Walking tour with Ken Warchol is October 1st
Longtime Northbridge historian and history teacher Ken Warchol will lead a two-hour walking tour of Whitinsville on Saturday, October 1st, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon, taking participants back to 1772, when the only transportation was horse and buggy.
A time when the only source of power was the rivers. The time of the American Revolution, when Northbridge received its town charter and Whitinsville was only a small village.
He will share how the town grew into a large thriving industrial village with the coming of the Industrial Revolution following Independence from England. He will also delve into the Whitin’s family role in bringing the Industrial Revolution to Northbridge and building Whitin Machine Works into the largest textile machine shop in the world by the end of the 1920s with over 5,000 employees working on three shifts.
Mr. Warchol will give tour members insight into the social and economic aspects of village life by focusing on eighteen major buildings in the village that characterize this. “The architectural skeleton is still here to remind us of what once was, even though the inner workings of the village have all changed,” he points out. The paternalism of the Whitin family is gone, but that architectural skeleton reminds us of bygone days. He will describe how the transportation revolution helped the village progress. From the horse and wagon to the canal barge, to the railroad, to the trolley, and to the automobile, the village kept pace as it grew through transportation improvements as well as power improvements that came about.
“This year is the 250th anniversary of the town of Northbridge, and this tour will commemorate that celebration,” Mr. Warchol noted. “We also celebrate the village of Whitinsville being a part of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park with a lot of pride that we reflect an important part of the nation’s heritage.”
This free event is sponsored by the Northbridge Historical Commission. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Call Ken Warchol at 508-680-3440 or email [email protected] and include your full name, telephone number, and the number of people attending. Participants will meet at Northbridge Town Hall, 7 Main St., Whitinsville, MA, and should arrive by 9:45 a.m.