Monday, October 11, 2010

Dams on the Lower Blackstone River

I was sorting through some old pictures yesterday, and was able to put together pictures of all the dams on the lower Blackstone River from Blackstone, MA down to Pawtucket, RI.

Rolling Dam - Blackstone Gorge

Waterford Dam - Blackstone

Woonsocket Falls Dam
(seen through the South Main Street Bridge)

Manville Dam

Albion Dam

Ashton Dam

Pratt Dam - Lonsdale

Valley Falls Dam

Elizabeth Webbing Mills Dam - Central Falls

Slater Mill Dam - Pawtucket
Pawtucket Falls Dam
(Photo  by Cheryl Thompson Cameron)
All can be portaged, although some are much more difficult than others.  The dams along the Blackstone River Bikeway from Woonsocket to Valley Falls (Manville, Albion, Ashton and Lonsdale) can be portaged relatively easily.

The next dam upstream in MA is Rice City in Uxbridge.  I would have had a picture of that dam if I hadn't lost my camera on SaturdayAbove Plummers Landing is the dam at Riverdale, followed by the Depot Street Dam in Grafton. I'm not familiar with the dams further upstream in MA, but I want to get up there sometime. The section from Riverlin Street in Millbury down to Grafton is on my list of places to paddle.


  1. Erik, Your pictures make it easy to see how the Blackstone earned the title "Hardest working river in the America".

  2. That's 11 dams in about 20 miles - total fall of about 200 feet. The largest dam is the Woonsocket Falls which drops 31 feet. The smallest is Waterford at 6 - 8 feet. I think the Pawtucket Falls is actually the start of the Providence River. Someday maybe I'll match up the mills which go with each dam- most of them are still around.