-scale industries beginning around 1775.[12] Examples of this development can be seen in the work of Richard Mowry, who built and marketed equipment to manufacture woolen, linen, or cotton cloth,[13] and gristmills, sawmills, distilleries, and large industries.[2] Daniel Day built the first woolen mill in 1809.[3][4] By 1855, 560 local workers made of cloth.[2] Uxbridge reached a peak of over twenty different industrial mills.[2][6] A small silver vein at Scadden, in southwest Uxbridge, led to unsuccessful commercial mining in the 1830s.

Innovations included power looms, vertical integration of wool to clothing, cashmere wool-synthetic blends, "wash and wear", yarn spinning techniques, and latch hook kits. Villages included mills, shops, worker housing, and farms. Wm. Arnold's Ironstone cotton mill, later made Kentucky Blue Jeans,[6] and Seth Read's gristmill, later housed Bay State Arms. Hecla and Wheelockville housed American Woolen, Waucantuck Mill, Hilena Lowell's shoe factory, and Draper Corporation. Daniel Day, Jerry Wheelock, and Luke Taft used water-powered mills. Moses Taft's (Central Woolen) operated continuously making Civil War cloth.[6]

North Uxbridge housed Clapp's 1810 cotton mill, Chandler Taft's and Richard Sayles' Rivulet Mill, the granite quarry, and Rogerson's village. Crown and Eagle Mill was "a masterpiece of early industrial architecture". Blanchard's granite quarry provided curb stones to New York City, the Statue of Liberty and regional public works projects.[6] Peter Rawson Taft's grandson, William Howard Taft, visited Samuel Taft House.

John Sr., Effingham and John W. Capron's mill pioneered US satinets and woolen power looms.[2][3][12] Charles A. Root, Edward Bachman, and Harold Walter expanded Bachman-Uxbridge, and exhibited leadership in women's fashion. The company manufactured US Army uniforms for the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the nurse corps, and the first Air Force dress uniforms, dubbed "Uxbridge Blue".[6] Time magazine covered Uxbridge Worsted's proposed buyout to be the top US woolen company. The largest plant of one of the largest US yarn companies, Bernat Yarn, was located here from the 1960s to the 1980s. A historic company called Information Services operated from Uxbridge, and managed subscription services for The New Republic, among other publications, in the later 20th century.

Late 20th century to present

State and national parks developed around mills and rivers were restored. The Great Gatsby (1974) and Oliver's Story (1978) were filmed locally including at Stanley Woolen Mill. The Blackstone Valley National Historic Park contains the Blackstone Canal Heritage State Park,  of the Blackstone River Greenway, the Southern New England Trunkline Trail, West Hill Dam, a 567-acre wildlife refuge, parcels of the Metacomet Land Trust, and Cormier Woods. 60 Federalist homes[6] were added to 54 national and 375 state-listed historic sites, including Georgian Elmshade (where War Secretary Alphonso Taft had recounted local family history at a famous reunion). Capron's wooden mill survived a 2007 fire at the Bernat Mill. Stanley mill is being restored while Waucantuck Mill was mostly razed. In 2013 multiple fires again affected the town, including a historic bank building and a Quaker home from the early 1800s. See National historic sites.

In 2017, a new $9.25 million fire station was completed on Main Street next to Town Hall. Voters approved the 14,365 square-foot station in 2015. The station has five bays to accommodate modern fire trucks, a radio and server room for computer and phone servers.[14] The second floor includes a fitness room, kitchen, and showers for staff.[15] The station is located in the historic district, and was built in consultation with the Uxbridge Historic District Commission.[15] The old post office and fire station were demolished to make room for the new station.[14] Context Architecture was the designer.

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