Bone Ride

Tourt De Turtle Bone Ride: Millbury, Grafton, Northbridge, Uxbrdige, Millville, Blackstone, Bellingham, Mendon, Hopedale, Milford

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So today we did our weekly Tour de Turtle bone ride through the Blackstone Valley region, hitting up the following ten towns: Millbury, Grafton, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Millville, Blackstone, Bellingham, Mendon, Hopedale, Milford. 

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Now, we normally rank the places we visit from nicest to dumpiest, and we will do the same again this week. However, this week comes with a disclaimer – none of these towns are that dumpy. But yet, one must come in last place. However, it’s all relative. There wasn’t a single town on this list that holds a candle to Warren or Athol or Winchendon. With that said, here’s how we rank em this week….

1. Hopedale

Love me some Hopedale. First of all, this town has no reason to exist. It’s literally a neighborhood of Milford. The center of town is like, a mile or two at host from Milford Center. But that’s the whole reason it exists – somewhere down the line everyone who lived here must’ve looked around said, “that’s it, we’re taking our tax dollars and starting our own community instead of wasting it on this dump.” The town is clean, the neighborhoods are pristine, and people like here jog, so there’s hardly any fat bastards.








The only downside is there’s literally nothing “downtown.” It’s cool though, Milford is right there and so is the highway. Problem solved.



2. Grafton

Another awesome town. There’s really only one part of it that could use some sprucing up – South Grafton. There’s some nice looking dumps down that way.



Other that that Grafton has a nice town common



Plenty of stores



And tons of new housing developments with stainless steel appliances






On second thought, Grafton is probably too nice for the Turtleboy family. Turtleboy Jr. would destroy property value in this town.



3. Mendon

Mendon is a cool town. It’s just kind of…in the middle of nowhere.


There are older houses


And newer homes


The downtown is bumping!!!


And the big store in town is apparently the Country Bumpkins


And you remember all those annoying car dealership commercials about being in “the little town of Mendon?” Yea, that’s here.


It’s really not that small towny though. There’s plenty of stuff here:



And you can drive fast.


But it’s got no highway access. Altogether though, it’s definitely not a bad place to settle down.


4. Millbury

Turtleboy likes Millbury. They’ve got the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley, but I much prefer watching a flick at this place:


It’s got plenty of nice neighborhoods




And it really doesn’t have a “dumpy” part of town. It’s just got West Millbury, home of Millbury’s finest lodging at the St. Charles Hotel:


Sure West Millbury isn’t exactly glamorous







But we’ve seen much, much worse in our journeys.

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5. Northbridge


Whitinsville is the part of Northbridge where everyone lives. But don’t let people who tell you they’re from Whitinsville fool you – it’s all just Northbridge at the end of the day. They just say they’re from Whitinsville because “Northbridge” looks like post-Armageddon:








Not that “Whitinsville” is anything to write home about either:






But there’s a lot to like about this town. For starters it’s easy to get to since it’s got a few exits off of 146. It’s also got tons of new housing neighborhoods that are a nice little slice of Americana:





Some people don’t like the cookie cutter neighborhoods where everything looks the same. Not the Turtleboy family though. We’re huge conformos. I don’t get the fascination with old homes. Everything breaks down faster, so what’s to like? Plus, when they built that home in 1848, the guy who first bought it was thinking the same thing that Turtleboy was thinking in 2016 – get the hottest new shit on the market.

Most importantly, Northbridge has a Walmart. Nuff said.



6. Millville


Milville and Blackstone are basically the same thing except Millville looks slightly less dumpy. Some of these buildings look like the White House after the British ransacked it during the War of 1812


Millville has its share of boarded up wonders



Everything looks old, including the cars. And Millville is a great place to get rid of a rusty wheelchair or unusable camper:


It’s got a lot of breathtaking landscape




But for the most part this village along the Blackstone River is really just a quaint little suburb




A big downfall is, there’s literally nothing to do in Millville, and when the “big city” is Uxbridge, entertainment in town involves going down to this guy’s house and watching the goats eat snow.


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7. Bellingham

Bellingham is a town that consists of shopping plazas





and crowded neighborhoods.






That’s about it. Oh yea, and then there’s this lovely piece of property right on Main Street


And this is nice


The place is overrun with turkeys though


And the downtown is a whole lot of what it is

Bellingham isn’t bad at all. It’s just nothing special. It’s just your average town with plenty of stores and access off 495. Yawn.



