2018 Events

Past Events of the Blackstone Valley Historical Society

January Movie Matinees

January 14, 2018 BVHS will be showing Part 1 of  “Senechonet to Manville: A Journey Through Time,” a historical commentary on the village of Manville, RI, by Betty and Carlo Mencucci, with many photographs and other material collected by Roger Gladu. The movie covers the growth of Manville from colonial times, and ends with the spectacular disasters of the 20th century: the 1924 house gas explosion on Cumberland Hill, the 1920s textile strikes, the 1927 flood, the 1938 hurricane, and the flood and fire in 1955. Free Event.

January 21, 2018 BVHS will be showing Part 2 of “Senechonet to Manville: A Journey Through Time,” a historical commentary on the village of Manville, RI, by Betty and Carlo Mencucci, with many photographs and other material collected by Roger Gladu. Highlights of this movie include the stories of many Manville businesses through time, Manville in wartime, and much more. Popcorn available. Free event.

February 25, 2018:  Exhibit: The Lime Kilns of Lime Rock

Wall Kiln west of Louisquisset Pike

BVHS’s exciting exhibit on the Lime Kilns of Lime Rock. If you live in Lime Rock, you may be familiar with these mysterious stone structures, but maybe not. Most of them are hard to see, even though you may drive past them often.  This exhibit exhibit on the kilns walked through seven sites that are part of Lime Rock’s history. Mining and processing lime was nearly a continuous industry in Lime Rock from 17th century until nearly the 21st century (the Conklin Lime Quarry). This exhibit also featured small exhibits from the collections of Jim and Danny Bethel.

March 18, 2018 Little-known Tales of New England Aviation, by Jim Ignasher, Smithfield Historian

A talk by Jim Ignasher,  Smithfield historian. “How did the creation of Smithfield’s first airport in 1932 ultimately change the course of WWII in the Pacific? And have you ever heard about the bizarre air battle that took place over Boston? Or what became of a fighter pilot who mysteriously vanished from formation while on a routine training flight over Connecticut?” On March 18, local writer and historian Jim Ignasher will tell these and other little-known tales relating to New England Aviation. Free event.

April 22, 2018 The Ghost Army, Rick Beyer, author and filmmaker.

“The Ghost Army of WWII” courtesy of Rick Beyer

BVHS was happy to welcome Rick Beyer, author and documentary filmmaker,  to tell us about his research on the Ghost Army, the WWII deception unit.  This event is free, all are welco



May 20, 2018 Christine Nowak Lecture: Kevin Klyberg, Ranger, Blackstone Valley National Historic Park, The War of 1812 and the Development of the Blackstone Valley

Moffet Mill
Moffet Mill

The War of 1812 played a major role in the industrialization of the Blackstone Valley. While obviously no battles were fought here, the War of 1812 and the embargoes leading up to the war played a key role in launching the first textile industry boom in the Blackstone Valley, and therefore the United States, according to Kevin Klyberg.

June 20, 2018: Annual Tour of Cogswell Tower in Jenks Park

Cogswell Tower

BVHS’s annual Tour of Cogswell Tower led by Bob Ferri, Central Falls City Councilman. Meet at the entrance to Jenks Park on 580 Broad St, Central Falls, 02863.  Climb to the top of the tower, and go underneath the Tower to see the Grotto. Free!

July 2-30, 2018  BVHS Exhibit at the Hayden Gallery, Cumberland Public Library

BHVS’s exhibit An Elaborate History: The Cumberland Ballous was on display in the Cumberland Public Library for the month of July.

September 22, 2018 Great Road Day

BVHS’s Northgate Toll House and the Arnold’s Original Lonsdale Bakery were for Great Road Day.   Birthday cake was served for BVHS’s 60th birthday.

Tree Reflection in the Canal

Northgate will have a special exhibit of the photography of Madeleine O. Robinson, Reflections in the Water: Photographs of the Blackstone Valley.   The Blackstone Canal is the subject of many of the photographs. Dr. Robinson, a Cumberland resident, has shown her photographs at the Attleboro Arts Museum and wo

October 14, 2018 Stone Walls of Rhode Island, RI State Archaeologist, Timothy Ives.

Stone Wall

Rhode Island state archaeologist Timothy Ives gave a great presentation  on the history and character of R. I.’s stone walls as part of RIHPHC’s Rhode Island Archaeology Month.   Over 100 people attended.

October 20, 2018,  The Corpse That Drove a Hearse – and Other True Tales of the Macabre, Jim Ignasher, Smithfield Historical Society

Fan base

A Halloween presentation by Jim Ignasher, Smithfield Historical Society. In this talk, he discusses the Victorian fear of being buried alive, cases of re-animation, and the steps some tried to take to avoid such a fate. Then there were those who actually made a living at being buried alive. It includes stories relating to “points of law” beyond the grave, and finishes with a bizarre love story. The talk is oriented for adults.

November 3, 2018 Americana II: Songs from America’s History, from the 1920’s-1940’s.

Michael DiMucci

Michael DiMucci, tenor and pianist, presents a concert of songs and their stories from America’s past. This program features well-known melodies from the Roaring Twenties & Jazz Age to the 1930s during the Great Depression and the beginnings of Old Hollywood to the Big Bands and crooners of the 1940s as our country approached the era of World War II.