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Leicester is an important town within the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor known for its connections with the American Industrial Revolution. The Town Of Leicester is a community which epitomizes the farm to factory movement which occurred in the early part of the industrial revolution. As mills were being built all over New England where water power was available, Leicester began to construct larger and better mills to replace the small pre-industrial mills that dotted the landscape.

Leicester had since the mid 1780’s began a focus on the manufacture of hand cards, tools used in the making of cloth. When Samuel Slater was building his Pawtucket Mill, he could not get his carding machine to operate. He then began to work with Pliny Earle of Leicester, who was engaged in the production of hand cards and known locally as a mechanical tinkerer. Earle built Slater’s carding machine and Slater’s Mill began its production, signaling the beginning of America ’s Industrial Revolution. 


Monday nights, at 7 pm , join the Leicester , MA Historical Society for their monthly meeting at the Leicester Public Library, 1136 Main Street . Each monthly meeting selects an aspect of town history that is discussed and presented.

For more about the Historical Society call 508-335-9706 or visit the town website at


3 Washburn Sq, Leicester, MA 01524 (Town Hall)
Contact: Joe Lennerton Email address:

There was a large carding industry in the valley as well as the underground railroad in Leicester.


Leicester is a more recent addition to the official John H. Chafee National Heritage Corridor, yet its history is very compelling. Leicester incorporated in 1713 and played a major role in history with its militia involvement in Lexington and Concord helping to defeat the British. Leicester's farm to factory transition also closely aligns with the John H. Chafee National Heritage Corridor although it is not directly contiguous to the Valley. Its streams and rivers do, however, share both the Blackstone and Quinebaug watersheds.

The Leicester Historical Society runs many fascinating programs delving into its historic past and the town is home to the well-known four-five star Castle Restaurant, famous for its delightful cuisine and its stone castle-like exterior.