Nathaniel and Peleg Heath Houses

Nathaniel and his brother Peleg (II) were sons of the Rev. Peleg Heath. Reverend Heath was the minister of the Old Barrington Village's Congregational Meetinghouse from 1728 until 1740, when it moved from Jenny's Lane to its current County Road…

(Still) Waiting for Washington

“On the President’s landing, he was welcomed by a federal discharge of Cannon, and the Ringing of Bells. The Concourse of People was prodigious. The Procession was conducted with great Decorum, and exceeded anything of the Kind before exhibited in…

Brookside Conservation Area

According to local legend, in 1776 militia from the Head of Westport broke ranks with the remainder of their contingent to eat bread and cheese and to drink from the brook. The brook could also have been named after simple meals eaten on its banks by…

Female Supporters Express Their Gratitude

While the Dorr Rebellion is of course centered in Rhode Island, the conflict became national news, and leaders across the country took sides. One such leader, Connecticut Governor Chauncey Cleveland, a Democrat, was a known supporter of Thomas Wilson…

The Stephen Hopkins House

This home of Declaration-signer Stephen Hopkins (1707 – 1785) is among the oldest still standing in Rhode Island and the oldest in Providence. Hopkins lived here with his family and their slaves, in eight rooms that are now chock-full of antiques,…

Canonicus Square

Canonicus was the Narragansett sachem who offered refuge to Roger Williams and his party in 1636, but before this place was named that in a fit of Colonial Revival fervor, it was popularly called Hoyle Square. In 1953, Rhody Photo News said the…

Fort Wetherill State Park and Moonrise Kingdom

Redcoats are patrolling this fortified outcropping near Jamestown, when one sees a devil dog—black coat, with red eyes and fangs. The soldier takes such a fright that he dies two days later. Soon after, other British soldiers go insane from their…

History of Pardon Gray Preserve

Before Europeans arrived, the Pocasset people fished and farmed along the eastern shore of the Sakonnet River in what is now Tiverton. Forests, swamps, and streams provided fresh water, game, wood products, berries, and winter shelter. In 1651,…

Primus Collins: Freed Slave and Governor

Primus Collins was a man with great responsibilities within his community. He mediated disputes, ensured that laws were obeyed, and handed out punishments when necessary. He was similar to any other governor, with one exception—Primus Collins had…

Colonel Barton's Raid

On the night of July 9, 1777, a young Rhode Island militia officer named William Barton and a small raiding party slipped through British defenses on the Portsmouth shore and carried away General Richard Prescott—wearing nothing but his nightclothes.…

The Battle of Rhode Island

During August 1778, Tiverton was the fulcrum on which the American Revolution teetered. From all over New England militiamen marched along dusty roads to rendezvous at the fort on Tiverton Heights. From Gloucester, Newburyport, and Marblehead came…

Tonomi Hill, Newport

In June of 1776, on the highest point of ground in Newport, the Americans erected a signal beacon and a small fortification. This high point is known as Tonomi Hill, a shortening of Miantonomi, the name of the sachem of the Narragansetts when Newport…

North Battery, Newport

In early 1776, the residents of the Point neighborhood in Newport awoke to see the British frigate HMS Scarborough anchored just offshore. With the threat of war suddenly looming, the town hastily threw up a semi-circular earthwork fort at the…

Green End Fort, Middletown

In 1778, when the British built a defensive line of earthworks to protect Newport from the besieging American troops, the Battery at Green End stood near the southern end of that line. A sinuous mound of earth and a grassy open area with a steep…

Fort Barton, Tiverton

The remains of Fort Barton stand on a rise 110 feet above sea level that is capped by an observation tower offering a commanding view of Narragansett Bay. During the early years of the American Revolution, the fort occupied a strategic highpoint…

Conanicut Battery, Jamestown

In May of 1776, the Americans hastily built an earthwork battery in a large field on the west side of the Beavertail peninsula on Conanicut Island. British diarist Frederick Mackenzie later described the fortification as a "Battery or Redoubt with 4…

Butts Hill Fort, Portsmouth

Butts Hill Fort is the largest remaining Revolutionary War fortification in southeastern New England. In 1776, when the Americans built a small battery there, the area was also known as Windmill Hill after a succession of mills, beginning in 1668,…