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
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.
nights, at ,
join the Leicester,
MA Historical Society for
their monthly meeting at the Leicester Public Library, 1136
Each monthly meeting selects an aspect of town history that is discussed and
LEICESTER COMMON & OTHER BUILDINGS - LEICESTER HISTORICAL COMMISSION
3 Washburn Sq, Leicester, MA 01524 (Town Hall) 508-892-8014 Contact: Joe Lennerton Email address:
There was a large carding industry in the valley as well as the underground railroad in
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
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.