Uxbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts first settled in 1662 and incorporated in 1727. It was originally part of the town of Mendon, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. The town (population 14,137, 2017 estimate) is located 36 mi (58 km) southwest of Boston and 15 mi (24 km) south-southeast of Worcester, at the midpoint of the Blackstone Valley National Historic Park. Uxbridge was a prominent Textile center in the American Industrial Revolution. Two local Quakers served as national leaders in the American anti-slavery movement. Uxbridge "weaves a tapestry of early America".
Indigenous Nipmuc people near "Wacentug" (river bend), deeded land to 17th-century settlers. 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.
Congregational Church and Civil War Memorial
"A Crossroads Village"
"Weaving a Tapestry of Early America"
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Chair, Board of Selectmen||Brian Butler|
|• Vice Chair-Clerk, Board of Selectmen||Jeff Shaw|
|• Selectmen||Stephen Mandile, Susan Franz, Brain Plasko|
|• Total||30.4 sq mi (78.7 km2)|
|• Land||29.5 sq mi (76.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)|
|Elevation||270 ft (82 m)|
|• Total||14,137 (estimate)|
|• Density||442.66/sq mi (170.77/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0618387|
John Eliot started Nipmuc Praying Indian villages. "Wacentug" natives sold land to settlers in 1662, "for 24 pound Ster". Mendon began in 1667, and burned in King Phillips War. Western Mendon became Uxbridge in 1727, and Farnum House held the first town meeting. Nathan Webb's church was the colony's first new Congregational church in the Great Awakening. Lydia Taft reportedly voted in the 1756 town meeting, considered as a first for colonial women.
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. Washington slept here on his Inaugural tour.
Quakers including Richard Mowry migrated here from Smithfield, Rhode Island, and built mills, railroads, houses, tools and Conestoga wagon wheels. 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.
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. The "crossroads village" was a junction on the Underground Railroad. The P&W Railroad ended canal traffic in 1848.
A 1732 vote "set up a school for ye town of Uxbridge". 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. Samuel Willard treated smallpox victims, was a forerunner of modern psychiatry, and ran the first hospital for mental illness in America. Vital records recorded many infant deaths, the smallpox death of Selectman Joseph Richardson, "Quincy", "dysentary", and tuberculosis deaths. Leonard White recorded a malaria outbreak here in 1896 that led to 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.
Bog iron and three iron forges marked the colonial era, with the inception of large-scale industries beginning around 1775. 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, and gristmills, sawmills, distilleries, and large industries. Daniel Day built the first woolen mill in 1809. By 1855, 560 local workers made 2,500,000 yards (2,300,000 m) of cloth (14,204 miles (22,859 km)). Uxbridge reached a peak of twenty different industrial mills.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, 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.
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 and regional public works projects. 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. 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". Time magazine covered Uxbridge Worsted's proposed a 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.
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 1,000-acre (4.0 km2)Blackstone Canal Heritage State Park, 9 miles (14 km) 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 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.
|County-level state agency heads|
|Clerk of Courts:||Dennis P. McManus (D)|
|District Attorney:||Joe Early Jr. (D)|
|Register of Deeds:||Katie Toomey (D)|
|Register of Probate:||Stephanie Fattman (R)|
|County Sheriff:||Lew Evangelidis (R)|
|State Representative(s):||Kevin J. Kuros (R))|
|State Senator(s):||Ryan Fattman (R)|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Jen Caissie (R)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||James P. McGovern (D-2nd Dist.)|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
Local government granted the first woman in America the right to vote, nixed a smallpox vaccine in 1775, and defied the Massachusetts Secretary of State by approving women jurors. The 2009 Board of Health made Uxbridge the third community in the US to ban tobacco sales in pharmacies, but later reversed this.
State agencies control county elected offices (see info box). In fact, Uxbridge has a District Courthouse.
The town is 30.4 square miles (79 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), or 2.73%, is water. It is situated 39.77 miles (64.00 km) southwest of Boston, 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Worcester, and 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Providence. Elevations range from 200 feet (61 m) to 577 feet (176 m) above sea level. It borders Douglas, Mendon, Millville, Northbridge, and Sutton, Massachusetts, plus the Rhode Island towns of Burrillville and North Smithfield.
A USDA hardiness zone 5 continental climate prevails with snowfall extremes from October (rare), to May. The highest recorded temperature was 104 F, in July 1975, and the lowest, -25 F in January 1957.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
The 2010 United States Census population was 13,457, representing a growth rate of 20.6%, with 5,056 households, a density rate of 166.31 units per square mile. 95.7% were White, 1.7% Asian, 0.90% Hispanic, 0.3% African American, and 1.4% other. Population density was 442.66 people/ mile2 (170.77/km²). Per capita income was $24,540, and 4.7% fell below the poverty line. There were 9,959 registered voters in 2010.
High tech, services, distribution, life sciences, hospitality, local government, education and tourism offer local jobs. A 618,000 square feet (57,400 m2) distribution center serves Fortune 500 BJ's Wholesale Club's, northern division. Unemployment was 3.9%, lower than the state average .
