Submit/Find An Event ll
Table of Contents ll Shops/Dining
ll Explore the Valley ll Home
Oldest/Firsts Within the Blackstone Valley
Mendon was the site of the
first attack of King Philip's War.
Robert Goddard of WPI who
invented the first liquid fuel rocket (and the engine to go with it) and
fired it off in Auburn, MA.
The first woman EVER to vote in America was
from Uxbridge, MA
Worcester Foundation and Robert
Hoagland, inventor of the first anti-pregnancy tablet, Shrewsbury, MA
Worcester State Hospital, the
first Humanistic Mental Hospital in the U.S.
Worcester State College, the
first collegiate institution in the U.S. to offer a major in Early Childhood
American Antiquarian Society
headquarters, located in Worcester, MA.
Worcester, the home of the
oldest tracker pipe organ in America.
Worcester, MA, home of the
American Museum of Sanitary Plumbing and the The American Museum of Shopping
Worcester, Norton Abrasives,
home of the first carbide abrasive wheel (a tool for trimming and dressing
metal tools that were impervious to any other means.)
WPI, the school of the inventor
of the two wheeled "Walker".
Clark University, the home of
the famous, and only, series of debates between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
Worcester City Hospital, the
home of the 5th oldest hospital school of Nursing in the U.S. and the last
to close, 1992. Also, the first VD clinic, Getchell Clinic, in the U.S.
Mechanics Hall, the home of the
first and yet extant Hooker & Hastings pipe organ in the U.S.
Oread Institute, the first
women's school of higher ed.
Worcester, also home of the
first detoxification clinic in America. (the house still stands at 14 Oread
Worcester, birthplace and home
of Abby Hoffman.
Worcester, home of Abbie Kelly
Providence is home to the First
Baptist Church in America, founded by Roger Williams in 1638.
Pawtucket is home to the first
successful water powered cotton spinning mill, Slater
Mill, which started the American Industrial Revolution in 1793.
The Congregational Church in
Slatersville has the oldest running Sunday School in the Nation
Chepachet's Brown and Hopkins
General Store is the longest operating general store in the Nation starting
Slatersville is the first
planned mill village in the Nation
The former Grafton Airport was
the first Worcester County airfield
Betty the Elephant was
the first traveling elephant show in the Nation, a precursor to the circus
Ethan Allen invented the first
revolver in the Town of Grafton
The first department store in the
Nation was Ann & Hope in Cumberland, RI and Sam Walmart came to visit
this long running store before he unveiled Walmart
Adin Ballou created the first
utopian society in America in Hopedale
Worcester is the birthplace of barbed wire,
the monkey wrench in 1841 by Loring and Aury Coes, the 1964 Harvey Ball smiley face, and the space suit
made by David Clark Company. The envelope folding machine was created in
Worcester by Russell Hawes in 1853. Worcester was also the home of the first
Valentine, created when Esther Howland, born in 1828, established the American
Valentine Company which possibly also pioneered the production line.
doesn't stop there, however, and the 1930 Higgins Armory was the first building
in the Nation to be built entirely with steel and glass on the exterior. This
museum still boasts one of the world's largest collections of armor.
And you thought the
rickshaw was developed in China? Nope, Worcester blacksmith and carriage maker
Albert Tolman made the first rickshaw in 1848 for a missionary returning to
China and needing a way to easily transport his ailing wife!
was the home of the first public park created on land donated by the federal
government, in June 1854 with Elm Park. This park is based on famous
landscaper Frederick Law Olmstead's principles.
home to Marshall "Major" Taylor, the fastest bicyclist in the world at
the turn of the twentieth century. Worcester hosted the First National Women's
Rights Convention in 1850. Seneca Fall Convention, hosted two years ealier was
only a local convention. In 1933, FDR appointed Frances Perkins, a
one-time Worcesetr resident, as the first woman to ever serve on the
presidential cabinet. She became Secretary of Labor.
On June 12, 1880, Worcester
pitcher J. Lee Richmond pitched professional baseball's first perfect game and
allowed no one on base! Also, Casey and the Bat was penned by hometown boy,
Lastly, life-long Worcester
resident Robert H. Goddard launched the first rocket powered by liquid fuel in
1926 after becoming absorbed in sci-fi novels as a teen. Goddad's discoveries
helped send men to space. In 1969, the famous words heard from astronaut Neil
Armstrong came from the moon through a David Clark Company headset.
Lydia Taft of
Uxbridge was the first woman to ever vote in the Nation
In 1852 Massachusetts
became the first state to pass legislation making school attendance mandatory
West Upton once
was home to the longest tavern in the world, now broken down into seven homes by
William Knowlton of the famous straw hat factory in West Upton. Enjoy the Walking
Tour and see the homes.
Millville at the Rubber
Mill was the first location to ever hold a worker strike- June 18, 1885.
Please feel free to add to this list if you
know of other firsts or oldests.
To contact us, email