SPAULDING R. ALDRICH
Spaulding R. Aldrich was a prominent figure in the Blackstone Valley.
He passed away May 7, 2009 at the age of 77.
Eighteen months later, through an Act of the Massachusetts Legislature, a section of the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor off Church St. extension near Osterman Propane, was dedicated as the Spaulding R. Aldrich Memorial Recreation Area.
Below is an article from the October 1, 2010 Blackstone Valley Tribune announcing the dedication.
Recreation area named for Aldrich
October 1, 2010
by Christopher Tanguay
Blackstone Valley Tribune
Some people were born to give of themselves to country and community.
Such was the life of Spaulding Aldrich.
To honor the Korean War-era Air Force veteran who oversaw Northbridge operations as Town Manager for a decade, and served the area in a litany of other capacities, a section of the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor will be dedicated on Sunday, Oct. 3 as the Spaulding R. Aldrich Memorial Recreation Area.
The dedication ceremony will take place near Plummer’s Landing, between the Blackstone River and Canal, off Church Street Extension in Whitinsville. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and is to be followed by a reception at River Bend Farm on Oak Street in Uxbridge at 2:30 p.m.
An act of the Massachusetts state government will ensure the recreation area bears Aldrich’s name in perpetuity, explained state Sen. Richard Moore, D. Uxbridge, who will be speaking at the dedication ceremony.
“The commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation has already authorized the designation, the bill will catch up to it,” Moore said of pending legislation that legally names that section of the state park.
“Spaulding was not only a great personal friend of mine, but I know he was a friend of many throughout the Blackstone Valley, especially in the town of Northbridge, so I think it’s appropriate,” Moore said.
Recalling his friend, who passed away in May 2009 at the age of 77, Moore said, “He is someone who was especially dedicated to Northbridge, to its history and to the Blackstone Valley in a variety of ways … Providing both leadership and support in efforts to preserve our heritage.”
In addition to Aldrich’s decade as Town Manager, he served on the:
Bicentennial Executive Committee - Editor,
Northbridge Historical Society,
Zoning Board of Appeals,
Trustee of Soldiers Memorials,
Bylaw Review Committee.
Aldrich’s commitments extended beyond the walls of Town Hall as well:
Northbridge Republican Committee,
Blackstone Valley Watershed Executive Committee.
Whitinsville Social Library Corporator,
Whitin Community Center Corporator,
Milford Regional Hospital Corporator,
Chairman of the Arthur Fletcher Whitin Fund,
an active Freemason, and a
FEMA disaster assistance representative.
Shelley J. Buma became close to Aldrich while working with the group Citizens for the Preservation of Northbridge. “When you think of Spaulding, you think of a very civil and decent man,” said Buma, who also spoke at Aldrich’s funeral. “We were all so blessed to travel the long journey with him.”
Buma said, “Spaulding was our own —the consummate local with a strong sense of identity and belonging. He did much to encourage civility of debate and community harmony, for which he should be fondly and gratefully remembered. Spaulding was a prominent and influential figure in town known for his local historical knowledge and profound observations. When he spoke we listened —we trusted his judgment. As a member and often chairman of numerous boards and committees throughout the decades, he taught us to give back wherever we could. He was a special individual and great man of the Blackstone Valley. It is entirely fitting the recreation area be dedicated to Spaulding, in honor of the legacy he left in the Valley.”
State Rep. George Peterson, R. Grafton, was slated to speak at the dedication, but is unable to attend. In his stead, Peterson said he would send a letter to be read during the ceremony. “Spaulding was a great friend and supporter over the years,” Peterson said. “I first met him in 1992 when I first ran for state office. He was just an amazing individual who cared deeply about the Blackstone Valley, its history and moving the valley forward. This is truly a fitting remembrance and honor to put his name on this section of the park.”