Saturday, January 19th at 11 a.m.
(Registration required: details below.)

Sunday, January 27th at 12 noon

(Registration required: details and payment information below)

Saturday, January 19th at 11 a.m.
Tour Guide:  Rei Battcher, BH&PS Librarian and Historian

Participants must reserve a spot by calling the Society at 253-7223 or emailing  In case of inclement weather, the tour will be rescheduled for February, date and time TBD, and registered participants will be notified.  The tour costs $10 or $5 for members of the BH&PS and the Bristol Art Museum and will leave from the Society at 48 Court Street. 

Bristol's unique and rich African-American history is about far more than slavery. In the 19th century, Bristol was home to many economically-successful African-Americans who actively shaped life in Bristol.  The town also included its own neighborhood of homes that blended African and American building traditions.  In addition to sites associated with the slave trade, this tour will visit houses belonging to free African-Americans, including the Carrington Palmer Munroe House and the Marie Hazzard House, to learn the stories of these significant community members.  The tour will also include the sites of Bristol's African Church and the New Goree Community, both of which served free African-Americans prior to the Civil War.  

The tour is being offered in conjunction with the Bristol Art Museum's exhibit, Do Lord Remember Me: The Black Church in Rhode Island, which is on display between January 17 and January 27 at the Museum at 10 Wardwell St. The exhibit includes an opening lecture on Thursday, January 17, at 6:30 p.m. and a performance and viewing on Friday, January 18, from 6-8 p.m.  

Sunday, January 27, 2019, at 12 noon
"The Past is Present: An Archaeological Glimpse into Bristol's 18th and 19th Century Rum Distilleries"
Guest Speaker: Suzanne Cherau, Senior Archaeologist at the Public Archaeology Lab. Inc.

$40 per person -- By Reservation Only
S.S. Dion Restaurant, Thames Street 

Reserve and pay by PayPal below 
or call/email the Society at 401-253-7223/

In 2008, Suzanne Cherau identified the archaeological remains of an early nineteenth-century rum distillery on Thames Street in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The distillery was one of five that operated in Bristol during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  These five together with over 30 rum distilleries in Newport and numerous distilleries in Providence, the state of Rhode Island produced up to 90 percent of the rum consumed in the eastern United States and shipped to Africa as part of the Triangle Trade.  The largest and most infamous rum distillery in Bristol was operated by the renowned DeWolf Family, many of whom became privateers in the nineteenth-century Triangle Trade.  The remains of their distillery were found during construction of a hotel and shops along the Thames Street waterfront in 2002. Later in 2007 and 2008, more wooden vats were found which deed research revealed to be owned by a group of Bristol merchants, headed up by a "distiller" named Jarvis Pierce.  Only a few rum distillery sites have survived and been studied archaeologically in the northeastern United States, including the Henley Distillery in Charlestown, Massachusetts and the Douw-Quackenbush Distillery in Albany, New York. 

Come hear the full story of the discovery and examination of these wooden vats which were uncovered in 2007 and the history 
accompanying them.  The luncheon will begin at 12 noon to be followed by Suzanne Cherau's talk

The luncheon is a full meal from soup to dessert.  Select from 1) Chicken Piccata,           2) Baked Fish with Bread Crumbs, 3) Pork Tenderloin with Brown Gravy, or                 4) Vegetarian Eggplant Parmigiana.  $40 per person. Cash bar is also available.

7 p.m.
Bristol Statehouse, 240 High Street, Bristol

Guest Speaker:  Jerry Dauterive, Ph.D.

"The Spermaceti Candle Trust: The First Energy Monopoly"

The development of the spermaceti candle in the middle of the 18th century had a major impact on New England's whaling industry.  The production of this innovative and important product, which took place primarily in Rhode Island, provided a means for America's entry into world economic markets. In addition, the industry was the setting for the first "energy monopoly," with the creation of the United Company of Spermaceti Chandlers.  Through a cartel agreement, candle makers in Rhode Island attempted to control prices and prevent the entry of new competitors into the spermaceti candle industry.

Dauterive, a member of the Society, is professor of economics and former dean in the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI.  Prior to his appointment at RWU in 2008, he held administrative and faculty appointments in the College of Business at Loyola University, New Orleans.


Statehouse on the Common, 240 High Street, Bristol

with guest speaker, Dr. David Weed

"How to Rediscover the 17th Century 
in the Sowams Heritage Area"

The Sowams Heritage Area includes eight communities, including five in Rhode Island (Barrington, Bristol, East Providence, Providence and Warren) and three in Massachusetts (Rehoboth, Seekonk and Swansea).  

Join Dr. Weed to "uncover the history of the transition from an indigenous culture to a colonial culture that took place here nearly 400 years ago."  The aim of the project that he heads up is to bring the 17th century to light.  While many remnants of that time period are still around us, we have a hard time seeing them.  Identifying, preserving and protecting waterways and open spaces that remain, locating places of importance to the indigenous people and to early settlers, and learning the history of the King Philip War, all will teach us to be better prepared to preserve what we have.  Free and open to the public.
Saturday, June 30th at 10 a.m.

Walk this romantic and historic Juniper Hill Cemetery with arborist, Chris Fletcher, and learn about its unique history of people, stones and amazing trees.  A perfect example of the rural cemetery movement of the mid 1800s of landscaped grounds, it has winding lanes and beautiful plantings.  Many of the familiar names of early Bristol families are on the headstones including the Wardwells, the Bradfords, the Dimonds, the DeWolfs, to name just a few, and all of whom have left stories to be told.

Tour begins at the stone gates at the entrance to Juniper Hill Cemetery, 24 Sherry Avenue, Bristol.  $10 per person or $5 for Society members.  Children 12 and under are free and must be accompanied by an adult.


MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2018
7 P.M.
240 High Street, Bristol, RI

...for the [2018] election of Officers,Directors and Chairpersons of Standing Committees and for the transaction of such other business as may be proper...

Followed by 

Maintaining Your Old House
Presentation by Dylan Peacock of Historic New England

"Pratt House"

Whether your house dates back to the 1750s or it was built in the 1950s, Dylan Peacock will provide tips about the preservation of its unique features.  Will include information about paint colors, windows, maintenance schedules and conservation in general.  Learn also about available resources for the care of your house as well as about valuable preservation tools such as historic easements and/or restrictions.

