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flag  History of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

Journey back in time to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

Visit Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA - Daggett House - Dagget Park, Pawtucket, R.I. Built 1685. Repaired by Pawtucket Chapter D.A.R. 1905  This house, within Pawtuckets Slater Park, is

Pawtucket, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Pawtucket has an Indian name meaning "at the little falls."
How New England Towns Received Their Names
The Day
New London, Connecticut
October 21, 1914

Home of the 1st successful U.S. cotton mill to spin yarn.

The era know as The Industrial Revolution started in Rhode Island with the development and construction in 1790 of Samuel Slater's water-powered cotton mill in Pawtucket.
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Postcards and Memories of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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There is MUCH more to discover about Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA. Read on!

Pawtucket Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Daggett House - Dagget Park, Pawtucket, R.I.
Built 1685. Repaired by Pawtucket Chapter D.A.R. 1905
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Daggett House - Dagget Park, Pawtucket, R.I.
Built 1685. Repaired by Pawtucket Chapter D.A.R. 1905

This house, within Pawtucket's Slater Park, is the oldest building standing in Pawtucket, and one of the oldest in Rhode Island.
Read more about John DAGGETT
Lafayette's House, built in the 1700
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Lafayette's House, built in the 1700
Read more about Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert DU MOTIER, MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE photo of ancestor
The First Cotton Mill in America
The Old Slater Mill, Built 1793, Blackstone River, Pawtucket, Rhod
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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The First Cotton Mill in America
The Old Slater Mill, Built 1793, Blackstone River, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Read more about Samuel SLATER photo of ancestor
Goff's Angora Braid
D. Goff & Sons, Pawtucket, R.I.

The Ladies' Home Journal
September 1898
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Goff's Angora Braid
D. Goff & Sons, Pawtucket, R.I.

The Ladies' Home Journal
September 1898
Looking from Division St. Bridge
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Looking from Division St. Bridge
Main Street from Trinity Square
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Main Street from Trinity Square
Main Street, 1905
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Main Street, 1905
First Methodist Church, 1906
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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First Methodist Church, 1906
Jenks Park and Clock Tower
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Jenks Park and Clock Tower
North Main Street Looking North, 1906
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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North Main Street Looking North, 1906
Mill from Exchange St. Bridge
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Mill from Exchange St. Bridge
Deborah Cook Sayles Public Library
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Deborah Cook Sayles Public Library
Read more about Deborah Cook WILCOX
Main Street looking East
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Main Street looking East
Rhode Island Yacht Club, Pawtucket, R.I.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Rhode Island Yacht Club, Pawtucket, R.I.
Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com
Four Corners
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Four Corners
Howard and Bullough American Machine Co.

The American company manufactured a full range of Britis
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Howard and Bullough American Machine Co.

The American company manufactured a full range of British designed machinery for the cotton-textile industry in North and South America. At its peak the 500,000 square foot factory employed eleven hundred people. Howard & Bullough (H. & B.) were offered the twenty-five acre site and a ten year tax exemption worth $60,000 as the lure ahead of other potential locations. Construction of the $80,000 plant began in early April 1894.

H. & B. was the first direct investment by a British manufacturer in the United States. artinruins.com
Post Office, 1908
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Post Office, 1908
Y.M.C.A. Building
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Y.M.C.A. Building
Railroad Station on Broad St.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Railroad Station on Broad St.
East Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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East Avenue
Armory
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Armory
Pawtucket, R.I. Looking down Blackstone River from Exchange Street Bridge
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Pawtucket, R.I. Looking down Blackstone River from Exchange Street Bridge
Fire Station No. 2, Main St.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Fire Station No. 2, Main St.
Fire Station No. 3, Prospect Street
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Fire Station No. 3, Prospect Street
Memorial Hospital
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Memorial Hospital
High School
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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High School
J. & P. Coats Mfg. Co., Ltd.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA
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J. & P. Coats Mfg. Co., Ltd.
Main Street showing Slater Trust Co. Building
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Main Street showing Slater Trust Co. Building
R.R. Depot
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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R.R. Depot
Sisters' Home
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Sisters' Home
Slater Park. Stone Arch Bridge.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Slater Park. Stone Arch Bridge.
Trinity Church
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Trinity Church
Wilkinson Park
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Wilkinson Park
H. & B. AMERICAN MACHINE CO.
Pawtucket, R. I.
Builders of COTTON MACHINERY
Hopper Bale Openers
F
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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H. & B. AMERICAN MACHINE CO.
Pawtucket, R. I.
Builders of COTTON MACHINERY
Hopper Bale Openers
Feeders
Self Feeding Openers
Breaker Intermediate and Finisher Lappers
Revolving Flat Cards
Drawing Frames
Slubbing Frames
Intermediate and Roving Frames
Improved Spinning Frames
Twisters
Cone Winders
Warpers and Slashers

