Congregational Church and Civil War Memorial
|Nickname(s): "Home of America's 1st Woman Voter" "A Crossroads Village"|
|Motto: "Weaving a Tapestry of Early America"|
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
|• Type||Open Town Meeting|
|• Chair, Board of Selectmen,||Jennifer Modica|
|• Vice Chair-Clerk, Board of Selectmen||Jeff Shaw|
|• Selectmen||Tim Rice, Peter Baghdasarian, Lance Anderson|
|• Town Manager||David Genereux|
|• Total||30.4 sq mi (78.7 km2)|
|• Land||29.5 sq mi (76.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)|
|Elevation||270 ft (82 m)|
|• Total||13,892 (estimate)|
|• Density||442.66/sq mi (170.77/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|ZIP code||01569, 01538, 01525|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0618387|
Uxbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts first settled in 1662, incorporated in 1727, originally part of Suffolk County, and Mendon, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. The town (population 13,892, estimate) is located 36 mi (58 km) southwest of Boston and 15 mi (24 km) south-southeast of Worcester, at the midpoint of the Blackstone Valley National Historic Park. Two Uxbridge Quakers served as national leaders in the American anti-slavery movement. Uxbridge "weaves a tapestry of early America"
Indigenous Nipmuc people near 'Wacentug" (river bend), deeded land to 17th century settlers. Uxbridge granted rights to America's first woman voter, Lydia Chapin Taft. The first hospital for mental illness in America was established here. Deborah Sampson posed as an Uxbridge soldier, and fought in the American Revolution. A 140-year legacy of manufacturing military uniforms and clothing began with 1820 power looms. The Board of Selectmen approved Massachusetts's first women jurors. Uxbridge became famous for woolen cashmeres. "Uxbridge Blue", was the first US Air Force Dress Uniform. BJ's Wholesale Club distribution warehouse looms large here today.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable people
- 3 Government
- 4 Geography
- 5 Climate
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Education
- 9 Healthcare
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Points of interest
- 12 Photos
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Colonial era, Revolution, Quakers, and abolition
John Eliot started Nipmuc Praying Indian villages. "Wacentug" natives sold land to settlers in 1662, "for 24 pound Ster". Mendon began in 1667, and burned in King Phillips War. Western Mendon became Uxbridge in 1727, and Farnum House held the first town meeting. Nathan Webb's church, was the Colony's first new Congregational church in the Great Awakening. Lydia Chapin Taft, voted in the 1756 Town meeting, a first for women.
Seth and Joseph Read. and Simeon Wheelock joined Committees of Correspondence. Baxter Hall, was a Minuteman drummer. Seth Read fought at Bunker Hill. Washington stopped at Reed's tavern, en route to command the Continental Army. Samuel Spring, was one of the first chaplains of the American Revolution. Deborah Sampson, enlisted as "Robert Shurtlieff of Uxbridge". Shays' Rebellion also began here and Governor John Hancock quelled Uxbridge riots. Simeon Wheelock, died protecting the Springfield Armory. Seth Reed was instrumental in adding E pluribus unum to U.S. coins. Washington slept here on his Inaugural tour.
Quakers, including Richard Mowry migrated here from Smithfield, Rhode Island, and built mills, railroads, houses, tools and Conestoga wagon wheels. Southwick's store housed the "Social and Instructive Library". Friends Meetinghouse, next to Moses Farnum's farm, had prominent abolitionists Abby Kelley Foster, and Effingham Capron as members. Capron led the 450 member local anti-slavery society. Brister Pierce, formerly a slave in Uxbridge, was a signer of an 1835 petition to Congress demanding abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia.
Early transportation, education, public health and safety
The Tafts built the Middle Post Road's Blackstone River bridge in 1709. "Teamsters" drove horse "team" freight wagons, on the Worcester-Providence stage route. The Blackstone Canal brought horsedrawn barges to Providence through Uxbridge for overnight stops. The "crossroads village" was a junction on the Underground Railroad. The P&W Railroad ended canal traffic in 1848.