Dylan Peacock helps manage Historic New England's Preservation Easement Program in southern New England including Rhode Island, Connecticut and southern Massachusetts.  He monitors Preservation Restrictions on privately-owned historic properties and offers proactive guidance to help homeowners preserve their properties.  Prior to working at Historic New England, Dylan worked at the Public Archaeology Laboratory (PAL) in Pawtucket where he contributed to a diverse range of cultural resource management projects across New England. Dylan is a graduate of Roger Williams University's School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation and holds both a M.S. and a B.S. degree in Historic Preservation.

Free and open to the public.  Meeting and lecture in the Bristol State House Court Room on 2nd Floor (elevator available), 240 High Street, Bristol, RI.  Refreshments will be served.

Photo:  David Harrington in the persona of Russell Warren.

On Sunday, March 26, from 12 noon to 2 p.m., the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society will host a brown bag lunch for a talk about the work of Russell Warren, Rhode Island’s very own early 19th-century architect.  David Harrington, in the persona of Russell Warren, will lead the discussion at the Society’s Headquarters at 48 Court Street.  The Society will also have objects from its collection on display that are associated with Warren and his architecture, and will feature a continuing slide show of Warren’s local work in Bristol.

Architect Russell Warren was born in Tiverton and began designing and building Federal Style houses in Bristol in 1800, including the 1810 Linden Place mansion at 500 Hope Street.  He later moved to South Carolina for a few years before returning to Providence, working there as well as in Bristol, Warren, Fall River, New Bedford, and New York.  As architectural styles changed, so did Warren, who embraced the later Greek Revival temple house form; two of his high style examples still stand on Hope Street.  Another excellent local example of his uniquely American style is the 1828 St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Warren.   Examples of Warren’s work are dotted around downtown Bristol and include the very romantic Longfield, also on Hope Street, an 1848 architectural example of Warren’s later Gothic Revival Style.  The Society will have its dollhouse replica of Longfield on display.

Artist and historian David Harrington studied architecture at Rhode Island School of Design and historic preservation as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has become a passionate advocate of Russell Warren and most recently worked closely with the RI Historical Society, the Providence Athenaeum, and Linden Place to put together a database of the famed architect’s work from libraries and repositories here in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as New York and South Carolina.

Open to the public, tickets are $10 each and a light lunch will be provided. Please call the Society at 401-253-7223 for reservations and walk-ins are welcome. 

An Unusual Opportunity is Coming Up on Friday, March 3rd

The BH&PS and Roger Williams University, as Co-Sponsors, will present a live broadcast of a daylong conference at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University


The broadcast will take place at Roger Williams University’s School of Law, Appellate Courtroom 283.  This is a one-day event on Friday, March 3, from 9 to 5 p.m.  It is free and open to members of the Society as well as to the public.  Visitors may check in at the RWU gatehouse for parking information.  

No need to make a special reservation...
just come and go as you please between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The conference is part of the Harvard and Slavery initiative, founded in 2007, which examines in detail the range of Harvard’s connections to slavery.  For this conference, the topic expands to include other universities across the United States and around the world.  

As a bonus for Society Members and others who are interested:

During the conference lunchtime break, RWU Assistant Professor of History Charlotte Carrington-Farmer will hold a brown-bag lunch discussion about Roger Williams’ views on enslavement.  Bring a lunch and join the discussion at 12:15 p.m. in the School of Law Appellate Courtroom 283.

Conference speakers will include:

*  Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University

*  Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University

*  Ta-Nehisi Coates, Journalist, national correspondent for The Atlantic, author of Between the World and Me and The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood

*  Natastha Trethewey, former United States Poet Laureate, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, Emory University

*  Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Harvard Law School, and Professor of History, Harvard University

*  Julian Bonder, Principal, Wodiczko + Bonder and Julian Bonder + Associates; Professor of Architecture, Roger Williams University


10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

One-day event hosted jointly by the Society and the Coggeshall Farm Museum.  Free and open to people of all ages.  

Just drop by the Society (48 Court Street) or the Bristol State House on the Common (240 High Street) anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Scavenger hunts, woodworking demonstrations, hands-on activities with reproduction antique toys and games, authentic carding and spinning tools, and historically themed coloring pages and puzzles.  Also jailhouse dress-up in the historic cell block at the Society and a hang-out with members of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment who will share stories about life during the American Revolution.


Rei Battcher will be on hand with his "Amazing Box of Bristol History"

Farmers from Coggeshall Farm will bring some of their animals to Town for visitors to meet and greet.  (Weather permitting!)


Sunday, January 29th
12 noon
S.S. Dion Restaurant,520 Thames Street, Bristol, RI

Illustrated Talk by Dr. Charlotte Carrington-Farmer

Modele d'un Moulin a Betes

(Translation:  Model of a Mill Using Beasts.  Illustration from the NY Public Library Digital Collections.)

Horses first appeared in New England in 1629, when Francis Higginson shipped approximately 25 mares and stallions from Leicestershire, England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. From this stock, the first horses made their way to Rhode Island less than a decade later. Horses were central to survival in terms of work, travel, communication, and leisure. However, for Rhode Island, horses were also a staple exportation commodity, and by the mid-eighteenth century the colony led the way in shipping horses to the sugar colonies. Horses were often directly traded for rum, sugar, molasses, and slaves.  Amongst the diverse breeds that were raised in Rhode Island, the Narragansett Pacer is exceptional in many ways. The Pacer’s easy gait made it suitable for both long-distance travel and racing. The Pacer was the first “truly” American breed of horse, and it was in high demand all around the Atlantic World. However, from such promising beginnings, the Pacer was extinct by the next century. This talk will explore why Rhode Island emerged as a leading breeding centre for horses, and how the rise and fall of the equine exportation industry was tied directly to the sugar markets.

Dr. Charlotte Carrington-Farmer is an Assistant Professor of History, and she specializes in early American History. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall) in 2010. Her dissertation was entitled 'Dissent and Identity in Seventeenth-Century New England', and is now a book project. Dr Carrington-Farmer's research interests center on framing dissent, deviance and crime in early America in a wider Atlantic World context. Dr. Carrington-Farmer is particularly interested in Thomas Morton, who founded the Ma-re Mount settlement (modern-day Quincy, MA), and she has written a biography of Morton for a book entitled Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World (Brill, 2013). Dr. Carrington-Farmer has reviewed a number of books for History: Reviews of New Books. She has also written the following article: 'Slave Horse/War Horse: The Narragansett Pacer in Colonial and Revolutionary Rhode Island’ War Horses of the World Proceedings (SOAS University of London, forthcoming 2014). Her new book project is tentatively titled: Slave Horse: The Narragansett Pacer in the Atlantic World. 

