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The Town of Douglas is a residential upland community between the Blackstone and French River valleys on an historic east-west corridor. It is on the southern border of Massachusetts where Rhode Island and Connecticut come together. The community was named after Dr. William Douglas of Boston, who donated funds for the creation of free schools in the town. There is also a state forest in the town. The community's early economy was built on agriculture, lumbering, charcoal making, cattle and sheep farming. In the 19th century, this expanded to include the manufacturing of cotton and woolen textiles, shoes, axes and other edged tools. In modern times, much agricultural land has gone fallow and reverted to woods. Douglas is an unusual community in the extent to which it preserves historic buildings, both residential and commercial. The town retains farm buildings and mill buildings, 19th and 20th century residential buildings built for the working classes, the middle classes and the well-to-do. The town's architecture shows an unusually complete picture of community development through the middle of the 20th century. (Seal supplied by community. Narrative based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)
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