CARROLL ON A ROLL
Blackstone Valley historian Margaret Carroll rides new bike path on a bicycle built for 2
BLACKSTONE – Margaret Carroll of Millville sure looked sweet upon the seat of a specialized tandem bicycle built for two.
Carroll, 93, the Blackstone Heritage Corridor’s longest serving volunteer with over 27 years of service, had her dream come true Thursday when she took an assisted bike ride along the southern end of the Massachusetts segment of the Blackstone River Greenway Bike Path, a 3.7-mile stretch in Blackstone, Millville and Uxbridge.
When the bike path was officially dedicated in Blackstone last month, Carroll, president of the Millville Historical Society and a strong supporter of historical preservation in the Blackstone River Valley, casually mentioned to Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo P. Roy after the ceremony that she wished she was young and agile enough to see the entire bike trail for herself.
When word of Carroll’s bucket list wish got back to Megan DiPrete, BHC executive director, DiPrete reached out to All Out Adventures, which provided a specialized two-seat, three-wheel Terra Trike Rover universal access equipped bicycle to take Carroll on her journey.
Wearing a helmet and strapped in with a safety belt, Carroll and her front rider, BHC Program Leader Patti Dougherty, embarked after a brief ceremony that was attended by DiPrete, state Rep. Kevin J. Kuros, Millville Town Administrator Jennifer M.
Callahan, BHC Volunteer Coordinator Suzanne Buchanan and representatives from the DCR and All Out Adventures, a non-profit organization that provides outdoor recreation programming for seniors, people with disabilities and disabled veterans.
“Margaret is riding this greenway today because it was on her bucket list,” said DiPrete.
“This is our way of honoring her many years of service to the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and development of the Blackstone River Bikeway.”
Carroll was joined on the ride by DiPrete and volunteers with the BHC’s Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol. She was also presented with a special proclamation from the Town of Millville by Callahan and Millville Town Clerk Diane Lockwood.
“It was marvelous. You couldn’t ask for a better day,” Carroll said after the ride, which included stops at various locations, including eight bridges. “The bicycle was very comfortable and I had the privilege of not having to peddle.”
“It was amazing to see the bike path from start to finish,” she said. “It was so wonderful that they did this especially for me.”
A charter member and chairwoman of the Millville Historical Commission since 1990, Carroll has dedicated herself to protecting the region’s historic resources and promoting public education. A
A member of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Carroll was instrumental in the completion of a survey of Millville’s historic buildings, structures, sites, and objects, and was involved in the nomination of the Central Street and Main Street Historic Districts to the National Register of Historic Places.
As a member of the Chestnut Hill Meeting House and Cemetery Association, she has conducted numerous educational tours and programs, has written a variety of interpretive materials, and coordinated the Grave Marker Program. She also played an active role in the adaptive reuse of the Longfellow School into the Longfellow Municipal Center, ensuring the preservation of the building’s decorative elements and creating a plan to make the building accessible.
Carroll was a charter member of the Volunteers in Parks Program with the National Park Service, and earned an award for her 4,000 hours of volunteer service. Her dedication and commitment were recognized in 2001 when she received the John H. Chafee Award from the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission.
Last year, she was one of five honorees recognized by the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council for their contributions to the valley.
To those who have worked with her, Carroll is, above all, an educator. She was a teacher in the Blackstone-Millville School District for 37 years.
Ninety-three-year-old Margaret Carroll, center, heads out Thursday for a bike ride to Uxbridge along the recently-dedicated Blackstone Bikeway, with Patti Dougherty, left, and Val Stegemoen. Carroll was honored in a ceremony beforehand for her years of volunteerism to the Blackstone Valley National Corridor by local dignitaries and town officials.
Margaret Carroll, 93, of Millville, a longtime volunteer for the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor, waves to well-wishers as she prepares to fulfill an item on her bucket list, a ride on the Blackstone Bikeway via a TerraTrike Rover universal-access equipped bicycle, in Blackstone on Thursday.
Margaret Carroll gets outfitted in a new helmet by Patti Dougherty, program leader, before taking a ride on the Blackstone Bikeway.