5:30 p.m.

"Sunset and Evening Walk"
Historic Juniper Hill Cemetery
Meet at the Stone Gate: 24 Sherry Avenue, Bristol
Tour Guide:  Arborist, Chris Fletcher

Juniper Hill Cemetery is laid out with winding lanes and paths on 22 acres of land.  A National Register of Historic Places property, it has extraordinary plantings and trees.  Several U.S. Senators and Representatives along with a few RI Governors are buried in this cemetery including LeBaron Bradford Colt, James DeWolf, Benjamin Bourne and Byron Diman.  Wealthy industrialist Samuel Pomeroy Colt is here as well as landscape artist Charles DeWolf Brownell and actress Ethel Barrymore Colt Miglietta, daughter of Ethel Barrymore.  Tour guide and arborist Chris Fletcher knows all the stories and will relay them as participants walk with lanterns and flashlights as the sunset turns into darkness.

Please bring a flashlight.
($5 for members and $10 for non-members and children 12 and under are free 
if accompanied by parents or other supervising adults.)
Meet at the Gate at 24 Sherry Avenue.

WALKING TOUR Captain Simeon Potter (aka Rei Battcher)
October 9, 2016, 2 p.m.

“Bombed and Burned” is a Revolutionary War walking tour along the edge of the Bristol Harbor.  Librarian and local historian Rei Battcher will lead the tour in the persona of Captain Simeon Potter who lived from 1720 to 1806. Rei Battcher, through the eyes of Captain Potter, will recount the bombing of Bristol by the British in 1775 and the burning three years later when the British marched through town destroying many houses.  At the time, Captain Potter was considered to be one of the most influential men in the Colony because of his great wealth amassed from money and plundered treasure when he was a young man on the high seas as both a pirate and a privateer.   In 1775, when the British sailed into the Bristol Harbor and started bombing the Town, it was Captain Potter who led the negotiations with them to stop.   Captain Potter had already earned a reputation as a Patriot in 1772 by taking a boatload of men from Bristol across the Bay to Pawtuxet Cove where they joined others to burn the anchored HMS Gaspee, a hated British revenue schooner.

Speaker Frank L. Grzyb
Monday, September 12, 2016, at 7 p.m.
Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI


$10 each or $15 for both - 
plus a $5 materials fee for the bookbinding workshop.

Call 401-253-7223 or email: 
to reserve your space.

Both workshops to be held at the Bristol County Statehouse 
on the Bristol Town Common, 240 High Street

Saturday, May 7th, 9 to 11 a.m.
"Discovering the Hidden Layers 
of Historic Paint in Your House" 
with architectural conservator John Vaughan


Saturday, May 14th, 9 to 12 noon
"Bookbinding:  For the Love of Books"
with archivist Heidi Benedict

Saturday May 7th from 9 to 11 a.m. “Discovering the Hidden Layers of Historic Paint in Your House” is a hands-on workshop teaching participants the methods and technologies to make the paint discoveries.   John Vaughan will also demonstrate examples of laboratory color matching and microscopic examinations.  Participants are encouraged to bring a painted element from their homes to work on during this unique workshop.  Vaughan is the principal of Architectural Conservation Services (ACS) in Bristol and has worked on well-known properties such as Thomas Jefferson’s Montpelier, the Mark Twain House and the Harriet Tubman House & Church. 

Saturday May 14th from 9 to 12 noon “Bookbinding: For The Love of Books” is a hands-on workshop introducing the art of bookbinding.  Heidi Benedict will teach participants to make their own handmade phase box (protective wrapper box) for their most precious historic books or papers.  In addition, each participant will also bind a small blank book by hand to take home. Benedict is the Archivist for the Roger Williams University Library.  If there is sufficient interest, more advanced bookbinding workshops will subsequently be offered.

of the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2016
7 P.M. at the Herreshoff Community Room, 
Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol

Business Meeting:  Annual Reports, Nominations and Election of Directors and Officers for 2016, Presentation and Adoption of Budget and items the Board or Members May Wish to Bring Up

ollowed by a short talk on what's happening out at Coggeshall Farm 
by Cindy Elder, 
Coggeshall Farm's Executive Director

The Society has a long history with Coggeshall Farm dating back to 1965 when the State of RI purchased the former Samuel P. Colt Estate using funds from Governor John Chaffee's Green Acres Program, a $5 Million Bond Issue.   The State was then proceeding to destroy the buildings on the property.  The Society led by our then President, George Sisson, and Helene Tessler, fought to save the 1750 farmhouse and some surrounding acreage for farmland to create a living museum. George was friends with Governor Chafee and the Governor's intervention was crucial to the Society's obtaining a lease from the State for $1 per year.  By 1968, the Society was able to begin restoration of the farm and to work together with the University of RI to house farm animals during the warm months.  A Bristol Phoenix article wrote that "These [farm animals] will include cows, ducks, RI Reds, Marina sheep, geese, oxen, horses and carriages, ponies and goats.  Trees, bushes and grasses will be identified and those that were imported will be marked as to arrival and source."  Lots of excitement at the time and the fundraising for the restoration was taken on by the Society.  By 1970 the Society raised $5000 and with hard work by Society members and volunteers, the first resident caretakers, Bonnie and Adam Tomash, were able to move into the Farmhouse and plans were made to begin construction of outbuildings such as a sheep barn.  By 1974, the Farm was established enough that it could take off on its own.  

Meeting is open to the public and will be followed by refreshments.
April 16, 2016
RI Historic Cemetery Restoration/Awareness Day

The Bristol Cemetery Commission
 is hosting a special event at the North Burial Ground:

"Digitizing the Dead" with Jacob Begin

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16th

Meet at the brick chapel building at the entrance of the North Burial Ground cemetery on Hope Street (next to Colt State Park) for coffee and to learn about the history of the cemetery and the art of digitizing a gravestone.  Using simple tools such as a digital camera or a cell phone, a mirror and an umbrella, you will learn how to take compelling images of gravestones.

