Reverend William Blackstone (also spelled Blaxton), who lived in the Valley Falls Area of the Blackstone Valley, was the first European settler in the present RI State boundaries and the man whom the Blackstone River was named. A town bears his name, as do numerous parks, thoroughfares and valleys located in the valley he made famous and which later became the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. Rev. Blackstone is credited with creating the first American variety of apples. His 400th birthday was celebrated on March 5, 1995 as well as the 360th anniversary of the founding of the Blackstone Valley.
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