8. Blackstone


Once again, no town on this list is really that bad. But Blackstone really isn’t that good either. It’s just Blackstone. The place has a lot of potential, since it’s named after the Blackstone River, and has a bunch of bridges that run over it.


But it’s clearly one of those old mill towns where the guy at the bar who never left Blackstone is still holding court to this day. Plus, it’s like, a mile or two from Woonsocket, where you’re pretty much required to have an abandoned shipwreck on your front lawn. But we looked all over this town and couldn’t find a single neighborhood that even remotely resembles anything we saw in a place like Grafton or Hopedale. Just a whole bunch of this:










This is the plot of land where the infamous “house of horrors” once existed.


Maybe it’s just the fact that we knew going into this that Erika Murray called this place home for so long that made us put Blackstone this far down the list. Nah, it’s just Blackstone.



9. Uxbridge

Turtleboy doesn’t hate Uxbridge, we just don’t see anything to like about it. I mean, every town in America kind of looks the same when you get down to it, but there are things you could do to kind of spice it up a bit. Uxbridge is just kind of…there.








Granted there are some new developments on the outskirts of town that we found




But they were kind of few and far between. Once again, Uxbridge is a fine place to raise a family. It’s just nothing to get too excited about.




10. Milford

Honestly was expecting a lot worse. Everyone kept saying, “Turtleboy you gotta come to Milford, it’s a real dump!!” We were all excited, but we really had to search for the grime. In a really dumpy town, the grime comes to you. But yea, when compared to the other places we visited today, Milford easily took the cake for highest concentration of dumpage per square mile. Downtown Milford is actually quite lovely





And it definitely helps if you speak Portuguese in Milford


But once you start going down the side streets you can find some of Milford’s finest grime









Oh yea, and this is nice:


Who doesn’t wanna look at that thing while they cruise through town on a bone ride?

So once again, we could find a million neighborhoods in Worcester that would put all these towns to shame. I’d happily live in any of these towns, although some of them we’d be less enthusiastic about than others. Next zip trip we wanna find some real scum. Because those are way more entertaining. Where should we go next?


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21 Comment(s)
  • Buster
    January 23, 2016 at 5:11 am

    G-Vegas is worse than all of these places. Glory to G-Vegas!

  • John Barker
    January 22, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Great job..Being from this area (And love the photo of my workplace!!) I would rate them all the same…If You could incorporate Warwick MA on the next bone cruise…House on Route 78 with a roof…built over a roof.. You could add the towns of Royalston ,Orange and Northfield..Maybe not grime laden towns but for sure plenty of spare car parts on the front lawns of these shanties.

  • Fuck boi
    January 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Your posts on Milford were all from the same one street. Fail. Place isn’t a dump

    • John Barker
      January 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      Yes it is…

  • FreshPondIndian
    January 21, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Uxbridge hasn’t really been the same since the giant turtle attacked the town a few years ago

    • John Barker
      January 22, 2016 at 11:03 pm


  • Dave
    January 20, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Rarely do I disagree with your brand of rabid moderation, but I think you’re dead wrong on those waste-of-space, characterless cookie-cutter suburban neighborhoods. Most of the neighborhoods you liked were 80s and 90s building boom crap that were thrown together with second rate lumber. That house built in 1848? Built with real New England, first growth timber, not farmed lumber. Oh yeah, and that house has been here for 170 years– that’s staying power. Those McMansions will sink into the landfills they were built on in 20 years.
    There should be more incentives available to rehabilitate old properties, because often times razing, clearing, and prepping land for new developments costs almost as much as full rehabilitation. And if there were more rehab credits available, all those old eyesore mixed use and industrial buildings would be occupied, productive community assets. Worcester could really benefit from such revitalization. Too bad the current administration is hellbent on forming committees to “solve” the newest liberal fads instead of saving the building stock and infrastructure of this once great city.

  • I-Am-From-Millville
    January 20, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Well your little trip to the valley didn’t really make it off of major roads. There are many fine neighborhoods, schools and other points of interest, that someone who wanted to find out more about these towns and what they have to offer. The fine recreational facilities in Blackstone – is one that comes to mind – be sure to investigate that.

    Maybe you city-slickers were worried you wouldn’t find your way back to the Woo. GPS does work in the valley, or I am sure one of the fine members of law enforcement would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

    If you had really wanted to find out more about these fine small towns, maybe you would be better served to contact some of the folks that live here, and they would gladly give you a tour. Of course that wouldn’t play into your plans to mock these fine towns with your demeaning remarks. I guess this report is something you consider humorous. I find it rather insulting.

