News

Aug 22, 2013

Celebrate Labor Day


In the 125 years that Woonsocket has been a city, nothing exemplifies the city’s history more than the accomplishments of the city’s working people. This year the Museum of Work & Culture will be hosting the 15th annual Labor Day Open House celebration on Sept. 2. The day will be sponsored by the Rhode Island Labor History Society. Professor Scott Molloy from the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Labor History Society will speak about the importance of Labor Day. Admission is free all day beginning at 9:30 am until closing at 4pm.

Category: News Room
Posted by: Craig

Museum of Work & Culture to Celebrate Labor Day on
September 2, 2013


Woonsocket, RI - August 22, 2013

In the 125 years that Woonsocket has been a city, nothing exemplifies the city’s history more than the accomplishments of the city’s working people. This year the Museum of Work & Culture will be hosting the 15th annual Labor Day Open House celebration on Sept. 2. The day will be sponsored by the Rhode Island Labor History Society. Professor Scott Molloy from the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Labor History Society will speak about the importance of Labor Day. Admission is free all day beginning at 9:30 am until closing at 4pm.

The Labor Day Open House, the Museum’s signature event, commemorates Woonsocket’s first Labor Day celebration on September 4, 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.

The Museum will also be premiering an exhibit celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the Italian Workingmen’s Club. The exhibit will be on display until November 9, 2013. On March 10, 1928, the Club, known as the IWC, was officially incorporated by the State of Rhode Island. The IWC was founded by Italian immigrants from the Diamond Hill section of Woonsocket. They were mostly from the Venice and Marche regions of Italy. The purpose of the club was to be the center for “furthering the moral and cultural interest of its members.” The men, mostly laborers by trade, put their own sweat and time into building the facility that stands today on Diamond Hill Road. The IWC continues to be an exceptionally active and generous organization in the Greater Woonsocket area. .

A play titled The Closing of the Social Mill will be presented three times during the day: The Social Mill was Woonsocket’s first textile mill. It opened in 1810 in what local historian Erastus Richardson called the “Cotton Mania.” It closed in 1927 as a victim of the area’s “Southern Exodus.” The play will be presented at 11:30, 1:00 and 2:00. The actors are Erik Eckilson as Mike Sullivan, a long-time employee of the mill and his friend and former co-worker, Henri Bergeron, played by Romeo Berthiaume.

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 will be on hand to assist visitors in perusing the several archival binders on Catholic education and to accept donations of memorabilia.

During the course of the day, a preview of the upcoming Ghost Army film will be shown. This film will be premiered at the Stadium Theatre on November 7. The film tells the story of the methods used to deceive the enemy during WWII by creating decoys such as inflatable tanks, cannons, and other military equipment. Many of these decoys were made in Woonsocket.

Door prizes will be awarded during the day.

The Museum of Work & Culture is located at 42 South Main Street, Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895. For additional information call (401) 769-9675.