Slater Mill presents an exhibit and panel discussion on the Pawtucket Falls. This exhibit will center on the many types of convergences and boundaries presented by the Falls in social, ethnographic, geographic and political terms. Competing uses and interest related to creation of community, early industrialization and natural resources are all explored.
The Pawtucket Falls and adjacent Blackstone River have been the backdrop to many pivotal and contentious events in Rhode Island's history. From conflicts over settlement and the burning of Pawtucket during King Philip's War to border disputes between the colonies of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. From conflicts over the right to use the river, including construction of the river's first fish passage and an attempt to destroy the Slater Dam to a court battle over water-rights which went to the U.S. Supreme Court and helped set precedent for future property law. From the struggle to reverse 300 years of industrial use and remove the pollutants and apathy it produced, to current environmental efforts to restore the river's natural habitat and introduce specific species of wildlife to the river. The issues brought up by these conflicts will be a centerpiece of this exhibit and will raise questions that are no less relevant today than when the first person waded out in the river to build a dam at the Pawtucket Falls.
The exhibit, managed by museum curator Andrian Paquette, uses materials gathered from the Rhode Island and Massachusetts State Archives, Slater Mill's own collection, Rhode Island Historical Society, Pawtucket Research Center and other institutions. Those consulted during the research phase included historians, anthropologists, biologists, property-rights lawyers and staff from a variety fo state offices including DEM and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.
Exhibit opening: March 12, 2009, 5:30-7PM in the Slater Mill Gallery at the Visitor Center located across the street from Slater Mill.
Panel discussion: March 12, 2009, 7-9PM in the Slater Mill Theater at the Visitor Center located across the street from Slater Mill.
For more information email Andrian Paquette, Curator at firstname.lastname@example.org.