Jacob Begin, an accomplished photographer and expert on RI gravestones, is a Historic Preservation Specialist with the RI Department of Transportation and a member of the Board of Directors at the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society.

Sunday, February 28, 2016 @ 2 p.m.
Bristol Statehouse, 240 High Street
(Second Floor - Handicap Accessible)

Identifying and Dating Family Photographs

Speaker:  Maureen Taylor, Photo Detective

Do you have family photographs from 100 or 150 years ago which are a total mystery?  Nobody wrote a name or a date on the back and you are clueless? But you know the people in the photograph must be in the extended family because they are in the family albums or maybe they are just stuffed in shoeboxes?  No mystery is too small for Maureen Taylor. She has proven methods for putting names to the faces in those pictures. Methods that can tell you more about when they were taken, who took them and why.  

As a former curator at a historical society, Maureen Taylor knows how to make sense of photographs and family history.  Her skills live at the junction of history genealogy and photography.  She will offer you clues to identify the mystery people in your photos, offer solutions for preserving and organizing them, and yes, even guide you in the various ways to gather and share picture stories with your relatives.

The Process

Maureen Taylor starts by studying clues within a picture — a hairstyle, a sign in the background, or the shape of a shirtsleeve — in order to identify a person, place or era. What follows from her genealogical expertise is uncovering the story behind the images of the past. That could mean shedding light on how those pictures fit into your family tale. Or discovering the history of the area in which those people lived — even if that’s locally in Rhode Island or around the world in Australia.

Maureen Taylor is a frequent keynote speaker on photo identification, photograph preservation, and family history at historical and genealogical societies, museums, conferences, libraries, and other organizations across the U.S., London and Canada.  She’s the author of several books and hundreds of articles and her television appearances include The View and The Today Show (where she researched and presented a complete family tree for host Meredith Vieira).  She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, The Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, Germany’s top newspaper Der SpiegelAmerican Spirit, and The New York Times. Maureen was recently a spokesperson and photograph expert for, an internationally known family history website and also writes guidebooks, scholarly articles and online columns for such media as

Currently a contributing editor of Family Tree Magazine, Maureen also writes personal memoirs and narrative family histories for the Newbury St. Press of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  

To read more about Maureen Taylor, visit her website at

Sunday January 31, 2016 @ 2 p.m. 
Bristol Statehouse, 240 High Street

Monarchs, Stars, Barons and Daisies:
The Negro Leagues and Black Baseball in Rhode Island
Speaker:  Jay Hurd, Baseball Historian

Brown University Baseball Club – 1879
William Edward White, seated second from right (behind man in black coat), may be the first man of color to play in a major league baseball game, in Providence, RI.  John R. Husman, “June 21, 1879: The cameo [sic] of William Edward White,” SABR Baseball  Games Project,

More than a century ago, a “gentleman’s agreement” banned black players from major league rosters.  The racism which prohibited integration of professional baseball teams led to the formation of the Negro Leagues.  Andrew “Rube” Foster, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, James “Cool Papa” Bell, Quincy “Big Train” Trouppe, and Joshua “Josh” Gibson are only a few of the men whose skills and personalities graced and elevated baseball diamonds across the United States and Latin America. Black baseball also came to Rhode Island. William Edward White, a man of color who played baseball at Brown University from 1879-1881, may have been the first black player on a major league team. The Baltimore Elite Giants and the New York Black Yankees faced the Sunset League All-Stars at Newport’s Cardines field.  The Cleveland Colored Giants and the Providence Colored All-Stars appeared at Warwick’s Rocky Point Park.  Jay Hurd will discuss these moments in Rhode Island’s history and will share facts, and stories, of the Negro Leagues.

Jay Hurd is retired from Harvard University where he served as the Preservation Review Librarian for Widener Library. Currently, he works in the Education Department of the Concord Museum (Concord, MA). A long time member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he has presented on baseball related topics including: Baseball Literature for Children and Young Adults; the Negro National League; Women in Baseball; Mabray “Doc” Kountze, the first black journalist to be issued a press pass by the Boston Red Sox; and, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Red Sox fan.


Saturday, September 19th at 10 a.m. 
"Historic Trees of Downtown Bristol" 
with Bill Chittick
Meet at the Society, 48 Court Street
$10 or $5 for members

Saturday, September 26th at 10 a.m. 
"Dating a Building:  Understanding the Architecture of Bristol"
with Dr. Kevin Jordan
Meet at the Society, 48 Court Street
$10 or $5 for members

Saturday, October 3rd at 5 p.m.
"Stones that Speak:  A Historical Cemetery Tour"
with Jacob Begin
Meet at the Gate to the East Burial Ground
 on Wood Street across from the Bristol Town Common
Sponsored by the RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission as part of Archaeology Month

Sunday, October 4th at 2 p.m. 
"Bombed and Burned" (One Day During the Revolutionary War)
with Rei Battcher in the persona of Simeon Potter
Meet at the Society, 48 Court Street
$10 or $5 for members

Saturday, October 10th at 10 a.m.  
"A Tour of the History of the People, the Stones and the Trees at Juniper Hill"
with Chris Fletcher
Meet at the Gates to Juniper Hill Cemetery, Sherry Avenue, Bristol
$10 or $5 for members

Sunday, October 17th at 2 p.m.
"Back Door Gossip"
with Rei Battcher
Meet at the Society, 48 Court Street
Walk along High and Hope Streets past downtown Bristol's historic houses and learn about their occupants from 100 to over 200 years ago.  The "gossip" is the information pulled from old newspapers and public documents including deeds, taxes, court records, probate court, wills as well as birth and death certificates. Hear about Alice Bell Morgan, a financier, who won $32,000 on the TV quiz show "The 64,000 Question" and see where she lived modestly on Hope Street.
$10 or $5 for Society members


Slide Presentation by Henry T. Callan
Monday, October 26, 7 p.m.
Rogers Free Library
Herreshoff Community Meeting Room, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI

With a background in history, art and library science, Mr. Callan is a recognized expert on early American needlework as well as an antique dealer known throughout New England.  He well talk about the history of samplers as well as their beauty and their role in early education. This slide lecture will also show the many varieties of samplers, their symbols and inscriptions and point out the changes of style over the years.  Mr. Callan will bring examples from his own collection and will share tips both on collecting and preservation. Attendees may bring one sampler of their own for possible discussion.  


