In 1799, Samuel Smith gave this piece of land
to a group of Quaker settlers for purposes of establishing a local
cemetery and Meeting House. Upon conveyance of the land, Seth Kelly
was the first to be buried on the grounds in 1799. Thirteen years
later, in 1812, this Meeting House was built at a cost of $525. Prior
to that time, local Quakers traveled to the central village of Mendon,
MA to attend meetings. In 1841, when the Mendon Meeting was "laid
down" many joined the Meeting in East Blackstone. Meetings were
held regularly until the late 1800's, and sporadically thereafter. The
East Blackstone Meeting was "laid down" in the early 1930's.
During the summer of 1954, Mrs. Mary Kelly
encouraged a group of East Blackstone residents, whose families had
past affiliations with the Meeting House, to begin holding services
here once again. The group requested that the Smithfield (RI) Monthly
Meeting, the owners of the property, grant them permission to use the
old landmark for religious service to the community in exchange for
proper repair and upkeep. That request was granted and the work of the
East Blackstone Quaker Meeting House Association began. Under that
arrangement, a program of preservation continues today.
By the 1990's, the Blackstone Historical
Commission was very active and began archiving the Town of Blackstone.
Thereafter, the Commission determined that three individual entities
were worthy of submission for placement on the National Register of
Historic Places. How pleased our Association was when this status was
bestowed upon this Meeting House on August 22, 1995.