About This Place
Whitinsville is an unincorporated village and census-designated place (CDP) on the Mumford River, a tributary of the Blackstone River, in the town of Northbridge in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,704 at the 2010 census. Whitinsville is pronounced as if it were spelled "White-ins-ville." It is a post office jurisdiction, with a zip code of 01588. Whitinsville has been designated as a mill village of national historic significance to America's earliest industrialization, and is one of only four villages selected by the John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Historic Corridor Commission to receive this designation. Hopedale is the only other Massachusetts mill village to achieve this designation by the corridor commission.
The Whitin Mill, owned by the Whitin family, for whom Whitinsville is named, is located in downtown Whitinsville, as is the Whitin Machine Works, or "The Shop," an internationally renowned maker of textile machinery. "The Shop" specialized in making machines for picking, carding and spinning cotton and wool. During its more than 133 year run, The Shop was the world's largest producer of textile spindles. Today a visitor can still see much of the original village, including the housing for workers and their families, churches and the Community Center. The textile machine company and industrial village were written up as one of the Harvard studies of history in business.
This village was originally Nipmuc Indian lands, and was first settled as part of Mendon in 1662. From 1662 to 1727 it was part of Mendon, then later it became part of Uxbridge from 1727 to 1772. In 1772 Northbridge finally became a separate town. The village's early name was "South Northbridge", before the Whitin family's rise to prominence. Col. John Spring led a militia training company from Uxbridge which fought in the American Revolution. Col. Spring was from the section that became South Northbridge.