Local schools include the Earl D. Taft Early Learning Center (Pre-K-3), Whitin Intermediate School (4-7), Uxbridge High School (8-12), and Our Lady of the Valley Regional.
Uxbridge is also a member of one of the thirteen towns of the Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational School District. Uxbridge students in eighth grade have the opportunity to apply to Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, serving grades 9-12.
The nearest MBTA Commuter Rail stops are Forge Park/495 on the Franklin Line and Grafton and Worcester on the Framingham/Worcester Line, 15 miles away. The Northeast Corridor Providence Amtrak station has trains with top speeds of 150 MPH. The Providence and Worcester Railroad freight line passes two former local stations.
Route 146 links Worcester, I-290, and I-90 to Providence at I-95 and I-295. Route 16 links to Connecticut via I-395, and Boston, by I-495. Route 122 connects Northbridge and Woonsocket. Route 146A goes into North Smithfield. Route 98 leads to Burrillville.
TF Green State Airport Warwick-Providence, RI, Worcester airport, and Boston Logan International Airport have commercial flights. Hopedale Airport, 7.2 miles (11.6 km) away, and Worcester airport have general aviation. A private air strip, Sky Glen Airport on Quaker Highway, is still listed on FAA sites, though the map location shows it within a dense industrial park, and at its peak of operations, it saw very low traffic.
Alice W. Bridges (July 19, 1916 – May 5, 2011), also known by her married name Alice Roche, was an American competition swimmer, who at age 20, represented the United States at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. It first appeared that Bridges, who originally was a back-up contestant, had actually won her event. Several hours later the judges reversed their decision and gave the gold and silver to two women from the Netherlands, leaving the bronze for Bridges.
Bridges grew up in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. She and her twin sister learned to swim in a pond in Uxbridge, and she later trained at the Olympic pool in nearby Whitinsville, Massachusetts. When the sudden chance arose for her to participate, townspeople raised funds to pay for her travel to Berlin, which she otherwise could not have afforded.Bank Building (Uxbridge, Massachusetts)
The Bank Building was a historic commercial building located at 40-44 South Street, in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Until its destruction by fire in 2013, it was the best-preserved of Uxbridge's 19th century commercial buildings. It was built in 1895–96, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.Bazaleel Taft Jr. House and Law Office
The Bazaleel Taft Jr. House and Law Office are a historic house and law office building at 195 North Main Street in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. On November 7, 1983, they were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The House and Law office reflect the Georgian Architecture Style.Benjamin Adams (politician)
Benjamin Adams (December 16, 1764 – March 28, 1837) was an American lawyer and politician. Adams was born in Mendon, Massachusetts in 1764. Benjamin Adams grew up in Mendon, which was then a rural agricultural community. He was well educated by existing public schools in that community.Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park
The Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park is a part of the state park system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). This 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) park "recalls the role of canals in transporting raw materials and manufactured goods between emerging industrial centers." The Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park at Uxbridge, Massachusetts, is the midpoint of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor of the National Park System. The Blackstone River and Valley is where the industrial revolution was born in America. The southern entrance to this state park is the site of the historic Stanley Woolen Mill, currently being redeveloped for commercial and tourism. The Native American Nipmuc name for the village here was "Wacentug", translated as "bend in the river".Chockalog River
The Chockalog River is a river in the U.S. states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It flows approximately 4 km (2 mi). Its name is said to mean "fox place".Cormier Woods
Cormier Woods is a 175-acre (71 ha) open space preserve and historic 18th-century farm complex in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, USA, within the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The property is named for James Cormier, the former owner of the property. It was acquired in 2008 by the land conservation non-profit organization The Trustees of Reservations.
The reservation includes 3 miles (4.8 km) of hiking trails, farmland, woodlots, wetlands, a farmhouse, barn and sheds. It is open to hiking, picnicing, cross country skiing and hunting (in season). The reservation trailhead is on Chapin Street in Uxbridge.Deborah Sampson
Deborah Sampson Gannett (December 17, 1760 – April 29, 1827), better known as Deborah Samson or Deborah Sampson, was a Massachusetts woman who disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. She is one of a small number of women with a documented record of military combat experience in that war. She served 17 months in the army under the name "Robert Shirtliff" (also spelled in various sources as Shirtliffe and Shurtleff) of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, was wounded in 1782, and was honorably discharged at West Point, New York, in 1783.Ezra T. Benson
Ezra Taft Benson (February 22, 1811 – September 3, 1869) (commonly referred to as Ezra T. Benson to distinguish him from his great-grandson of the same name) was an apostle and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).Friends Meetinghouse (Uxbridge, Massachusetts)
The Friends Meetinghouse is an historic Friends Meeting House of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) located at the junction of Routes 146A (Quaker Highway) and 98 (Aldrich Street) in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. On January 24, 1974, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.Ironstone, Massachusetts
Ironstone is an historic village, (today known mainly as South Uxbridge), in the township of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, United States. It derived its name from plentiful bog iron found here which helped Uxbridge to become a center for three iron forges in the town's earliest settlement. South Uxbridge has historic sites, picturesque weddings, hospitality, industrial and distribution centers, and the new Uxbridge High School. This community borders North Smithfield, and Burrillville, Rhode Island, and Millville, Massachusetts. South Uxbridge receives municipal services from Uxbridge, for fire, police, EMS, School district, public works, and other services. There is a South Uxbridge fire station of the Uxbridge fire department. Worcester's Judicial District includes Uxbridge District Court. Ironstone appears on the Blackstone U.S. Geological Survey Map. Worcester County is in the Eastern time zone (GMT -5) and observes DST.Linwood, Massachusetts
Linwood is a village with its own post office in the towns of Northbridge and Uxbridge, Massachusetts.
