There has been a National Park Service presence here since the designation of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River National Heritage Corridor in 1986. The story of America's Industrial Revolution begins at Slater Mill and the Blackstone River, and the new designation of National Park Services status solidifies the importance of the historic significance of Slater Mill and the Blackstone River Valley.
The new Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park is the first for Rhode Island and will expand the work of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, bringing new federal money to help preserve, protect and conserver the historic, cultural and natural resources in the Blackstone River Valley. The sites included in this designation are Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Kelly House in Lincoln, the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, and the Blackstone River and the Mill Village of Ashton, as well as sites in Massachusetts.
This will be a unique NPS area in that it encompasses two states, as does the Heritage Corridor, and will build on the partnerships already established through the Heritage Corridor. It will bring jobs, a renewed sense of pride, and will help to boost the economy through tourism.
More information is available here.