A 1732 vote "set up a school for ye town of Uxbridge". A grammar school was followed by 13 one room district school houses, built for $2000 in 1797. Uxbridge Academy (1818), became a prestigious New England Prep School.
Uxbridge voted against smallpox vaccine . Samuel Willard (physician) treated smallpox victims, was a forerunner of modern psychiatry, and ran the first hospital for mental illness in America. Vital records recorded many infant deaths, the smallpox death of Selectman Joseph Richardson, "Quincy", "dysentary", and tuberculosis deaths. Leonard White recorded a Malaria outbreak here in 1896 that led to firsts in control of malaria as a mosquito-borne infection. Uxbridge led Massachusetts in robberies for a quarter of the year in 1922, and the town voted to hire its first night time police patrolman.
Industrial era: 19th century to late-20th century
Bog iron and three iron forges marked the colonial era, with the inception of large-scale industries beginning around 1775—examples of this development can be seen in the work of Richard Mowry, who built and marketed equipment to manufacture woolen, linen, or cotton cloth, and gristmills, sawmills, distilleries, and large industries. Uxbridge reached a peak of twenty different industrial mills. Daniel Day built the first woolen mill in 1809. By 1855, 560 local workers made 2,500,000 yards (2,300,000 m) of cloth (14,204 miles (22,859 km)). A small silver vein at Scadden, in SW Uxbridge, led to unsuccessful commercial mining in the 1830s.
Innovations included power looms, vertical integration of wool to clothing, cashmere wool-synthetic blends, "wash and wear", yarn spinning techniques, and latch hook kits. Villages included mills, shops, worker housing, and farms. Wm. Arnold's Ironstone cotton mill, later made "Kentucky Blue Jeans", and Seth Read's gristmill, later housed Bay State Arms. Hecla and Wheelockville housed American Woolen, Waucantuck Mill, Hilena Lowell's shoe factory, and Draper Corporation. Daniel Day, Jerry Wheelock, and Luke Taft used water powered mills. Moses Taft's (Central Woolen) operated continuously making Civil War cloth,
North Uxbridge housed Clapp's 1810 Cotton Mill, Chandler Taft's and Richard Sayles Rivulet Mill, the granite quarry, and Rogerson's village. Crown and Eagle Mill was "a masterpiece of early industrial architecture". Blanchard's granite quarry provided curb stones to New York City and regional public works projects. Peter Rawson Taft's grandson, William Howard Taft, visited Samuel Taft House.
John Sr., Effingham and John W. Capron's mill pioneered US satinets and woolen power looms Charles A. Root, Edward Bachman, and Harold Walter expanded Bachman-Uxbridge., and leadership in women's fashion. The company manufactured US Army uniforms for the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the nurse corps, and the first Air Force "dress uniforms", dubbed "Uxbridge Blue". Time magazine covered Uxbridge Worsted's proposed a buyout to be the top US woolen company. One of the largest US yarn companies, Bernat Yarn's largest plant was located here from the 1960s to the 1980s. A historic company called 'Information Services', operated from Uxbridge, and managed subscription services for 'The New Republic', among other publications, in the later 20th century.
Late-20th century to present
State and national parks developed around mills and rivers were restored. The Great Gatsby (1974) and Oliver's Story (1978) were filmed locally including Stanley Woolen Mill. The Blackstone Valley National Historic Park contains the 1,000-acre (4.0 km2)Blackstone Canal Heritage State Park, 9 miles (14 km) of the Blackstone River Greenway, the Southern New England Trunkline Trail, West Hill Dam, a 567-acre wildlife refuge, parcels of the Metacomet Land Trust, and Cormier Woods. 60 Federalist homes add to 54 National, and 375 state-listed historic sites, including Georgian Elmshade, (where War Secretary Alphonso Taft had recounted local family history at a famous reunion). Capron's wooden mill survived a 2007 fire at the Bernat Mill. Stanley mill is being restored while Waucantuck mill, was (mostly) razed. In 2013 multiple fires again affected this town and included a historic bank building and a Quaker home from the early 1800s. See National historic sites.
