Worcester Historical Museum

Click here to download
a PDF version of the
Driving Tour & Guide to Blackstone Canal Historic Markers
, produced by the National Park Service in conjunction with Worcester Historical Museum.


This curriculum was developed as part of the commemorative activities marking the 175th Anniversary of the opening of the Blackstone Canal, October 2003. Our collection of lessons, designed to introduce students to the use of primary sources, tells the story of the canal and its impact on Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Blackstone Canal, a 45 mile waterway linking Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island, was a powerful catalyst for economic change and growth, stimulating the "transportation revolution" which was at the center of Worcester's transformation from a landlocked agrarian outpost to a center of commercial activity. The arrival of the Blackstone Canal began a tradition of innovation and enterprise that continues to characterize Worcester industry.

The curriculum was written for grades 3 through 8; however, they can easily be adapted up or down. The curriculum follows the Massachusetts Department of Education Curriculum Frameworks for the following subject areas:

The curriculum was developed by the following Worcester Public School teachers: Linda Eskola Forte (Nelson Place School), Beth Harding (Sullivan Middle School), Lois Thomas (McGrath School), Katherine Starczewski (Burncoat Middle School), and John Carter, a social studies teacher of the New Start Center for Learning in Worcester.

The Blackstone Canal Curriculum was made possible by the generous support of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission, and Worcester Historical Museum.

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