On Sunday, March 3, The Museum of Work & Culture at 42 South Main St. will present the third in a series of Ranger Day Talks at 1:30 p.m. entitled "The Closing of the Social Mill."
Woonsocket resident and historian Erik Eckilson will speak on the closing of the Social Mill. The Social Mill, which opened 1810, claimed to be the largest cotton mill in Rhode Island during its peak years. Consequently, it was a stunning blow to many when the huge plant closed permanently in 1927. According to Woonsocket historian Edgar J. Allaire "In February,1927, a notice that the plant was to discontinue operation was posted in the mill. The notice signed by Mr. Frerick L. Jenckes read: "We are very sorry to be obliged to inform the operatives of the Social Mill that inasmuch as we have apparently failed to get their coopeeration in our efforts to improve its operating conditions, we shall be obliged to discontinue operations.
Some 1,200 operatives promptly walked out after reading the notice." Most of the Social Mill was razed in 1932. The office building became the headquarters for the Belhumeur-Duhamel American Legion post until the 1970's and the last building associated with the mill was located to the rear of the Hess gas station on Social Street and was demolished in the 2000's.
The one hour long Ranger Talks are held on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. in the museum’s ITU Hall. All talks are free and open to the public. For more information contact the museum at 401-769-9675.