Governor William Bradford's Library Not!
Presentation by Keith Arbour
BHPS Board Member, Writer, Book Editor and Historian 

September 27 at 2 pm
Society Headquarters, 48 Court Street

When historian Keith Arbour first volunteered at BHPS this past January, the Society set him to work cataloguing the books thought of as having come to us as Governor William Bradford's Library in 1955, housed in the Governor's very own desk.  What Arbour discovered was something completely different.  Arbour will talk about what happens when oral history and material evidence clash - and about several of the brilliant but unsung Bristol women whose books had long masqueraded as the Governor's.

Among Keith Arbour's own published books are Benjamin Franklin's First Government Printing, a revision of Thomas Gravell's American Watermarks, and Canvassing Books.  His documentary film credits include the Middlemarch/PBS series Benjamin Franklin, and the MPH/History Channel series The Founding Fathers.  The Society hopes that copies of his latest work An Old Desk and Its Books:  The contents of a piece of furniture once at Mt. Hope Farm, Bristol, Rhode Island, now at the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society will be available for sale after the talk.  Every penny of all proceeds will support the Society's new publication fund.

Woodcut from a book found in this mysterious Library 
 "The Life and Adventures of ROBERT.  The Hermit of Massachusetts, 
Who has lived 14 Years in a Cave, secluded from human society."  

with the following information on the title page:

"COMPRISING, an account of his Birth, Parentage, Sufferings, and providential escape from unjust and cruel Bondage in early life -- and his reasons for becoming a Recluse.  Taken from his own mouth and published for his benefit."

March 7, 14, 21, 28 and April 4

The BH&PS is very excited about offering a 5-week genealogy program at the Society to be held on Saturdays from 9 to 12 noon.  
$20 for all 5 sessions or $5 per session
(details below)

Please register as there is limited seating!
We also want to be sure we have enough handout packets for all sessions.

Reserve your space by sending an email to: 
and pay at the door of the first session.
Reserve your space by sending a check for $20 made out to BHPS Genealogy 
and mail to BHPS Genealogy, PO Box 356, Bristol, RI  02809

Please be sure to include your name, email address and telephone number AND your level of genealogical research:  Beginners and advanced researchers are all welcome!

All sessions to be held at Society Headquarters, 48 Court Street, Bristol, RI, 
with plenty of parking in Town parking lot across the street.  
Internet access available for laptop connection.

March 7, 14 and 21:  Genealogy 101 
for beginners and also for more advanced researchers
Instructor:  Lynda Rego
Powerpoint presentation and plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

March 28: Bristol 101
  for all who are doing research in Bristol and/or who want to know about the available genealogical resources in Town - at the Society, 
at the Town Hall Vaults, at Rogers Free Library and 
at Roger Williams University
Instructor:  Rei Battcher

April 4: Brick Wall Session 
with various experts available.  
Bring your laptops and your "brick walls"  to the Society for one on one assistance.
Experts:  Lynda Rego and Rei Battcher and others will be on hand to guide you.

The BH&PS will also be forming a "Genealogy Club" to meet regularly at the Society and to do group visits to various genealogical conferences, libraries and resources throughout New England.  
Sign-up sheets will be at all sessions
 or please email 
to be notified when more information is available.

to be held on
7 P.M. 
at the Herreshoff Community Meeting Room
Rogers Free Library
525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI

Business Meeting including the election of Officers for 2015-2016
 followed by an Illustrated Lecture.

"Bonnet-Makers and Rabble-Rousers:  
Fascinating Women in Rhode Island's Past

Program co-sponsored by the 
Bristol Historical & Preservation Society and the Rogers Free Library.  
Free and open to the public.

Talk by Elyssa Tardif, Ph.D., Director of the Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs at the Rhode Island Historical Society and Adjunct Faculty at Rhode Island College

Using rarely seen images from the Rhode Island Historical Society collections, Elyssa Tardif explores the stories of fascinating women who shaped Rhode Island's history.  In a talk that covers the four centuries since Rhode Island's founding, Tardif will highlight the lives of Ann Haven, the intrepid founder of Haven Brothers Diner in the 19th century, and Dinah Sisson, who used a smear campaign to make waves through Newport's African American community in the 18th century, among other intriguing figures.

Sunday, January 25, at 12 noon

Winter Luncheon 2015 at the Linden Place Ballroom 

with speaker and architectural historian Dr. Catherine W. Zipf

Book your reservation for this event by January 19th.  $35 per person.  
Ticket information below.

Dr. Zipf holds degrees from Harvard University as well as the University of Virginia where she earned her doctorate in American architectural and decorative arts history. She has taught at Salve Regina, currently teaches at Roger Williams University and is also a research scholar at MIT.  She is a frequent contributor of architectural and other preservation articles in the Providence Journal.In addition, Dr. Zipf is the author of an award winning book, Professional Pursuits: Women and the American Arts and Crafts Movement.  She is currently working on another book titled Making a Home of Her Own:  Newport's Architectural Patronesses, 1850-1940 where she examines the more than 60 women who constructed primary and secondary homes in Newport.

$35 per person
Includes luncheon catered by Leo's Restaurant.



Book Talk and PowerPoint Presentation 
by the authors,
Frank L. Grzyb and Russell J. DeSimone

Thursday, December 4, 2014
7 pm
Rogers Free Library
525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI

The Bristol Historical & Preservation Society is hosting a book talk and PowerPoint presentation by Frank L. Grzyb and Russell J. DeSimone, co-authors of “Remarkable Women of Rhode Island.” 

This newly published book is about the many accomplished Rhode Island women who are perhaps less famous, for instance, than Anne Hutchinson whose name is synonymous with religious freedom in the 17th century, but who are just as remarkable.  The authors have written essays about many of these women starting with Weetamoo and Awashonks, queen sachems of the 17th century Wampanoag tribe.  From there they include Rhode Island women over the next four centuries who were and are activists, reformers, abolitionists, suffragists, poets, writers, artists, actresses, educators, preservationists, historians, religious leaders, athletes, doctors, lawyers, judges and engineers.

Grzyb is the author of a number of books written about the American Civil War and the Vietnam Conflict including “Hidden History of Rhode Island and the Civil War.”  DeSimone is the leading scholar on the Dorr Rebellion and recently produced a documentary film about this little known historic event that has impacted voter rights on a national scale. 

Saturday, November 8th
10:15 a.m.
Meet at the gate on Wood Street, 
across the street (to the east) of the Bristol Town Common.

