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Ruins of the Valley Falls Mill, Cumberland Operation

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Before 1850 and later. 1930s, burned. 1993–1995, conversion of foundation ruins to a park, Gates, Leighton and Associates, landscape architects. Corner of Broad and Mill sts.

What little remains of the Cumberland piece of the Chace brothers' operation can be seen at the former mill site immediately upon crossing Broad Street, which links the two towns. Long before the 1980s the ruins of its foundations, its gate machinery, and the canals and raceways lay under a tangle of foliage, with the roar of the falls over its granite dam immediately at hand. At the end of the 1980s the mill ruins began to be excavated for their combined value as an industrial archaeological site and a park within the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor designed to interpret the massive underpinnings of a great nineteenth-century textile mill. Although the Chace brothers continued to maintain their corporate headquarters on the Central Falls side of the river, the Cumberland mill became the larger plant. The brothers also lived in Cumberland only a few blocks from the mill.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.

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