    Maybe next time you venture down 146, you will enlighten yourselves as to the fine qualities these towns have to offer. Better yet – stay in the Woo, we would be okay with that too.

  • juror seven
    January 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Millville was once part of Blackstone. Often it is referred to as the baby of Massachusetts. Hopedale owes it existence to the Draper family. Draper Industries was the king maker and a benefactor to the community. Much as the Whitins with regards to Northbridge\Whitinsville. Most of the towns you visited have one thing in common, the industrial revolution and the Blackstone River.

  • Ryan
    January 20, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I don’t think you got into the “grimey” parts of Blackstone, because if you did it would definitely take the cake. It borders Woonsocket which is also lovely.

    Milford has a few questionable areas (Loobie Ave/West St area & Central St area around police station are the worst, IMO) but is bordered by Mendon, Hopkinton, Holliston & Hopedale which are all some of the nicer towns in Massachusetts. Maybe because there are a lot of immigrants in Milford people think it is “run-down”. But all of those immigrants work hard for the most part, they aren’t just roaming the streets. It is a clean city that has a lot to offer, and it is right off 495 with a drive to Boston that takes less than an hour. There are many million dollar homes in Milford in upscale developments like Mill Pond Circle, Silver Hill and Field Pond Road. Milford Public Schools are recognized as some of the best in the state, too.

    • Remax Reject
      January 20, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Apparently you aren’t a real estate agent because the homes in the neighborhoods you named don’t even go for half a million dollars, never mind a million. I challenge you to find a single home in Milford that is listed for, or has recently sold for a million dollars.

  • Stk3
    January 20, 2016 at 10:01 am

    List of scum places

    1) Webster – but before you go you must pronounce it correctly. It is Web-Tah. A fair amount of the guys that actually work in Web-Tah are wooo-fahs (they work repairing roofs, or roofers)

    2) Sutton is the 146/Rhode Island equivalent to the I-84/Sturbridge drug highway except instead of Enrique from the Bronx its Tony from Federal Hill delivering Oxy.

  • Teddy
    January 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

    I’ve always loved the older houses and older sections of town, despite sometimes being in disrepair. The best neighborhoods are the old ones that have been kept in good condition. If enough people buy some fixer-uppers in the towns at the bottom of this list, and follow through with the fixing-upping, who knows? They could be the Hopedales and Graftons of the future

  • Danya
    January 20, 2016 at 9:29 am

    If you want to see a real dump, spend half a day in webster, dudley, southbridge. Just park on a few different roads for an hour or so and your article will write itself. Webster is basically a small worcester. You couldn’t pay me to live there. Dudley is barely any better though it does have Nichols college which is nice. It would really be a competition between webster and Southbridge though. I pray before traveling through either of them. Talk about dumps!

  • mbronzo
    January 20, 2016 at 8:45 am

    As a transplant in one of the towns profiles in the article I have to jump in here. What a different way of life down here. I”m a dirty Whustah kid and i would kill myself before moving back. its just easier. Great article!!!!

  • Jafreese
    January 20, 2016 at 6:55 am

    A few thoughts:

    1. Milford should be called New Ecqador. Just as many people from there as the Portugese

    2. Blackstone is like a mythical place. I’ve driven through all of these places at one time but never have come across Blackstone. And when I ask people where it is they just say “over that way” with no real direction

    3. I drive by that gravel factory thing you said is nice in Bellingham every once in a while and like to call it Catastrophe Canyon, after the fake explosion movie set on the backlot tour at Disney Studios.

    • TargetPractice
      January 20, 2016 at 7:55 am

      No one knows where blackstone is because to get there you have to stay on 146 and go into Rhode Island, then come back up. Any town I have to go into another state to get to is just permanently crossed off my list of places Id ever go again

      • Mike
        January 20, 2016 at 12:10 pm

        No you dont. Maybe you should buy a map

      • Mike
        January 20, 2016 at 12:12 pm

        Buy a map, you couldn’t be more wrong

  • JayC
    January 20, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Did you forget Upton, Douglas, and my favorite Sutton?Those three would have rounded out the Blackstone Valley. Wait! Did Old Balls and Joyce have you banished from town? Hmmm…. That could explain no Douglas too because the old coot’s homestead is right on the way there. He’d be waiting at the end of his driveway as you passed by with a ladle threatening to make you into turtle soup for losing his gig at a newspaper that’s only usefulness is as a fire starter, training puppies, and packing boxes.

  • savvybear turtleneck
    January 19, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Oxford, webster, douglas, dudley,
    And of course, the town I called home for 26 of 34 years, sutton.

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