Worth a Visit: The Museum of Work and Culture in Rhode Island

42 S. Main St., Woonsocket In the heart of Woonsocket’s historic Market Square, an interactive museum celebrates New England’s French-Canadian

42 S. Main St., Woonsocket

In the heart of Woonsocket’s historic Market Square, an interactive museum celebrates New England’s French-Canadian immigrants. Maintained by the Rhode Island Historical Society, it tells the story of those who left their farms for a new world of factories—a story of hardship and resilience.

The Museum of Work and Culture, Rhode Island
This museum pays tribute to the French-Canadian immigrants who flocked to the textile mills of Woonsocket in the late 1800s.

Housed in a converted textile mill, the museum traces the dramatic rise of the Independent Textile Union and opens a window into the everyday life of a close-knit community determined to preserve its language, customs, and faith.

Filled with hundreds of photographs, and many interactive audio presentations, the museum has nine walk-through exhibits dating from 1870 through 1934. Visitors can tour a rural Quebec farmhouse and follow the course of a typical day in Woonsocket. From the textile mill shop floor to the front porch of a tenement, from a parochial school to the union hall, visitors will experience the struggles and dreams of working-class immigrants.

Open Tues. – Sun. year-round. Admission charged.

www.rihs.org

(401) 769-9675

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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