New Bedford ... directory : of the inhabitants, business firms, institutions, streets, societies (1912) Author: W.A. Greenough & Co Volume: 1912 Publisher: Boston : W.A. Greenough & Co.
Home of Slater Trust Company, Main St., cor. East Ave., Pawtucket, R.I.
Over 50 years Conservative
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Home of Slater Trust Company, Main St., cor. East Ave., Pawtucket, R.I.
Over 50 years Conservative Banking. Many Larger, Few Stronger. Visitors and Inquiries Welcome.
Pawtucket-Central Falls Station, Pawtucket, R.I.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Pawtucket-Central Falls Station, Pawtucket, R.I.
Nurses Home, Sayles Memorial Hospital

The hospital was founded through an 1894 bequest from Willi
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Nurses Home, Sayles Memorial Hospital

The hospital was founded through an 1894 bequest from William F. Sayles, a businessman and philanthropist who owned mills in Saylesville, Rhode Island. Sayles' son, Frank A. Sayles, decided to build the original 30-bed hospital with the funds. wikipedia
Read more about William Francis SAYLES photo of ancestor
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Junction of Broad and Main Streets
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

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Junction of Broad and Main Streets

Discover Pawtucket: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1790 - December 20 - 1st successful US cotton mill to spin yarn (Pawtucket, RI)
The first American cotton mill began operation on December 20, 1790. The mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, had water-powered machinery for carding and spinning cotton. A machine cards cotton by combing and untangling fibers while removing short undesirable fibers. In the spinning process, the fibers are drawn out, twisted and wound to create thread or yarn. That thread can then be dyed and woven into fabrics in the next phase of the process.

Samuel Slater built that first American mill in Pawtucket based on designs of English inventor Richard Arkwright. Though it was against British law to leave the country if you were a textile worker, Slater fled anyway in order to seek his fortune in America. Considered the father of the United States textile industry, he eventually built several successful cotton mills in New England and established the town of Slatersville, Rhode Island.


www.americaslibrary.gov
December 20, 1790

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1824 - Women weavers from Pawtucket struck

1853 - AWFUL RAILROAD ACCIDENT. FOURTEEN LIVES LOST -- THIRTY OR FORTY SERIOUSLY INJURED.
By Telegraph to the New York Daily Times.

Disagreeable necessity obliges us to shock the sensibilities of our readers, by the reciatal of another terrible calamity from a collision of Railway trains.

At 8 o'clock, yesterday morning, a collision occurred on the Providence and Worcester Railroad, which caused the death of fourteen persons, and seriously injured about forty more. The collision occurred between the regular up train and the excursion train from Weeting's. The latter was out of time, and met the up train at Valley Falls.

The collision occurred at a sharp curve beyond Central Falls; the down train was behind time, and proceeding at the rate of 40 miles an hours to reach the switch, from which there is a double track to Providence. In one minute the train would have reached the switch. The up train waited the usual time at Pawtucket, and then, having the right to the road, proceeded at a slow rate round the curve.

The spectacle presented was most horrible. The... Read MORE...

1854 - Pawtucket
Pawtucket, a flourishing post-town, situated 4 miles N. N. E. from Providence, partly in Providence co., R. I., and partly in Bristol co., Mass., and on both sides of the Pawtucket river, which here falls some 50 feet in a short distance, affording an extensive hydraulic power. The first cloth manufactory operated by water-power ever established in this country was commenced at Pawtucket in 1790, and for more than 40 years it held the first rank among the manufacturing towns of New England. In 1823, the village and vicinity contained, besides numerous other manufactories, 10 cotton mills, 2 casting furnaces, 2 screw factories, 2 anchor establishments, and 6 machine shops. The manufactures at the present time are very extensive, consisting principally of cotton goods and machinery, though boots, shoes, cabinet ware, and carriages are produced to some extent. Pawtucket also has an important commerce. During the year 1852, 141 vessels arrived at its wharves, laden with coal, lumber, &c.... Read MORE...