"Keep Your Nose to the Gravestone"
with Vincent Luti
Luti is an expert in the research of gravestone carving and author of the book "Mallet and Chisel: Gravestone Carvers of Newport, Rhode Island, in the Eighteenth Century"

Samuel Pomeroy Colt:  Shadowed by the Gun
Lecture and Power Point Presentation by Claire Benson
Linden Place Mansion, October 16th, 7 p.m.
500 Hope Street, Bristol
Free to members of the Society and of the Friends of Linden Place, $5 for the public.
Herreshoff Room, Rogers Free Library, October 20th, 3 p.m.
525 Hope Street, Brist
Free and open to the public.

Samuel Pomeroy Colt (1852-1921) was a Bristol industrialist, banker, politician and philanthropist responsible for much of the financial well being of late 19th century Bristol and Rhode Island.  

Born in New Jersey, Colt and his mother, Theodora DeWolf Colt, were in Bristol by 1865 living at Linden Place, built by his DeWolf grandfather and bought back into the family by his older brother Edward.  To settle any confusions, it should be noted here that it was not Samuel but his uncle, also named Samuel Colt, who was famous for his invention of the Colt revolver in Hartford, CT.  

Samuel Pomeroy Colt was successful and became very wealthy in his own right because of his brilliance and financial abilities.  He went from Bristol to study at MIT in Cambridge and followed that up by going to Columbia Law School in New York.  He later became a very successful lawyer and a foremost authority on the topic of corporate law.  He also was elected Rhode Island's Attorney General eight times!    In Bristol, he joined the Board of Directors of the National India Rubber Company which was failing and reorganized it to be the very successful United States Rubber Company and UniRoyal which employed much of Bristol.  He led a colorful life and traveled extensively.  He was also the owner of what we know today as Colt State Park in Bristol.

Claire Benson, Society Board Member, has done extensive research on Colt as well as other members of his family for the past six years.  She divides her time between living in Bristol and in San Jose, CA.  She has volunteered at the Society as a researcher for nearly 15 years.  In San Jose, she was the former Planning Commissioner for over 10 years.  She has done research on the Bristol-Cuba connection and the West African Slave Trade, focusing on the many Bristolians who lived in Cuba during the first half of the 19th century. In addition, Benson is an expert genealogist having researched her 17th century Rhode Island ancestors including the familiar names of early Bristol including Sanford, Smith, DeWolf, Diman, Alger, Howe and Munro.

SEPTEMBER is the Society's 
 "Let's Meet Our Local Authors" Month

with Dr. Patrick T. Conley, Richard V. Simpson and Christy Millard Nadalin

Sundays at 3 p.m -- September 14, 21 and 28

We are starting a series of Sunday afternoon presentations at Society Headquarters (48 Court Street) by local authors.  To begin, we've invited three writers who have published books and articles about Bristol and Rhode Island history.  We'll meet at the Society at 3 p.m., hear our "writer of the week" give a short talk about his/her work and answer our questions.  Afterwards we will serve iced tea and desserts and our author will be available for book signing and his/her books will be for sale.  

September 14th 
at 3 p.m.

Dr. Patrick T. Conley

Come and meet Rhode Island's "Historian Laureate" Dr. Patrick T. Conley who has at last count published some 26 books and along with an uncountable number of scholarly articles on a wide variety of subjects including history, law, ethnic studies, religion and political science.  His most recent book, published in 2013, People, Places, Laws, and Lore of the Ocean State includes a number of Bristol essays. A full professor at Providence College, Conley also practices law and manages a real estate development business.  He has received many awards for his study of history in Rhode Island and is chairman and founder of the Rhode Island Publications Society. Currently he is President of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame as well as the Heritage Harbor Museum.  A native Rhode Islander with highest honor degrees from Providence College, Notre Dame and Suffolk University Law School, Conley has made his home in Bristol with his wife, Gail,  for many years.

September 21st at 3 p.m.

Richard V. Simpson

Come and meet historian Richard Simpson who will be reading from two unpublished manuscripts:  the nonfiction ONCE UPON A TIME IN BRISTOL and the fiction SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES.

Simpson has published 12 books about Bristol history, all with unique early images he has been collecting from many sources for many years and about which he knows every detail. In his most recent book 
PRESERVING BRISTOL Restoring, Reviving and Remembering, he has expanded the dialogue of his earlier publications by providing biographies of Bristol's earliest citizens starting with the four founding fathers of the Town.  In addition to his many books, Simpson is a writer of articles published in the Bristol Phoenix, Parade Magazine, Yankee Magazine and the Providence Journal.  He also was a contributing editor for Antiques & Collecting Magazine where he has authored 85 articles!  Simpson is a native Rhode Islander who has lived in a historic house in downtown Bristol since 1960.

September 28th at 3 p.m.

Christy Millard Nadalin


Come and meet Christy Millard Nadalin, Bristol author and historian, who will give a talk about the inspiration and coming together of the "locals" in her recently published (July 2014) book LEGENDARY LOCALS OF BRISTOL.   This book is a story of Bristol's people from the start of its history and who better to pull all this information together than Nadalin who was born and bred in Bristol and knows almost everyone in town!  Most of us know her by her numerous news and opinion pieces in the East Bay Life but Nadalin has also contributed to books and documentary television productions on subjects ranging from cetacean zoology to Lenin to tyrannosaur feces.  A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Nadalin lives in a historic house in Bristol's downtown Historic District with her husband and children.





To expand on the Society's ongoing Bristol-Cuba research and programs, Professor Ocasio will discuss Costumbrismo which refers to depictions of life in Latin America in the 18th and 19th centuries.  This popular literary movement introduced some of the earliest black themes in Cuban literature.  Using both music and film clips, our speaker will highlight subjects from his book AFRO-CUBAN COSTUMBRISMO: FROM PLANTATIONS TO THE SLUMS and will examine ways in which Costumbrismo writers documented slaves' and freed Blacks' cultural practices.  

Professor Rafael Ocasio is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Spanish at Agnes Scott College in Decature, Georgia, and he specializes in contemporary Latin American literatures and culture. He has published three books and is currently working on an anthology of Franz Boas of Puerto Rico.