Robert Taft I, was patriarch to the Taft family political dynasty. Robert Taft, 2nd was a Selectman, and Benjamin Taft built a second iron forge. Josiah Taft's widow, Lydia (Chapin) Taft, was "America's first woman voter" Bezaleel Taft, Sr., served as an American Revolution Captain, state representative and state senator, as did, Bezaleel Taft, Jr.. Samuel Taft hosted George Washington on his post inaugural tour. Ezra ("T".) Taft Benson was an LDS Church Apostle, Hawaii missionary, and Utah legislator. Chandler Taft built the 1814 Rivulet Mill. Daniel Day, a Taft, started the third US woolen mill. Luke Taft built 2 water powered textile mills, and Moses Taft built Stanley Woolen Mill. Hon. Peter Rawson Taft I was the grandfather of William Howard Taft.
Willard Preston, the 4th University of Vermont President, published famous sermons while later serving the Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah. Arthur MacArthur, Sr. was a Lt. Governor, Chief Justice and Douglas MacArthur's grandfather. Seth Reed fought at Bunker Hill, was "instrumental" in adding E Pluribus Unum, to U.S. Coins. and was a founder of Erie, Pennsylvania and Geneva, New York. Paul C. Whitin, founded the Whitin Machine Works. Phineas Bruce and Benjamin Adams were Congressmen. Joshua Macomber and William Augustus Mowry were educators. Effingham Capron, led Uxbridge as a center for pre-civil war anti-slavery activities, was a state a national anti-slavery leader, and an industrialist. Edward Sullivan, won a Congressional Medal in the Spanish–American War. Willard Bartlett was a NY Chief Justice and Franklin Bartlett, a Congressman. Edward P. Bullard started Bullard Machine tools whose designs enabled auto manufacturing and industry.
Charles Aurthur Root, Edward Bachman, and Harold Walter built Uxbridge Worsted into a manufacturing giant which led women's fashions. Alice Bridges won an Olympic bronze in Berlin. Tim Fortugno played for the California Angels and Chicago White Sox. Richard Moore, recent Senate President Pro Tem (MA), was a FEMA executive, a Past President of the Conference of State Legislatures, and a principal architect of Massachusetts's landmark health care law. Brian Skerry is a National Geographic photojournalist, protecting global sea life. Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr. is curator of Baroque Art at the National Gallery. Jacqueline Liebergott,was president of Emerson College. Jeannine Oppewall, has four Academy Award nominations for best art direction. Skip Shea, produced 10 films, and won a top award at the Rome Film Festival for Ave Maria, a film about victims of clergy abuse.
|County-level state agency heads|
|Clerk of Courts:||Dennis P. McManus (D)|
|District Attorney:||Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)|
|Register of Deeds:||Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)|
|Register of Probate:||Stephanie K. Fattman (R)|
|County Sheriff:||Lew Evangelidis (R)|
|State Representative(s):||Kevin J. Kuros (R))|
|State Senator(s):||Ryan Fattman (R)|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Jen Caissie (R)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||James P. McGovern (D-2nd Dist.)|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
Uxbridge has a Board of Selectmen and town meeting government, with officials listed in the top infobox: Local government 1) granted the first woman in America the right to vote, 2) nixed smallpox vaccine in 1775, and 3) defied the Massachusetts Secretary of State, by approving women jurors. The 2009 Board of Health made Uxbridge the 3rd community in the US to ban tobacco sales in pharmacies, but later reversed this. State agencies control county elected offices (see info box). In fact, Uxbridge has a District Courthouse.
The town is 30.4 square miles (79 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), or 2.73%, is water. It is situated 39.77 miles (64.00 km) southwest of Boston, 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Worcester, and 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Providence. Elevations range from 200 feet (61 m) to 577 feet (176 m) above sea level. It borders Douglas, Mendon, Millville, Northbridge, and Sutton, Massachusetts, plus the Rhode Island towns of Burrillville and North Smithfield.
