Blackstone Canal District Alliance: Executive Summary

Sponsor Student Researchers Goals and Objectives Executive Summary Final Report and Video

Our project is a short promotional documentary focused on the city of Worcester.  We are using the Blackstone Canal, and the creation thereof, as a focal point with a larger focus on the growth and industrialization that the canal stimulated.  We are hoping to show this film in places such as the American Antiquarian Society and Worcester Historical Museum, as well as on local television programs to start.

Our initial goal was learning all of the information needed to create a film and be able to consider ourselves knowledgeable enough to be able to tell others about the immense history of Worcester.  This research started with the creation of the canal and led to in depth research on the canal, railroads in the area, and the industrial and population growth that occurred shortly after.  The research process was done mostly with the help of the American Antiquarian Society and Worcester Historical museum as well as speaking to local history buffs and doing some reading and individual research on our own.  After compiling what we felt was enough research, we were able to start to create our eventual film.

In order to create the film itself, first we gathered any and all images we could from the time period through any reliable source including but not limited to: photographs, post cards, sketches, etc.  We started with images due to photography not being invented until much later in the timeline of our film, making good images very hard to come by and our main limiting factor.  After seeing what we had to work with for visuals, we created a narrative of the topics we wanted to touch on within the film.

Our narrative included the main storyline of Worcester starting in the late 1700’s with early Worcester as a shire town.  We then showed the origins and building of the Blackstone Canal, leading in to its eventual demise with the introduction of railroads in the area.  The film then leads to Worcester almost 100 years later, showing the innovation and growth throughout the period all started by the canal it making Worcester a transportation hub and causing immense population growth. We recorded the narrative once we thought it was up to par and broke it up into multiple sections to make the later editing process an easier one.

For the eventual actual making of the film we matched the visuals we found to where we thought fit within the narrative and timed them to the script we had already recorded.  We then took the still images and narrative and implemented transitions and effects to make the film as a whole more interesting and appealing to both the eye and ear.

Overall, our goal with the film is to better the knowledge of the general public about parts of Worcester and the Blackstone River Valley not only being named a National Park recently, but why the area is deserving of National Park status.  We also are trying to show through our film that the potential redevelopment of a section of the canal could once again be beneficial the the city of Worcester, potentially acting as a tourist attraction and gaining revenue for the city as a whole.