Sunday, June 22, 2014
2 to 4 p.m.

to meet Cynthia Mestad Johnson 

Over 100 people came to Linden Place this past Thursday to hear Cindy's lecture about James DeWolf, notorious slave trader, and his brilliant business acumen as to how he was to get away with importing slaves long after the United States banned this horrific trade.  She will be available to sign and sell copies of her book and to chat with you if you didn't have the chance to speak with her at Linden Place.

Slave trade is a piece of Bristol history.  This book is about Bristol's notorious slave trader James DeWolf and his brothers (and cousins and nephews and other extended family members) and their leading roles in the slave trade long after it was illegal in the United States.  Learn about DeWolf's flagrant manipulation of the laws and of people including U.S. Presidents -- all in the name of greed.  Johnson's book is well documented, much of it from primary sources from the Society's collection of DeWolf papers as well as from documents from the RI Historical Society, the National Archives, the Newport Historical Society, the Baker Library at Harvard, the papers of Presidents James Madison and Thomas Jefferson along with information gathered from books and articles as well as a variety of documents, photos and information from family members.  This very distressing chapter of Rhode Island and American history is now open and brought together in one very readable book.  It is no longer hidden in dusty documents or in the secrets behind closed doors.

Thursday, June 19th
7 p.m. at Linden Place Ballroom 

(500 Hope Street) 

Cynthia Mestad Johnson's 
presentation of her new book


This is a joint program with Linden Place with a follow-up reception scheduled at the Society for Cynthia Mestad Johnson on Sunday, June 22nd, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Slave trade is a piece of Bristol history.  This book is about Bristol's notorious slave trader James DeWolf and his brothers (and cousins and nephews and other extended family members) and their leading roles in the slave trade long after it was illegal in the United States.  Learn about DeWolf's flagrant manipulation of the laws and of people including U.S. Presidents -- all in the name of greed.  Johnson's book is well documented, much of it from primary sources from the Society's collection of DeWolf papers as well as from documents from the RI Historical Society, the National Archives, the Newport Historical Society, the Baker Library at Harvard, the papers of Presidents James Madison and Thomas Jefferson along with information gathered from books and articles as well as a variety of documents, photos and information from family members.  This very distressing chapter of Rhode Island and American history is now open and brought together in one very readable book.  It is no longer hidden in dusty documents or in the secrets behind closed doors.

Presentation is free to members of Linden Place and the Society.  $5 for non-members.
There is no charge for the follow-up reception at the Society.

Books will be available for sale at this presentation.  
Currently the book is for sale at the Society, at Linden Place and 
at Paper, Packaging and Panache (418 Hope Street).


10:30 "East Burial Ground"
3 p.m. "Small Streets of Bristol"

10:30 a.m. to 12 noon

"Keep Your Nose to the Gravestone"
with Vincent Luti,
lecturer, scholar and author of the book "Mallet and Chisel"

Vincent Luti will lead an exploration of the beautifully carved stones in this cemetery laid out in 1811.   Most of the stones, however, were originally located much earlier in a cemetery once located across the street in the southeast corner of the Town Common.  Dating back to the 17th century, these stones were carved by some of the best stone carvers in New England including some from the famous John Stevens Shop founded in 1705 in Newport which is still in business today.  Come listen to the story behind the story and learn about these talented stone carvers and their use of symbolism in their designs. 

 Meet at the Gate to the East Burial Ground on Wood Street across from the Town Common.  
$5 for members and $10 for non-members.  
This tour will be cancelled if it is raining.

3 p.m.

"Small Streets of Bristol"
with Dr. Kevin E. Jordan
Historic Preservationist
and retired Professor and Chair of the Historic Preservation Program
at Roger Williams University

Walk the in-between and smaller streets of Bristol with Dr. Jordan.  While Bristol's original 1680 street pattern was specifically laid out with 4 streets running north and south and 9 streets running east and west, many little streets cropped up in-between over the following centuries.  This fast paced tour will focus on those narrow streets and how they came about along with their associated history of people and the buildings that emerged.

This tour meets at the Society Headquarters at 48 Court Street at 3 p.m.  
$5 for members and $10 for non-members.
(Note:  This is a fast paced tour which will cover a lot of ground!)

May 18, 2014, at 2 p.m. "Bombed and Burned" tour of downtown Bristol with 18th century Captain Simeon Potter (aka the Society's Librarian and Curator, Ray Battcher) telling the stories of Bristol's bombing and burning during the Revolutionary War by British troops.   $10 for non members and $5 for members.  (Will be cancelled in case of heavy rain. Meet at the Society at 48 Court Street, Bristol, RI.
May 17, 2014, at 10 a.m.:  Juniper Hill Cemetery with Chris Fletcher, caretaker and arborist. Explore this amazing National Landmark cemetery with beautiful plantings and incredible history.  
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12th AT 7 P.M. AT THE BARN AT MOUNT HOPE FARM 250 METACOM AVENUE, BRISTOL, RI COMMONS, COTTAGES AND CAROUSELS:   RHODE ISLAND'S NATIONAL REGISTER PROPERTIES PRESENTATION BY JOANNA DOHERTY, SENIOR ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN  @ RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL PRESERVATION AND HERITAGE COMMISSION Discover the variety of Rhode Island properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's inventory of properties worthy of preservation.  Learn the benefits of a National Register listing and how it can encourage the protection of special places in your community, like Mount Hope Farm.

 Fireside Lectures are a collaboration between BH&PS & Mount Hope Farm. All begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the Barn at Mount Hope Farm, 250 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI. 
78th Annual Meeting of the BH&PSMonday, April 28, 2014
7 p.m.Herreshoff Community RoomRogers Free Library at 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
Business Meeting Followed by Presentation by Joanna M. Doherty, Architectural Historian

Business Meeting:  Annual Reports, Nominations and Election of Directors and Officers for 2014, Presentation and Adoption of Budget and items the Board or Members May Wish to Bring UpPresentation:  The National Register of Historic Places and Bristol PropertiesBristol has untold numbers of historic houses, public buildings and other structures from over 300 years of the Town's history.  From the early 1970s to 1998, Bristol had 13 entries onto the National Register including the large Bristol Waterfront District completed in 1975.  Also included were single buildings and places from a bridge to a jail to a lighthouse and to a cemetery.  Bristol also has a National Historic Landmark designated in 1983.Our speaker, Joanna Doherty, is an Architectural Historian with the RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission where she works specifically on the National Register for the State.

