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The Yankee Express

Culture drives way forward at Samuel Slater Experience

The Eldred girls, Olivia and Samantha, enjoyed spending time with Jacklyn Bonneau, a docent at the Samuel Slater Experience, and with Santa on the trolley, during a visit to the museum on December 3rd.

By Rod Lee

The new Samuel Slater Experience on Ray St. in Webster received an early Christmas present even before the arrival of Santa on December 3rd. In what will surely be a boost to the first-year museum, it has been accredited to participate in the Card to Culture program, a collaboration between the Massachusetts Cultural Council and several government agencies in providing assistance to eligible residents.


Card to Culture partnerships enable arts, humanities and science organizations to offer free or steeply reduced admission to Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program and/or ConnectorCare cardholders.
With presentation of an EBT card, a family (up to four people) receives the discounted entry fee of $3 per person.
This is significant for those who can take advantage of the program, and for the museum, the SSE’s Barbara Van Reed said.
Described as “Disney-like,” the Samuel Slater Experience continues to build patronage with its state-of-the-art 4D digital technology to tell the story of Samuel Slater, the industrialist credited with creating the American factory system, and powering the extraordinary growth of the textile industry as it took root in the U.S.
A visit to the Samuel Slater Experience is designed to be educational and entertaining. Visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in history in a new, immersive way—by climbing aboard the ship that brought Samuel Slater to America, for instance, or by riding the trolley through downtown Webster a century later.
The museum’s exhibits cover two time periods, from the post-Revolutionary era into the early 1800s, and the first decade of the 20th Century. 
In bringing Britain’s textile industry trade secrets to America in 1789, Samuel Slater, hence known as “Slater the Traitor,” successfully created the country’s first cotton-spinning jenny. He eventually owned thirteen spinning mills and developed tenant farms and company towns around these. He is largely responsible for formation of the town of Webster.
On Sunday, December 4th, the museum held an Open House with free admission to residents of the town of Webster.
“We’re still learning,” Ms. Van Reed said, as the museum works to establish its place among the cultural offerings available to residents of South County and Central Massachusetts.
Special holiday hours are in effect, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. December 27-29.
The museum will be closed December 23-25, December 30-31, and January 1.
Those interested in learning more about the museum are asked to visit