Just don’t want you to miss the Valley Talks..

The Museum of Work and Culture is presenting its second series of Valley talks. Talks are usually held at 1:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

February 12: Documentary filmmaker Kenneth Proudfoot screens The Amazing Life & Times of Austin T. Levy and will lead a Q&A on the production of the film that chronicles the life of one of Rhode Island’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

February 26: Ellen (Wright) Puccetti & Claire (Bissonnette) Wright Boudreault present the history of Wright’s Dairy Farm & Bakery, chronicling the growth of the family business, the experience growing up on the farm, and what goes into raising cows and making their famous pastry.

March 12: Writer and  historical reenactor Paul Bourget explores life in Civil War encampments, detailing issues of transportation, camp set ups, medicine, military chores, and especially food.


Manville: Life and Tragedy

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2:00 P.M.
Blackstone Valley Historical Society
North Gate
1873 Old Louisquisset Pike
Lincoln, RI 02865
Upstairs Hall

Selections from the movie Senetchonet to Manville: A Journey Through Time  

Nestled in the northern part of the Town of Lincoln, Rhode Island, Manville is a quiet community that is proud of its working heritage.  However, that lifestyle was shaken in 1955 with two terrible disasters that altered its way of life forever.

Join the Blackstone Valley Historical Society as it debuts a tribute to Manville by Roger Gladu, who has been a part of the community for his lifetime.  Sections of his video, Part I, will introduce the community, show the working environment in the early 20th century, and the natural disasters that, except for the strong will of the people, could have wiped out Manville forever.

Susan Clarke, Program Manager of the Society, will narrate parts of the video concerning the products made in the factories during those times, interspersed with recorded sections of several persons who did, in fact, work in the major mill.  This presentation will be a wonderful introduction to Manville as a quiet, peaceful region that, despite major adversity, still is a proud part of  the Blackstone region.


This program is free, but donations are gratefully accepted, and all interested persons are invited to join the organization.


Al Klyberg

Al Klyberg, photo by Jim Hendrickson, at the Museum of Work and Culture.
Al Klyberg, photo by Jim Hendrickson, at the Museum of Work and Culture.

The Blackstone Valley Historical Society is deeply saddened by the loss of our mentor and dear friend, Albert Klyberg.

In the words of C. Morgan Grefe, Director of the RI Historical Society:

“There are people in this world who change the way we think about a place. Al Klyberg was one of those people. He came to Rhode Island with a passion for history, and not just any history, but the history of every single person. And he committed his life to sharing that history with everyone.

Al Klyberg at the 2016 Christine Nowak Lecture. Photo by Jim Hendrikson

He had a beautiful vision of the role that history should play in our lives, and I am honored to have known and worked with him. He continued to shape the RIHS every day, and I – we all – are grateful.

Thank you, Al, for your service, your passion, and your dedication. You made history, and you are forever part of us. You are missed so very much already.”

In Memoriam: Albert T. “Al” Klyberg, 1940-2017


Movie Matinee!

manvilleJanuary 22, 2:00 p.m.
North Gate Toll House
1873 Old Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln, RI  02865

Movie!  Public welcome, no charge for admission.

Enjoy selections from the movie, Senetchonet to Manville: a Journey through Time, by Betty Mencucci and Carlo Mencucci.  This is a documentary on the history of Manville, which contains hundreds of historical photographs of Manville from the collection of Roger Gladu.  This showing is made possible by a generous gift of Roger and Lorraine Gladu.

Christmas Open House


Door at North Gate
Door at North Gate

The Blackstone Valley Historical Society
Christmas Open House
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
December 11, 2016
1873 Old Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln, RI  02865

We wish to thank our members and friends for their support throughout the year. Join us for a celebration of music, refreshments, and maybe a visit from a man in a red suit!

Bob Ferri will be playing holiday music for us. Come see all the work we are doing in the dining room,  Bring your family and friends.



The Three-decker Menace

cambridgetripledecker2:00 p.m., November 20, 2016
North Gate Toll House
Blackstone Valley Historical Society
C. Morgan Grefe, RI Historical Society, The Three-decker Menace

If you look around your neighborhood, there are probably some of these large, three-story houses; however, elsewhere in the U.S. they are not there.  Why is that?  When were the first of these large homes built, and why?  Are they an offshoot of our manufacturing roots, as necessary housing for workers?  And, are they really a “menace” within a neighborhood?

Dr. Morgan Grefe, the Head of the Rhode Island Historical Society, became interested in this form of housing during her Ph.D. studies at Brown University.  Her insight as to their history and construction will fascinate all who have lived in, or even just seen rows of, three-deckers in their neighborhoods.

