A National Historic Landmark, Slater Mill Museum brings history to life through tours of Slater Mill (1793), Wilkinson Machine Shop (1810), the Sylvanus Brown House (1758) and the Pawtucket Visitors Center. See a water-wheel powered machine shop, walk over a large scale floor map of the Blackstone River Valley, watch a film about how the mills began early in the 19th Century. Learn about spinning thread and weaving cotton textiles on vintage machines. Come learn about the history of America’s “second” unnamed Revolution and how it would secure what the colonial patriot’s bloody Revolution of 1775 had won militarily. On-site tours are lead by costumed interpreters who share their knowledge about the “Cotton Economy,” Child Labor, Unions, Immigration, Agrarian and Urban America, and the entrepreneurial spirit that drove American capitalists and workers to make America the powerhouse it would become. Tours last about 90 minutes.
Slater Mill does not provide food. Most students bring a packed lunch, while visitors choose from an array of restaurants in the down town area.
Slater Mill hosts Community Guild Studios (CGS), a fiber arts center created by Slater Mill for the people of Rhode Island and Southeastern New England – something our community previously lacked despite our state’s long and rich history of textile design and manufacturing. The Guild is unique in the country in that it links the birthplace of textile manufacturing with our growing community of talented, professional craftspeople as well as members of the general public who enjoy fiber arts as a creative outlet. Check our website for information about classes and workshops.
Hands on History: The Apprentice Alcove An optional hands on program that can be added to tours where students play the role of mill apprentices using human power to operate simple machinery to complete a project under interpreter supervision. Immigration: Through the Golden Door Slater Mill becomes the backdrop for an exciting immersion program that places students in the shoes of immigrants who have just arrived at Ellis Island and combines the experiences of the immigrant and the factory worker. Educators receive a pre-visit package from which students receive actual immigrants identities to embody during their visit.
The Slater Mill Museum gift shop is full of memorable items for adults including ornaments, books, photos, mill spun textile souvenirs, glassware and t-shirts as well as fun trinkets & candy for children. The Gallery Shop located across the street also sells an array of items for both children and adults.
From NY, CT, Providence: I-95 North to Exit 28 (School St.). Left at bottom of ramp. Go through light, down hill, bear right across the river and turn right on Roosevelt Ave. Slater Mill is on the right. From Cape Cod and east: I-195 West to I-95 North and follow directions above. From Boston/Attleboro area: I 95 South to Exit 29 (Downtown Pawtucket) onto Broadway, follow Broadway to merge with Main St. Take right at light. Slater Mill is on your right From Worcester/Sturbridge area: Rte. 146 South to Mineral Spring Ave. (Rte 15). Turn left at bottom of ramp and follow Mineral Spring Ave. until it joins Church St. and ends at Park Place. Turn right, then immediate left on Circulator. Bear right on Main St., first left on Roosevelt Ave.
Unfortunately, because the three buildings that make up this historic site are preserved in their historically actuate condition, not all buildings are readily handicap accessible. Please call the museum prior to your visit so we can make arrangements for your needs.
Suggestions: Dress accordingly—it can be cool in spring and fall; warm in summer and wear comfortable shoes.