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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Millville, Massachusetts

Although Millville (population 3,000) is Massachusetts' second-youngest town, it was not incorporated until 1916, when citizens petitioned to separate from Blackstone. Millville was first settled after 1700 as a farming community with sawmills and gristmills.

Blackstone River Valley designation sign, Millville, Massachusetts Blackstone River Valley designation sign, Millville, Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Blackstone River Valley)

Organized in 1766 as Mendon's South Parish, Millville became part of the town of Blackstone in 1845. Later it was home to many rubber manufacturing companies, 15 of which were merged to create the U.S. Rubber Company, which left the town economically adrift following the stock market crash of 1929.

However, the town has worked hard to maintain its rural nature and historic past, including restoring the 1769 Chestnut Meeting House.

Listed in the National Register since 1984, this oldest meeting house in the Blackstone Valley is exceptional because it has a relatively unaltered interior layout, including boxed pews and a large north wall pulpit.

In 2003, Millville was awarded National Register designation for its first historic district, the Central Street Historic District. Fifty-six historic properties are listed, including the best-preserved lock on the 1828 Blackstone Canal and a unique tri-level railroad bridge.

Residents and visitors can take a walking tour highlighting Millville's role in linking 19th-century transportation, manufacturing, and commerce during America's industrial revolution.

For more information

Town of Millville

Blackstone Daily/Milleville

Updated April 29, 2009

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