1864 - Fire in Pawtucket.
PROVIDENCE, Thursday, Nov. 17. - A fire in Pawtucket this afternoon destroyed the Congregational church, John Dexter's dwelling-house, two stables, a storehouse, a paint-shop, and other buildings. Loss about $40,000. The church and organ were insured for $10,000.
The New York Times
New York, New York
November 19, 1864
1883 - LARGE FIRE IN PAWTUCKET. SEVERAL BUILDINGS DESTROYED, CAUSING A LOSS OF OVER $100,000.
PROVIDENCE, R. I., July 1. - Pawtucket was visited this morning by the most destructive fire for many years. The flames were discovered at 5:30 o'clock by a new-vendor in an unoccupied building known as the "Old Arcade," on the rear of East-avenue. The whole Fire Department was called out but the flames spread rapidly and after destroying the Arcade building extended to the adjoining buildings, until a dozen were on fire at once. The Dexter Yarn Company's mill, office, and storehouse, large wooden structures, were destroyed. The mill was used in the manufacture of knitting-cotton. The books and papers of the company and the private papers of H. H. Thomas, the President, were saved in the safe. All the machinery was damaged, and most of it rendered worthless. The mill was filled with finished yarn, and but little of value was saved. Tee[sic] loss is estimated at $100,000. There is an insurance of from $55,000 to $60,000 in foreign companies.

The upper floors of A. E. Tenny's machine ... Read MORE...

1890 - LARGE PRINT WORKS BURNED. THE DUNNELL ESTABLISHMENT AT PAWTUCKET DESTROYED BY FIRE.
PAWTUCKET, R. I. Aug. 16. - The Dunnell Print Works were destroyed by fire to-day. The loss is roughly estimated at from $150,000 to $200,000, and is fully covered by insurance in Manufacturer's Mutual companies. The companies, with the amounts of the policies and the names of the commission houses owning the goods, are as follows:
Attawaugan Company, loss small; Enterprise,$10,000; American,$10,000; Sotokett Mills, loss small; Enterprise,$10,000; American, $10,000; Austin, Bates & Wellington, loss considerable; Boston Manufacturers' Mutual, $20,000; Mill Owners' Mutual, $20,000; Worcester Manufacturers' Mutual, $5,000; Cotton and Woolen Manufacturers' Mutual, $5,000; O'Jaffe & Pinkers, loss small; Firemen's Mutual,$4,500; Mathew, Blum & Vaughn, loss small; Firemen's Mutual, $2,000; Bister & Schmitt, loss small; State Mutual, $6,000; Mills & Gibbs, loss small; Enterprise Mutual,$12,000; Etna of Hartford, $60,000; Palmer Brothers, loss small; Firemen's Mutual, $15,000; Knowles &... Read MORE...

1892 - Pawtucket
PAWTUCKET
As is generally the case with men, in regard to their origin and youth, so it is with cities and towns; their early days are very apt to have an uncertain place in their memories. It is not thus, however, with Pawtucket; for so well have the records been preserved, that its history from the earliest period to the present day is full and complete, and from the most trustworthy sources. And the narrative of the settlement, rise and growth of this now bustling city is brimful of interest and incident. It has been a record of mingled prosperity and adversity, of triumph and trial; but through all may be discerned the golden path of progress.

For some twenty years after the founding of the colony at Providence by Roger Williams and his companions, or up to the year 1655, the site of the present city of Pawtucket still retained all its primitive aspects. Not a house had yet been erected in the place; nor had there been even an effort toward making a clearing. The banks of ... Read MORE...

1894 - Fire
Lumber Street, on the west, which is the first highway running parallel with the water front, is lined with tenement houses. The occupants of these dwellings became panic stricken, and took out their household goods in great haste. Fortunately, but a few of the dwelling were reached by the flames.

There were few who saw the fire in its early stages who believed that Lumber Street could be made in any great measure a boundary of the burned district. Three small dwellings and a barn were destroyed, and a few others were damaged, but this was slight to what might have been if the fire had spread as it seemed bound.

The people of the district did effective work by promptly forming independent fire companies and keeping their property well soaked with water.

When the fire was under control there remained of the buildings and stock in the Newell yard and the premises of the Olney & Payne Brothers nothing but piles of glowing embers, with here and there a few charred timbers, which... Read MORE...