Adjacent Cities and towns
|Burrillville and North Smithfield, Rhode Island|
A USDA hardiness zone 5 continental climate prevails with snowfall extremes from October (rare), to May. The highest recorded temperature was 104 F, in July 1975, and the lowest, -25 F in January 1957.
|Climate data for Uxbridge, Massachusetts|
|Average high °F (°C)||37
|Average low °F (°C)||13
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.6
|* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
The 2010 United States Census population was 13,457, representing a growth rate of 20.6%, with 5,056 households, a density rate of 166.31 units per square mile. 95.7% were White, 1.7% Asian, 0.90% Hispanic, 0.3% African American, and 1.4% other. Population density was 442.66 people/ mile2 (170.77/km²). Per capita income was $24,540, and 4.7% fell below the poverty line. The number of registered voters was 9,959 for 2010
High tech, services, distribution, life sciences, hospitality, local government, education and tourism offer local jobs. A 618,000 square feet (57,400 m2) distribution center serves Fortune 500 BJ's Wholesale Club's, northern division. The July 2013 unemployment was 6.9%
Local schools include: Taft pre k-2, Whitin Elementary, McCloskey Middle School, Uxbridge High (built 2012) and Our Lady of the Valley Regional. Valley Tech (Upton) houses Quinsigamond Community College The New York Times called Uxbridge education reforms, a "little revolution" to meet family needs.
The nearest MBTA Commuter Rail stops are Forge Park/495 on the Franklin Line and Grafton (MBTA station) and Worcester on the Framingham/Worcester Line, 15 miles away. The Northeast Corridor Providence (Amtrak station), has trains with top speeds of 150 MPH. The Providence and Worcester Railroad freight line passes two former local stations.
Route 146 links Worcester, I-290, and I-90, to Providence at I-95 and I-295. Route 16 links to Connecticut via I-395, and Boston, by I-495. Route 122 connects Northbridge, and Woonsocket. Route 146A, goes into North Smithfield. Route 98 leads to Burrillville.
TF Green State Airport Warwick-Providence, RI, Worcester airport, and Boston Logan International Airport, have commercial flights. Hopedale airport, 7.2 miles (11.6 km), and Worcester airport, have general aviation. A private air strip, Sky Glen Airport on Quaker highway is still listed on FAA sites, though the map location shows it within a dense Industrial Park, and at its peak of operations, it saw very low traffic.
Points of interest
- National historic sites
- John C. Farnum House, Uxbridge Historical Society Museum, circa 1710
- Lt. Simeon Wheelock House, Uxbridge common district, 1768
- Friends meetinghouse, circa 1770
- Taft House, 1789 Inaugural tour visit of George Washington and 1910 visit of Uxbridge grandson, William Howard Taft
- Crown and Eagle Cotton Mill, circa 1826
- Elmshade, Site of historic Taft family reunion of 1874
- Bernat Mill, formerly Capron Mill, circa 1820, and Uxbridge Worsted Company
- Stanley Woolen Mill, also once known as Central Woolen, Calumet, and Moses Taft Mill
- Stanley Woolen Mill
- Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor
- National Park Service, valley sites: Millville & Uxbridge
- Blackstone Canal at River Bend Farm
- Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation park website
- River Bend Farm and Canal, National Park Service brochure
- West Hill Dam and recreation area
- Walking tour of Uxbridge, National Park Service brochure
Taft Brothers Block, prominently located in the town center at the corner of Mendon and Main Streets. It is a three-story brick structure with modest Late Victorian stylistic embellishments.
Coronet John Farnum, Jr., House, 1710, houses Uxbridge Historical Society, Held First Town Meeting in 1727
Seth Read House Uxbridge, MA, built circa 1767 at corner of present-day Mendon St, and North Main Street before railroad was built.
Deborah Sampson, a woman posing as a male soldier, enlisted in the Continental Army at Bellingham as "Robert Shurtlieff of Uxbridge". A minister kept her secret, and she was later honored as a heroine by the Massachusetts legislature.
The town of Uxbridge built 13 district schoolhouses in 1797. The South Uxbridge schoolhouse today houses the south Uxbridge community association at the historic site of Ironstone, Massachusetts.