Free and open to the public.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Author Ray Wolf to speak Oct. 16 at North Gate

ww-ii-jpeg2:00 p.m.
October 16, 2016
North Gate Toll House, Blackstone Valley Historical Society
1873 Old Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln, RI  02865

Ray Wolf, “World War II, as told by John E. O’Hara”

Ray Wolf, author of “The Scituate Reservoir”, and many other books of local history, will talk about his book “World War II”, written from the logbook written by John E. O’Hara kept while he was in the Navy from 1942-1945.  It will also touch on its companion volume, “Shirley, His Only Love”, written about John O’Hara’s wife and their life together in Rhode Island after they met in 1948. He may also mention his most book, “Rhode Island Diners Today”, and his newest research on outhouses!

This event is free and the public is welcome. Donations are gratefully received.


North Gate is the Town of Lincoln’s 2016 Christmas Ornament!


"The North Gate Ornament!"
“The North Gate Ornament!”

Exciting News!  North Gate is the Town of Lincoln’s 20th Christmas ornament.

“North Gate” was originally built as a toll house for the newly built Louisquisset Pike in the early years of the 19th century.

Valley Breeze reporter Brittany Ballantyne interviewed Richard DiMase, Dave Sale, and BVHS President Jason Dionne at North Gate.  North Gate was selected for the town’s 20th annual ornament because of “the relevance of the tolls on the pike, and the parallels with today’s truck tolls passed by the Rhode Island House of Representatives in February of this year,” according to Richard DiMase.

The ornament sells for $17.00 and can be purchased at North Gate at Blackstone Valley Historical Society events, and several other places around the town of Lincoln.

The sale of Christmas ornaments over the years has provided $23,000 to the town for the re-location of the historic Hot Potato School House, which was transported from the corner of Angell and Whipple Road to Chase Farm last November.

Read the Valley Breeze article.

News from Ken Postle and the Historical Cemetery Project

Last weekend, plenty of work was done on historical cemetery Lincoln 51  by Boy Scout Troup 711 Albion with friends and family,  led by soon-to-be Eagle Scout Drew Abrams with Ken Postle. Lincoln 51 (LN51) is a Wilbur family lot, near Lime Acres, on Jenckes Hill Road.

All photos are courtesy of Ken Postle’s facebook site, River Road, Blackstone River and Canal Cemeteries.  There are many more! Ken has also been working on Chapel Street, on the Mineral Spring Avenue cemetery, and on NP01 near Intervale Avenue in North Providence.  He has also been working with the Cumberland High School students at historical cemetery CU33  near Kimball St. in Cumberland.  Here is one of Ken’s posts on the Wilbur Lot cleanup.

John Houghton (left) and Drew Abrams.
John Houghton (left) and Drew Abrams.

October 2: “John Houghton and I met up with the Scout Troop 711 and Day 3 was just as exciting as Day 1 and 2-It started with more raking off, more foot stone discoveries, field stone finds and continued into restoring original line alignments of shoved and toppled bases and ended up with an incredible boring out of a previously degraded base back into functionality again…We ended the day with an incredible assessment of 28 marked burials and 5 hollows (as yet no stones), where previously only 22 known burials were indicated and that number will probably get bigger as the cleared Lot weathers…We ended the day honoring the Rev War Vet (Christopher Wilbur) with a new flag, salute and moment of silence-Thank you Drew, Brian McMahon and Troop 711 for an incredible display of team work and dedication to restoring history!”

After digging out and straightening the stones
After digging out and straightening the stones
Scouts putting flag on grave of Christopher Wilbur
Scouts putting flag on grave of Christopher Wilbur








A few days earlier, Ken was working on the McIntyre Cemetery LN055  on Sherman Avenue with Jason Dionne, Danielle Dionne, Kassie Sandra and Lonnie and Sally Watson.

Danielle Dionne (left), Kassie Sandra, and Jason Dionne. Kassie holding a recovered foot stone
Danielle Dionne (left), Kassie Sandra, and Jason Dionne. Kassie holding a recovered foot stone
Stone of Mary McIntyre
Stone of Mary McIntyre
Plain Quaker-style stone with "toothy" bottom
Plain Quaker-style stone with “toothy” bottom

October is Archaeology Month!

Marker from Nipsachuck dig (2012-2013) in North Smithfield, "Lead Shot East Side"
Marker from Nipsachuck dig (2012-2013) in North Smithfield, “Lead Shot East Side”

October 2016 is Archaeology Month. This series of events is organized by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission to promote Rhode Island’s rich archaeological heritage though a series of free public events led by the professional community.

Read about all the exciting events this month.