Little Compton Commons

The Commons has served as Little Compton's center of civic, social and religious life since the 17th century. In 1677, Little Compton's original "proprietors" set aside land for common use - including space for a meeting hall and a burying ground. The Commons expanded as the surrounding community grew, and by the 1830s, it boasted a separate church and town hall, in addition to the colonial-era burying ground containing the graves of some of the region's earliest settlers. After the Civil War, the Commons was transformed with the construction of a Methodist Church, a modern town hall, and other civic buildings, including a modern school.

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…

The Old Burial Ground on the Commons

In the Old Burial Ground is an odd grave maker. It reads, “In memory of Elizabeth, who Should have been the Wife of Mr. Simeon Palmer… died Augst 14th 1776 in the 64th year of her age.” A clue to the meaning of this inscription may lie in a…

Betty Alden: First-Born Daughter of the Pilgrims

In 1891, American author Jane G. Austin (not to be confused with the better-known English writer, Jane Austen), wrote in the preface to her novel, Betty Alden: The First-Born Daughter of the Pilgrims, “He who would read for himself the story of…