The zip code of the Linwood post office is 01525. As a village of both Uxbridge and Northbridge, Linwood has separate municipal services from Uxbridge or Northbridge, for fire, police, EMS, School district, public works, and other services, depending on the town (township) boundary. Worcester County, Massachusetts Sheriff, Lewis Evangelidis runs corrections, and court services from West Boylston, and Worcester District is the regional judicial jurisdiction. The Uxbridge district court serves surrounding towns. Linwood is closest to the villages of Whitinsville, MA, and North Uxbridge. The village of Linwood was predominantly settled by French Canadians, who historically worked in the local textile industry. The Whitin Cotton Mills at Linwood were the principal industry and are a good example of the industrial architecture of the 19th century.National Register of Historic Places listings in Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Uxbridge, Massachusetts has 53 sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
The locations of National Register properties and districts (at least for all showing latitude and longitude coordinates below) may be seen in an online map by clicking on "Map of all coordinates".
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.North Uxbridge, Massachusetts
North Uxbridge is a village and a post office in the town (township) of Uxbridge in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The postal zip code is 01538. It is classified as a community or populated place (Class Code U6) located at latitude 42.088 and longitude -71.641 and the elevation is 266 feet (81 m). North Uxbridge appears on the Uxbridge U.S. Geological Survey Map. Worcester County is in the Eastern time zone (GMT -5) and observes DST. North Uxbridge is located about 36 miles WSW of Boston, and 15 miles SE of Worcester. The town meeting in 1885 set aside North Uxbridge as a "special district", since its population had exceeded 1000 people. North Uxbridge appeared to be a separate Census tract in the 1960 census with a population of 1882. In 2013, an Uxbridge DIY show, The Garage, with Steve Butler, went worldwide from Steve's garage in North Uxbridge.Phineas Bruce
Hon. Phineas Bruce (June 7, 1762 – October 4, 1809) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts who was unable to serve in the U.S. Congress due to his declining health.Uxbridge High School (Massachusetts)
Uxbridge High School (UHS) is the only high school in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. The school is a part of Uxbridge Public Schools. A new high school opened in 2012 at 300 Quaker Highway.West Hill Dam
West Hill Dam Reserve is a United States Army Corps of Engineers flood control project with a recreational park and wildlife management area located at Uxbridge, Massachusetts. The West Hill Dam Project was completed in 1960. It is located on the West River, one of the branches of the Blackstone River which flows from Worcester, MA to Providence, RI. The West River originates in Grafton, Massachusetts, at Cider Mill Pond and Silver Lake, near Upton, Massachusetts, and the Upton State Forest. The dam is unusual in that it isn't filled unless there is a flood.
West Hill Dam was built after devastating floods during the 1950s; it is intended to protect the Blackstone Valley from future destructive flooding. The cities and towns downriver from Uxbridge, including Millville, Blackstone, Woonsocket, North Smithfield, Cumberland, Lincoln, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Providence, Rhode Island, suffered extensive flooding from the Blackstone during Hurricane Diane in 1955. Hurricane Donna tested this new dam in 1960 as the eyewall passed over.
The West Hill Dam is located in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor near the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. Park rangers provide visitor assistance and offer scheduled interpretative programs. Fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities are available year-round. The park has a recreation area, 34 picnic sites, one playground, a swimming area and five miles of hiking trails.
West Hill Dam (where the Army Corps project is based) is also the field office for the Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area. It consists of scattered wetlands in the upper and middle Charles River watershed, between the towns of Bellingham and Needham. The wetlands provide flood storage area, fisheries, wildlife management, and recreation. The Charles River is the well-known watercourse that flows into Boston Harbor.West River (Massachusetts)
The West River, in the US state of Massachusetts, is a 13.4-mile-long (21.6 km) tributary of the Blackstone River.Wheelockville, Massachusetts
Wheelockville is a village in the town (township) of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, United States. Part of the village centering on Mendon and Henry streets is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Wheelockville Historic District. Wheelockville appears on the Blackstone U.S. Geological Survey Map. The Village receives municipal services from Uxbridge, for fire, police, EMS, School district, public works, and other services. Worcester's Judicial District includes Uxbridge District Court. The geography of Wheelockville includes several other distinct mill villages, including: Hecla and Elmdale.
Places adjacent to Uxbridge, Massachusetts
|Climate data for Uxbridge, Massachusetts|
|Average high °F (°C)||37
|Average low °F (°C)||13
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.6
Municipalities and communities of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
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