At the moment the building is under renovation to set up the floor plan for the exhibits and artifacts.
The current schedule would call for a grand opening in 2020.
Webster Museums Incorporated was founded in 2017 as a 501 (c) (3) to foster public knowledge about the history of the American Industrial Revolution in New England. The organization’s first project will be the creation of the Samuel Slater Museum in Webster, a historical museum which will focus on textile manufacturing and the life and work of Samuel Slater (1768 - 1835), called by some the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution.”
In 2017, our organization obtained the use of the old Webster Armory on 31 Ray Street in Webster, MA. Renovations and collection gathering are in process with the goal of opening in 2020.
Samuel Slater became involved in the textile industry at the age of 14 and completed a seven year long apprenticeship in the "art of cotton spinning". He left his home country of England in 1789, and came to Pawtucket, RI to start his own cotton spinning business. In 1812, he moved his mills north, to what is currently known Webster, MA. It is all thanks to Samuel Slater for the creation of Webster, forged from the neighboring towns of Oxford and Dudley, with the help of his friend, the famous Senator Daniel Webster. Unfortunately, most of this history has faded from current memory.
By using the water power of Webster Lake and the French River, Slater was able to create an industrial town centered on cotton and woolen manufacturing. He and his family were central to the growth of Webster into an industrial giant that attracted other businesses to the area. Slater would go on to build the first Sunday School in the area, across the street from the mill, for the education of the children who were employed at the mill.
The museum will tell Slater’s Oxford, Dudley and Webster story. We intend to bring Samuel Slater and this rich industrial history of the area back to life.