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Uxbridge - A Quick Tour - (A Longer Walking Tour)
Heading up Mendon Street to Main over the Mumford River and its powerful falls at Capron Park, the P & W Railroad tracks came to Uxbridge in 1847. In fact, Uxbridge was a thriving hub of activity from the Blackstone Canal 1828-48 and then from the railroads bringing raw materials for the twenty mills, mostly textile, operating in Uxbridge. In fact, Uxbridge produced a large portion of the Civil War blue uniforms, gaining the nickname "Uxbridge Blue". The old railroad depot is now a bank and walking to the back reveals the loading platform and great view of the tracks. Crossing Main Street north to the Common area, one sees the renovations of the famous Uxbridge Inn, built as Hotel Wilson in 1882, ongoing.
The Common tells the historical tale of the religious differences during the 1830s between the liberal Congregational Church, the First Evangelical built in 1833 and the First Congregational Society Unitarian Church built a year later. A small, brick Federalist style building, built by a private academy and the Masons as a lodge in 1819 when joint ventures were quite common before the advent of public funding for high schools. The school was held on the first floor while the Masons utilized the second floor.
The D.A.R House is almost directly across Main Street and was built by Simeon Wheelock in 1768. During Harvest weekend in October, the old house is open for tours. Returning back to Mendon Street and just beyond your starting place is the historical gem, the Stanley Woolen Mills, needing much repair and innovation. St. Mary's Church was built in 1855 after a few decades of the Irish immigrating to Uxbridge to work on the farms, the Canal and then the railroad. Further down the street, by car, are the Waucatuck Mills, the first to utilize the power of the water wheel. Head to River Bend Farm, Look Out Rock or view some scenic roads in Uxbridge.
Interesting Facts: President George Washington visited Taft Tavern in North Uxbridge twice with one visit in 1789. President William Taft visited his ancestral home in 1909 after visiting with Governor Eben Draper of Hopedale. Taft's grandfather grew up in the home. (From RI Historical Society in partnership with the NHC)