May 24, 2019

Congress mulls Blackstone Valley historical park plan

Slater Mill - slatermill.orgSlater Mill – slatermill.org

By News Staff


The Associated Press

A plan to establish a national historical park in the Blackstone Valley is going before Congress.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed has been pushing the plan for a Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park for years. The Rhode Island Democrat’s office said Wednesday the plan was due for votes in the House and Senate by next week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

The plan would put a new national historical park along the river, which includes several old mill towns and buildings including the Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket, the first successful cotton-spinning factory in the United States.

The area is already home to the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, which links 24 communities along the Blackstone River from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014

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Congress mulls Blackstone Valley historical park plan

Alligator rescued, in good hands now

October 6, 2011

Trevor Bowman, of Woonsocket, who rescued this alligator from the Blackstone River Wednesday night, holds it for one last time at the Allen Street Lofts Thursday before turning it over to a representative from House of Reptiles, who promised to find a good home for it.

WOONSOCKET – Trevor Bowman loves animals, but he never thought he’d turn into a pushover for a predator.
When a city animal control officer told him that the abandoned alligator he had seen in the Blackstone River would probably die in the chilly water, Bowman was determined to save the scaly swimmer.
Using a snare made from an old broomstick and length of cord from a computer jack, Bowman captured the juvenile alligator behind his apartment in the Allen Street Lofts Wednesday. Bowman yanked the critter from the river about 9 p.m., after staking out the riverbank for hours with his girlfriend, Katelyn Howle, waiting for alligator to crawl up on dry land.
“I felt like I had to do it after the guy was saying the alligator was going to die,” said Bowman. “It’s so cold he probably hasn’t even been able to eat.”
Since Sunday, residents of the Allen Street Lofts had been catching glimpses of the alligator along the banks of the Blackstone, which runs behind the onetime factory complex. Usually, the animal was seen in the same spot, wriggling out the water and sunning itself on a small outcropping of rocks sandwiched between the river and a retaining wall.
After the alligator spent the night in a picnic cooler with a hunk of cooked chicken, Bowman turned over his leathery friend to personnel from the House of Reptiles in Providence, an exchange arranged by the state wildlife officials at the Department of Environmental Management.
A worker from the reptile sanctuary who took custody of the alligator did not want to be identified, but he said the animal would probably be donated to a college or private collector. With increasingly tough regulations in effect for keeping alligators, finding safe, responsible caretakers for the exotic pets isn’t as easy as it used to be, he said
He also said Bowman and Howle deserve praise for plucking the alligator from the river in the nick of time as temperatures headed for the freezing mark last night – just too cold for a baby alligator to survive in these parts.
“I think they literally saved it,” he said. “If they hadn’t gotten it out of the river before yesterday I think it would have died.”
Animal Control Officer Doris Kay said she learned about the alligator for the first time Wednesday from an anonymous caller to the animal shelter. Kay said she once rescued a bigger alligator in Woonsocket before – but not from the river. Firefighters called her to remove it from an apartment where they were putting out a fire.
So far as Kay knows, the river gator, blue-black with yellow markings and about 30 inches long, is the first that’s ever turned up in the Blackstone.
“I’m sure it was a pet that someone abandoned or it got loose and the owner was afraid to tell us,” she said.
A similarly errant alligator was rescued from Providence’s Woonasquatucket River earlier this year.
After learning about the alligator, she and Assistant ACO Glen Thuot went down to the river to try to catch it.
Thuot climbed onto the river bank with a noose-like snare and saw the alligator climb up on the rocks, but the webfoot wiggler was a little too slippery for him.
“As soon as Glen got close to him the alligator got spooked and he jumped back in the river,” said Kay.
Bowman had been watching as Thuot tried to capture the animal and struck up a conversation. That’s when Thuot told him of the alligator’s likely fate if it wasn’t pulled from the river soon.
When Bowman asked if it was okay for him to try catching the alligator, Thuot told him, “Go for it.” Bowman and Howle took turns staking out the riverbank for hours after the animal control personnel left the area. They watched as the alligator regularly vanished beneath the swift-moving river for 15 minutes or so at a time before resurfacing, almost always in the very same spot.
Bowman tossed a few bits of bacon on the rocks to lure the animal out of the water.
With the lizard’s landing zone illuminated by flashlight, Bowman finally succeeded in slipping the makeshift noose over the alligator’s snout.
At first, the animal seemed sluggish from the cold and didn’t put up much of a fight, but it quickly came around.
“He was flailing around pretty crazy but I was able to get him the cooler and shut it pretty quickly,” said Bowman. “I gave him a piece of chicken. I heard they like chicken.”
Ironically, Bowman grew up in St. Augustine, Fla., close to an alligator farm, but the 26-year-old videographer was never as close to an alligator – or felt closer to one – than his threatened river neighbor in Woonsocket.
“I love animals but I never thought I’d have a soft spot for something that can kill you,” he says.

