Museum of Work & Culture

See information on the Museum's current exhibit.

An interactive Museum operated by the Rhode Island Historical Society that presents the compelling story of the French Canadians who left the farms of Quebec for the factories of the New England area.  It showcases the remarkable story of a people's preservation of their faith, language and customs and their acculturation into the working class of America.  the Museum's intriguing exhibits recreate the unique Woonsocket experience while also telling a national story of hope, struggle and perseverance.

You cross the threshold of a Quebecois farmhouse to encounter a habitant's life and family in the pre-industrial era.  You then journey through Woonsocket's workaday world.  Experience the shop floor of a textile mill, sit and hear people tell their stories on the front porch of a triple-decker, listen in a 1920's classroom and in the 1930's Independent Textile Union Hall.  You will find yourself immersed in the every day lives, struggles, and triumphs of the working class in New England from the pre-World War era to the present.

Through the Museum's changing exhibits, visitors can explore many different topics throughout the year about the history, art, and culture that exists in Woonsocket and the Blackstone River Valley area today. 

Enjoy the Experience - Offerings:

Group Tours

From the moment you and your group arrive at the Museum, you will be welcomed by a knowledgeable guide who will add local flavor to your museum experience.  Plan to stay with us for at least 90 minutes or more to fully enjoy all our wonderful exhibits and Museum Store.  Ask us about catered dining opportunities in our recreated 1934 Union Hall or bring a box lunch and enjoy our outdoor picnic area at River Island Park.  Combined tours featuring the Museum and a seasonal riverboat tour or guided walking tour can also be arranged.  Complimentary refreshments and Museum Store coupons are offered to all groups and, of course, motor coach drivers and tour escorts are always our guests.

Event Facilities

The Museum of Work & Culture is the perfect venue for any meeting, social event or reception.  Whether you decide to hold a meeting in our recreated 1934 Union Hall or to utilize the entire museum for a larger reception, our professional staff will make sure your event is a success.  We offer multimedia capabilities, fine catering opportunities and unique settings sure to please every taste.  The hall also features a small stage for speaking programs or musical performances.  It can accommodate between 80 to 100 guests seated, or up to 200 for a standing reception.  Smaller gatherings can also be held in our changing exhibit gallery.

Hands-On Learning

For students, the Museum tells the story of local culture, immigration and enterprise in the Blackstone Valley through films, interactive audio, "please touch" exhibits, and displays including over 200 photographs, as well as changing exhibits.  The can experience the sights and sounds of a mill floor and hear the stories of people who worked there.  They can even get a chance to "try out" for a job in the mill!  By immersing students in this multimedia experience they become more engaged and interested.  They learn about the important role the Blackstone Valley, and the working people in it, played in the rise of modern America.  For teachers, free pre- and post-visit materials and National Heritage Corridor Ranger programs are available.  Seasonal riverboat tours on the Blackstone River, tours in French, and other programs are available with prior request.

Museum of Work & Culture, 42 South Main St, Woonsocket, RI  02895  401-769-WORK.

Hours of Operation & Admission Prices.

For more information on the Museum please call the Museum at 401-769-WORK or visit the RI Historical Society's website