1895 - Pawtucket
Pawtucket, a post-town of Providence co., R.I., in Pawtucket township, on a river of the same name, and on the Providence & Worcester and Boston & Providence Rail roads, 4 1/ 2 miles N.N.E. of Providence, and 39 miles S.S.W. of Boston. Pawtucket has 23 churches, 3 national banks, 3 savings-banks, several hotels, 3 newspaper offices, a public library, and a high school. Its prosperity is chiefly derived from manufactures of various articles, among which are cotton goods, steam fire-engines, prints, leather, machinery, thread, ropes, spools, and files. Here, besides other large works, is the Dunnell Manufacturing Company, which occupies many buildings and prints over 20,000,000 yards of calico yearly; also the American branch of the J. & P. Coats Thread Company (limited), giving employment to 3000 hands. Pawtucket has several large bleaching- and dyeing establishments. Pop. in 1880, 19,030; in 1890, 27.633.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1903 - PAWTUCKET STATION BURNED. Two Firemen Seriously Hurt and the Damage About $25,000.
PAWTUCKET, R. I., Nov. 21. - The Pawtucket station of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, a three-story brick structure, was damaged by fire to-day, the loss being estimated at $25,000.

There were several narrow escapes from injury by the falling of the roof and third floor, and, Lieut. Joseph Broderick and Capt. Frank M. Bassett were seriously hurt by a shower of bricks from the upper portion of the building. The former's condition is considered dangerous.
The New York Times
New York, New York
November 22, 1903
1906
Pawtucket, a city of Providence CO., R.I., on the Pawtucket (Blackstone) River and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford R., 4} miles NNE. of Providence. The river here falls 50 feet, giving abundant water-power to the city's manufactures, which comprise cotton, woollen, and silk goods, prints, leather, machinery, thread, twine, rope, spools, gymnasium supplies, electrical goods, nuts and bolts, paper, etc. Calico-printing is here done on the largest scale, many million yards being turned out annually by one firm alone. The thread-works are the largest in the country. Pawtucket has several large bleaching- and dyeing-establishments. Cotton manufacturing was first introduced into the United States in Pawtucket, by Slater, in 1790. Pawtucket has a state armory, the Collyer and Soldiers' Memo rial monuments, Sayles Memorial Library, etc. Pop. in 1880, 19,030 ; in 1890, 27,633 ; in 1900, 39.231.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
Pawtucket is the wettest city in Rhode Island, averaging 87 days of precipitation each year.

National Weather Service
2023 - Whether you're a local looking for something new to do or a visitor exploring the area, there's something for everyone. Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Pawtucket:
Slater Mill Historic Site:

Start your visit with a trip to Slater Mill, where you can learn about the industrial history of Pawtucket. It's often considered the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The museum offers guided tours and exhibits that showcase the city's industrial past.

Blackstone River Bikeway:

If you enjoy cycling, the Blackstone River Bikeway is a must-visit. This scenic trail stretches for miles along the Blackstone River and offers beautiful views of the surrounding nature. You can rent bikes locally or bring your own.

Downtown Arts and Entertainment District:

Explore Pawtucket's vibrant downtown area, which is home to various art galleries, theaters, and live music venues. Check out events and performances happening in the area, especially at the Mixed Magic Theatre.

Slater Park:

Slater Park is a large, beautiful park with walking trails, a duck pond, and picnic areas. It's a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, or ... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Pawtucket Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

We currently have information about 161 ancestors who were born or died in Pawtucket.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Pawtucket.

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Ancestors buried in Pawtucket - Cemeteries in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA

Riverside Cemetery

Genealogy Resources for Pawtucket

Rhode Island Newspapers

Our Pawtucket Gift Ideas


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The Memories of Rocky Point Ceramic Postcard Mug also makes for a thoughtful and unique gift for friends and family who share a connection to this charming Rhode Island destination. Imagine the joy on their faces as they unwrap this beautifully crafted mug, instantly transported to the memories and experiences that Rocky Point holds for them.   Pinterest   

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This charming candle captures the essence of the Ocean State, celebrating its unique culinary traditions and love for this beautiful corner of New England.   Pinterest   

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Indulge in a sip of Rhode Island's finest with our Ceramic Mug 11oz, lead and BPA-free - Clam Chowder, Coffee Milk, and Johnny Cakes - I Love Rhode Island! This charming mug captures the essence of the Ocean State, celebrating its unique culinary traditions and love for this beautiful corner of New England.   Pinterest   

Buy it NOW!Proud Descendant of the USA Coffee Mug - 11oz Ceramic

"My ancestors came from the USA. That explains a lot about my love for Thanksgiving, parades, and believing that ketchup is a vegetable!"   Pinterest   
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Updated: 9/22/2023 8:50:28 AM