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Alligator rescued, in good hands now

Your Town, Your Life: Lincoln

By: Alexandra Cowley


In this weeks Your Town, Your Life we take you to Lincoln, Rhode Island. A town in Northern Rhode Island named in honor of Abraham Lincoln. It consists of seven villages: Manville, Albion, Lime rock, Lonsdale, Fairlawn, Quinnville, and Saylesville.

Lincoln was settled in the 17th century. Back then, the types of homes built were called Stone-Enders. Where one end of the home is a huge stone chimney wall. The Arnold House in Lincoln is a unique surviving example of this type of construction. It was built by Eleazer Arnold in 1693. The house has gone through some updates and changes throughout the centuries to keep it standing. It’s open for tours on the Weekends year round from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Lincoln was also a big mill town in the 19th century. There were many that ran along the Blackstone River. Some of the old mill buildings have been converted into apartments. However, there is one that remains empty with most of its tools still in tact. The Moffett Mill was built in 1812 and was donated to the town of Lincoln in 1980’s. It made parts for ships, machines for textiles, wagons and carriages. The stone dam that was built in 1850 still exists.

In the town of Lincoln, in the village of Lime Rock, is home to some very rare plants. That’s because of the lime in the soil which makes it sweet. We took a walk through the Nature Preserve which hosts these unique plants, the only place to do so in R hode Island

Kathy Barton knows everything there is to know about plant life. For 35 years, Barton gave tours to those interested in Rhode Island’s native plants. She says the Lime Rock Preserve is special in that it hosts plant life that needs the lime to survive.

“Cumberland, Lincoln has an even more special habitat because of the lime deposits,” said Barton.

The trail we walked used to be a commuter railroad and Limestone quarry. It is now owned and preserved by the Nature Conservancy. Had it not been taken over and preserved, Barton says all this could have been bulldozed for condos.

A few of the unique plants to the area of Lime Rock is the Walking Fern and the Hepatica Plant. Barton takes pride in preserving this natural habitat and the plants that call it home.

“All the big places have been saved. We have Yosemite, we have the Grand Canyon, and what’s left are little local gems like this. Maybe not real super big, but they’re worth saving because of what’s in them,” explained Barton.

Someone who understands that is Lincoln resident Deborah Krieger. She lives nearby and wrote into ABC 6 about the Lime Rock area.

“We raised two sons here and one of them I know this was a huge influence on him and he went to study environmental science. So I feel like we have a nice little gem here in Rhode Island and in Lincoln,” Krieger said.

The Blackstone River State Park offers a ten mile trail that winds through Central Falls, Lincoln, and Cumberland. People walk, run, and bike the length. Enjoying the views of the rushing waters through the Blackstone River.

If you want somewhere you can dive into the water, then the Lincoln Woods State Park is perfect. The park has a public beach open for swimming, canoeing, and even fishing in some areas. There is also a trail that winds around the water with breathtaking views. Campsites are available at the park, but only for the day.

A little romantic history still lives on in the town of L incoln at The Hearthside House. It was built by Stephen H opkins Smith in 1810. Legend has it that Smith built the home with winnings from the L ouisiana State Lottery to woo a wealthy woman from Providence. However, when he took her to see it she said who would want to live in the wilderness. Smith’s heart was broken and he never married. Hearthside now belongs to the town and hosts many events.

We want to know what’s unique about where you live. Click on the Your Town tab and fill us in.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014


Your Town, Your Life: Lincoln