Jacob Aldrich house typifies the early Quaker houses at Quaker City, and South Uxbridge.
Uxbridge Academy & Masonic Lodge. Uxbridge Academy was a sought after New England Prep School from 1818
Site of the Daniel Day Mill, 1809. Daniel Day started the first woolen mill in the Blackstone Valley later also known as "Scott's Mill", the current factory recently housed Berrocoo Inc., extending a 200-year family enterprise, now a prominent yarn company..
Richard Sayles House is a historic home built by Richard Sayles who owned the Rivulet Mill. Located at 80 Mendon Street.
The Capron Mill, 1820, built by John Capron Sr. and his sons Effingham, and John, circa 1820 manufactured the first satinets, used the first power looms for woolens in America, and made US military uniforms for over 140 years, including the first US Air Force dress uniform, "Uxbridge 1683", aka Uxbridge Blue.
Joseph Richardson House, on the national historic register, Joseph Richardson was a Selectman, and landowner in South Uxbridge, who died of smallpox in 1825.
Stanley Woolen Mill, 1852, built by Moses Taft, with view of the Blackstone Canal, was the scene for two movies, The Great Gatsby, 1974, and Oliver's Story, 1978. In 1989, it had been the longest continuously operating family-owned mill in the US. This mill ran 24/7 making Civil War blue woolen cloth for military uniforms.
Canoes on the Blackstone Canal. The Blackstone Canal was built starting in 1824 and provided early freight transport by horse pulled barges from Uxbridge and Worcester, to the port of Providence and returns. Uxbridge was the overnight stopping point, and had close mercantile ties to Providence.
Brian Skerry, At Boston University, 2011, born 1962, Underwater Photographer, With National Geographic, Sounding the Alarm for Global Sealife.
Uxbridge High School, Quaker Highway, S. Uxbridge, MA, built 2012.
Uxbridge Free Public Library. The Thayer Family donated the local public library which is located in the Uxbridge Common Historic District.
C.R. Thomson House and Barn, today a golf course with banquet facilities, located at Chockalog Rd. in SW Uxbridge.
Once a department store in the mid 1800s, The Granite Store is located on Hecla Street in Uxbridge.
- List of notable Uxbridge people by century
- Jerry Wheelock
- Richard Mowry
- Taft Family
- John Capron
- North Uxbridge
- Linwood, Massachusetts
- Ironstone, Massachusetts
- Rogerson's Village Historic District
- Uxbridge Free Public Library
- Portal Massachusetts by Location, Uxbridge
- List of mill towns in Massachusetts
- North Uxbridge (Worcester County, Massachusetts [MA]): Around the Neighborhood
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- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
-  City-Data.com/City/Uxbridge-Nassachusetts
- Lewin, Tamar (January 13, 1996). "The ramparts of a little revolution in education". New York Times. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
- Sky Glen Airport
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Uxbridge, Massachusetts.|
- The New Uxbridge Times, Local Newspaper
- Uxbridge tourism, FIrst Night Celebration
- Town of Uxbridge website
- Uxbridge Community TV streaming; Public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable tv channel
-  Dairy Farms in Uxbridge, photos
- Nipmuc nation| Uxbridge began as a subdivision of Mendon which had been carved from the original Squinshepauk Plantation, sold by Chief John of the Nipmuc to settlers from Braintree, Massachusetts in 1662
-  PBS Special:"After the Mayflower, Nipmuc Language, We Shall Remain", with Native Speaker, David Tall Pine White
-  town info from Mass online, School history, Preserve America Community
-  [Berroco Inc. Continuation of a 200-year family textile/yarn enterprise]
- Uxbridge on "New England Byways", 1998 WBZ TV plus Christmas eve video of Uxbridge on youtube.com
- Grafton Nipmuck re-created Nipmuc village, CT
- Seth & Hannah Reed
- Abby Kelley Foster, Worcester women's history project
- Current weather conditions, Weather station, next to Uxbridge, MA