On Monday, Sept. 3, the Museum of Work & Culture will host its 14th annual Labor Day Open House celebration. The day will be sponsored by the Rhode Island Labor History Society.
Admission is free all day beginning at 9:30 a.m. until closing at 4 p.m.
The Museum’s signature event is in commemoration of Woonsocket’s first Labor Day celebration in 1899. On that day Woonsocket and area workers marched and witnessed a parade and participated in day-long activities at Cold Spring Park. The occasion featured labor speeches and sports competition among the several mills of the Blackstone Valley.
A play titled “Finlay’s Corner” will be presented four times during the day: at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. The play is about three textile mill workers discussing labor problems in 1931. The subjects include working conditions, wages, the role of unions, and the effects of the Great Depression.
Erik Eckilson portrays Irishman Mike Sullivanwho was born in 1892 in Woonsocket.
Steve Van Orsouw plays Henri Bergeron, a French Canadian who’s been in Woonsocket since his family moved here in 1917.
Jason Metivier portrays Gino Abbate, a young man who was born in Italy and came to the US as a boy after WWI and has only recently moved to Woonsocket. He currently works with Mike and Henri and is very interested in what these two men talk about.
The Museum will also be premiering an exhibit prepared by the Rhode Island Historical Society, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the Slater Mill Museum commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The main theme of the exhibit is the rapid growth of the textile industry in the Blackstone Valley due to the Embargo of 1807 and the War of 1812.
The Navigant Credit Union Treasury of Life exhibit will be open to visitors. People will have the opportunity to learn more about a unique way to preserve their family history.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to visit the very popular Eugene A. Peloquin Catholic School Archive. The museum school archive is seeking memorabilia from anyone who attended Catholic schools anywhere in the world – pictures,snapshots, etc. Museum volunteers willbe on hand to assist visitors in perusing through the 70 archival binders onCatholic education and to accept donations of memorabilia.
In conjunction with the Museum’s Annual Appeal, a raffle for a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant willbe held and drawn at the end of the day. Tickets will be sold throughout the day.
The Museumof Work & Culture is located at 42 South Main St., Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895. For additional information call (401) 769-9675.