The picture above shows the Mill River in Woonsocket, a little downstream from
    Harris Pond and the Massachusetts line.  You can see it entering a tunnel, where
    it flows for about 1,100 feet before coming out in the Blackstone River.

    Looking upstream where the Mill River flows
    between flood control dikes. The picture was taken
    from the headwall of the tunnel entry point.

The back side of the headwall.

    Looking toward Social Street. The river flows
    under the parking lot, and then under the street.

Looking back toward the headwall from Social Street.

    Behind Kennedy Manor on Clinton Street. The Mill River enters
    the Blackstone River on the other side of the wall in this photo.

    The Blackstone River. The Mill River flows into it at the
    bottom left. St. Ann's Church is in the background.

Kennedy Manor on the left.

    The Mill entering the Blackstone. Shadows on
    the wall possibly cast by extraterrestrials.

    View of the Mill River entering the Blackstone
    from the other side of the river.

    If you've lived in the Hopedale area for a while, you know that Hopedale Pond is
    part of the Mill River, and that the river flows to the Blackstone River where it
    continues on its way to Narragansett Bay. However, you might not know just where
    the rivers meet. I've been in Woonsocket a good many times, but had never seen
    the meeting point until today. (December 28, 2012)  With help from my son, DJ,
    the map and GPS guy, we went there and got the pictures you see on this page.
    (More photos added in March 2016. Blue sky - 2012. Cloudy sky - 2016.)  In the
    three Google Earth views above, the white lines are the track recorded by DJ's
    GPS as we walked around the area.

    On its journey from North Pond in Hopkinton/Upton/Milford to the Blackstone River
    in Woonsocket, the Mill River disappears twice. First it goes under the site of the
    former Draper Corporation in Hopedale, and then under streets and parking lots
    in Woonsocket. If you've driven down Social Street you've gone over the Mill, and
    if you've dined at Chelo's Restaurant, you may have parked above the river.

The Mill River by Gordon Hopper                        Mill River Profile          

1955 Flood at Draper Corporation             1955 Flood at Spindleville   

Blackstone River, Woonsocket          Neighboring Towns Menu             HOME   

    Looking downstream (toward Social Street) from beside
    the entry point of the Mill River into the tunnel.

    Looking north, toward Clinton Street, from where
    the Mill River joins the Blackstone River.

    The two photos above are from the Winter 2016 edition of Shovel magazine. They show the Mill
    River conduits in Woonsocket being built, I presume as a result of the 1955 flood. This was
    part of what was called the Lower Woonsocket Local Protection Project. Work began in late
    1963 and was completed in 1967.Thanks to Edgar Browning for permission to use them here.

    Since St. Ann Church shows up in many of the pictures on this page, I thought it would
    be good to include here a little about the current situation there. The following is from

                                  St. Ann Church and Cultural Center

    St. Ann's Church and Cultural Center in Woonsocket is not only a national treasure,
    but perhaps one of global significance as its frescoes and stained glass windows are
    almost unparalleled. The Roman Catholic Diocese closed it as a place of worship about
    a decade ago. Since then, it has been used as a bingo hall and arts and cultural
    center on a limited basis, but that will not support the $1.2 million needed to make it
    water tight or the $5 million necessary for renovation. The $50,000 dollar annual
    maintenance costs is the least of its worries but this is America's treasure that cannot
    afford to be lost.

    St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center is a non- profit corporation dedicated to the
    preservation of this former Roman Catholic Church. The Center's mission is to develop
    multiple venues of adaptive reuse for this endangered and irreplaceable, artistic and
    historical asset, thereby ensuring its preservation and producing a resource for the

    The building, constructed between 1913-1917 features over 40 exquisite stained glass
    windows made in France and installed 1923-1925, along with over 175 magnificent
    frescos hand painted in the 1940’s by Canadian artist Professor Guido Nincheri, who
    learned his craft in Florence, Italy.

    For more about the talent show, upcoming happenings and the history of the facility,
    call 401-767-3777 or go to their website at

    A charette was recently held with many interested stakeholders - former parishioners,
    preservationists, cultural and artistic proponents and others merely in love with the
    many others. The task ahead is huge - how to support and properly utilize an
    absolutely magnificent and significant part of our past and artistic national treasure.
    The frescoes will become even more vivid, according to "Wolf", the Northeast Director
    of Fresco Artistry in Maryland, who made an impromptu visit and fell in love with the
    grandeur and artwork so compelling. What shall happen with this lovely building, a
    connection to a noble yet humble past sacrificing to create a magnificent tribute as
    God's home for generations to come? As the months bring discussion, debate and
    options, Blackstone Daily will follow the collaboration of many whose passion for
    preserving building will surely create some positive venues. Currently, thoughts of
    joining with RISD (RI School of Design), and other colleges and historical
    preservationist sopcieties or use as a dinner theatre are but a few of the possibilities
    under discussion. But the building and its artwork is undeniably glorious in every

    In this view, the Mill River flows into Harris Pond. You can see
    where it leaves the pond and flows under Privilege Street and
    continues until it disappears before it reaches Social Street.