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for content developed as part of the commemorative activities marking the 175th Anniversary of the opening of the Blackstone Canal, October 2003.

Worcester Historical Museum

Highway of Commerce: The Blackstone Canal
Industrial Worcester

The Blackstone Canal was a 45-mile waterway linking Worcester to Providence. It was the first step in the transportation revolution that led to Worcester's transformation from a landlocked agrarian outpost to a thriving center of commercial activity.

The Lady Carrington arrives
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When the Lady Carrington arrived in Worcester at 11:00 A.M. on October 7, 1828, cannons boomed, church bells peeled, crowds cheered. After the boat moored at the Thomas Street basin, first selectman Pliny Merrick delivered a welcoming speech from the deck. Then, as the Massachusetts Spy reported, "a large number of invited guests repaired to the hospitable mansion of the Governor, and partook of a sumptuous collation furnished in his usual handsome style." The air was charged with the promise of new economic opportunities. The cargo delivered on that momentous day was salt and grain for Nathan Heard, co-owner of the canal company store.

Worcester Historical Museum presented this exhibit in October 2003 as part of the corridor-wide commemorative activities marking the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Blackstone Canal.



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