FALL RIVER — Winter may be here, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do at Fall River’s Heritage State Park. From history talks to children’s activities, the Visitor Center in the Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. Memorial Building is offering a variety of programs, films and exhibits in January.
Heritage Quest Activities
Daily 9:00 AM—3:00 PM
Stop by the Visitor Center, grab one of our unique coloring sheets of moments in Fall River History. Try your hand at origami or even weave a row on our community loom. If you complete an entire row, you too can add your name tag! Get creative and make a holiday ornament or decoration! This is a drop-in self-guided program. Stay for the duration or drop in for a few moments.
Water + Granite + Gravity= Fall River
Saturdays in January at 11:00 AM
Fall River was once the third-largest city in Massachusetts with thriving factories and bustling piers on its waterfront. Without the water of the Taunton and Quequechan Rivers, the granite cliffs and the power of gravity and the waterfalls that they produced, there would be no Fall River. The Park highlights this legacy with seven distinct granite wayfinders around the park that commemorate the industry that has been here. This is a 30-minute walk through waterfront history connecting the wayfinders and can be self-guided or led by a park interpreter. Tours start at the front desk in the Visitor Center.
People, Ambition and Hard Work
Saturdays in January at 2:00 PM
A Portuguese-American poet, a beloved local entrepreneur, a decorated military hero, and a visionary state legislator all have their names enshrined in Fall River Heritage Park. Who were these people and how did they inspire others through their vision, ambition, and hard work? This is a short walking tour of the landmarks named for these pioneers and can be self-guided or led by a park interpreter. Tours start at the front desk in the Visitor Center.
Safe Houses: Fall River & The Underground Railroad
Monday, January 17th at 2:45 PM
Join us for a special screening in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Discover the hidden history of Fall River and its role in the Underground Railroad. See the houses and streets that welcomed escaped formerly enslaved people. Learn about the abolitionists of Fall River, especially the women, who opened the gates of freedom and their homes. Shown in our warm comfortable theater. Run-time: 20 minutes.
EXHIBITS IN VISITOR CENTER:
From Slavery to Freedom: African-Americans & Maritime History
Daily from January 14th through March 4th, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Visitor Center Lobby Gallery
Massachusetts is at the center of American maritime history. Some of it has been hidden until now. The sea also played a significant role in the history of African-Americans who worked in the industry. Maritime fortunes, based in part on slavery, helped found some of our most hallowed institutions. It is a fascinating and neglected story full of surprises and revelations. This special exhibit is on loan from the Commonwealth Museum in Boston, courtesy of the Secretary of State.
Faces of Fall River
Daily, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Visitor Center
Meet the people of Fall River’s past through a gallery of classic black and white photographs from the textile era. Featured are photos by labor activist/sociologist/photographer Lewis Hine of the immigrant women, men, and children who worked the mills that made Fall River the premier textile city in America. These are the photographs that inspired change in American labor laws and helped abolish child labor.
Tracing the Threads
Daily, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Visitor Center
Explore our comprehensive permanent exhibit which celebrates the cultural, ethnic, and industrial history of Fall River. Learn about the waterfalls that shaped the city, enabled its industries, and even gave it its name. Share the stories of the many ethnic groups from around the world who called this city home.
FILMS IN VISITOR CENTER THEATER
The Fabric of Fall River
Daily 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM, Visitor Center Theater
Discover Fall River’s rich past! The Fabric of Fall River showcases the history of Fall River from the First People, through the cotton mill era to the needle trades of the 1980s. Run-time: 34 minutes.
Lincoln Park Remembered
Daily 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM, Visitor Center Theater
Take a sentimental journey back to southeastern Massachusetts’ favorite amusement park which entertained many from 1894-1987. Enjoy this fun-filled ride into the past with vintage clips and footage from as early as 1920. Run-time 45 minutes.
The Fall River Line
Daily 12:00 Noon, Visitor Center Theater
Climb aboard and explore the premiere steamboat line in America, the Fall River Line, which ran from New York City to Fall River and was famous for its elegance, grace, and superior service. Visit a bygone age when the way you traveled was just as important as getting there. Run-time: 57 minutes.
All programs are free and open to the public. The Visitor Center is located at 200 Davol St., Fall River, in the Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. Memorial Building. Free parking is available in the DCR Lot at 5 Water Street in Fall River. An adult must accompany children. Reasonable accommodations are available upon request. Please follow all current COVID guidelines. Visit Mass.gov/COVID. For more information call 508-675-5759 or visit: https://www.mass.gov/locations/fall-river-heritage-state-park
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