"Culture in Context:  The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology"  Presented by Dr. Robert W. Preucel, Director of the Haffenreffer Museum & Professor of Anthropology at Brown University The Haffenreffer Museum originated with the private collection of Rudolf F. Haffenreffer II who amassed over 60,000 objects collected from all over the world and housed originally on the Mount Hope Grant here in Bristol.  Today it is located on the Brown University campus in Providence and according to its website ( has over "one million ethnographic objects, archaeological specimens and images from all parts of the world with particular strengths in the Americas, Africa and Southeast Asia." Dr. Preucel has been director at the Museum since 2013 and is well known for his work in the American Southwest and especially on the archaeology of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in New Mexico. FIRESIDE LECTURE IN CONJUNCTION WITH MOUNT HOPE FARM KING PHILIP'S WAR  by Michael Tougias January 29, 2014 (snow date) 7 p.m. at The Barn at Mount Hope Farm Free to members of the Society and/or Mount Hope Farm $5 for non members Author Michael Tougias brings local history to life in his narrated slide presentation about King Philip's War, an important piece of our nation's history.  It was, on a per capita basis, the bloodiest conflict.  Tougias' presentation will discuss the Indian way of life, Colonial settlements and the events leading up to this cataclysmic war.   Michael Tougias
Painted Rooms of the East Bay, Rhode Island:   Bristol and Newport Counties before 1840 Sunday, January 26, 2014 (Snow Date is February 9th) 12:30 p.m. Sunday Buffet Dinner followed by Ann Eckert Brown's Talk Linden Place Ballroom 500 Hope Street, Bristol, RI $35 each Please make reservations by January 23rd -- see below. Ann Eckert Brown has been researching 18th century painting techniques for the past 50 years and as a result has written three books.  Her most recent is PAINTED ROOMS OF RHODE ISLAND: COLONIAL AND FEDERAL and is the focus of this talk with over 50 images of painted rooms in the East Bay area.  Copies of her book will be available for purchase. For RESERVATIONS  please call the Society at 401-253-7223. Or send names of guests attending and a check payable to BHPS for $35 each to: BHPS Dinner Meeting PO Box 356 Bristol, RI  02809-0356 It would be helpful if you included your phone number and email when making reservations in case we need to contact you about any changes. And please, please let us know you are coming by January 23rd at the very latest.  Thanks and see you there!!   Ann at one of her recent book signings!! 

Hidden History of Rhode Island and the Civil War Speaker:  Frank Grzyb Monday, November 4, 2013, 7 p.m. Herreshoff Community Room, Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol  Frank L. Grzyb will present his new book Hidden History of Rhode Island and the Civil War.  As the smallest state to defend the Union and one far from the battlefront, Rhode Island’s stories of the Civil War are often overlooked.  From Brown University’s John M. Hay, later to become Lincoln’s assistant secretary, to the city of Newport’s role as the temporary headquarters for the U.S. Naval Academy, the Civil War history of the Ocean State is a fascinating if little-known tale.  Few know that John Wilkes Booth visited Newport to meet his supposed fiancee just nine days before he assassinated President Lincoln.  The State also contributed several high-ranking officers to the Union effort and, more surprisingly, two prominent officers to the Confederacy. Remarkably, Kady Southwell Brownell also openly served as a soldier in a Rhode Island infantry regiment.  Join author Frank L. Grzyb as he talks about his investigation into Rhode Island’s rich Civil War history and unearths century-old stories that have since faded into obscurity.        Our speaker, Frank Grzyb is a decorated combat veteran and the author of three previous books including Rhode Island’s Civil War Hospital.  Retired from government service, he and  his wife reside in Portsmouth, R.I.   His book will be available for purchase and signing following the program. 

North Burial Ground Walking Tour 1081 Hope Street, Bristol, RI Saturday, November 2nd 10 a.m.
Meet at Cemetery entrance on Asylum Road -- this is the road that takes you inside Colt State Park from Hope Street.  Turn at the stop light and drive in through the Bull Gates.  Cemetery will be on your right.  Drive up until you see the gates and you may park along Asylum Road. This tour will be led by Jacob Begin, an American Studies PhD candidate, through this large and interesting layout.  Not only is he fascinated by the cemeteries themselves because of their history and their inhabitants but also because of the artwork and the creativity of the stones themselves. 

Juniper Hill Cemetery Walking Tour Saturday, October 26th, 2013 10 a.m. Meet at the Gate of the Cemetery at 24 Sherry Avenue, Bristol, RI * Join Christopher Fletcher, Juniper Hill's caretaker and local arborist from Bartlett Tree Experts, for a walking tour through this National Landmark Cemetery developed in the mid-1800s with its spectacular collection of trees including juniper, beech linden and native strands of oak and red maple. But this tour is not just about the trees and the beautiful stones and the romantic layout of the grounds.  The family plots of early Bristolians and other Rhode Islanders such as the Colts, the DeWolfs, the Herreshoffs, the Ushers, the Perrys and more are here.  And there are plenty of stories about them as well more about what a slave hauler named Captain Jim, a Quaker farmer named Levi DeWolf, an American President named Thomas Jefferson, a Puritan named Cotton Mather, a landscape designer named Fredercik Law Olmsted, a yacht designer named Nathaniel Greene Herreshoff ALL have in common at this very unique place. 

EAST BURIAL GROUND WALKING TOUR"HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EAST BURIAL GROUND" SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19TH AT 10:30   TOUR LEADER:  Vincent Luti The East Burial Ground was set out in 1811 as the eastward extension of the burial ground established in 1739 on the southeast quadrant of the Bristol Town Common.  The burial ground contains examples of the works of many 17th and early 18th century stone carvers from all over New England.Vincent Luti, renowned author of Mallet and Chisel, lecturer and scholar of the stone carver’s art will lead this fascinating tour and talk through the East Burial Ground and identify these carvers, what the symbolic designs on the stones signify and reveal how society’s view of burials and death has changed since the Colonial period.   Luti will focus on the best of the stones. The stone carving work includes Bristol’s own Richard Smith, an original settler in 1680, William Throop, Jr  and William Coy(e).  Coye, born in Bristol, carved the headstone of his cousin Sarah Swan in 1757, when he was a 17 years old apprentice to Plymouth stone carver Stephen Hartshawn.  There are also examples of stones from the Stephens Shop in Newport and the George Allen Shop in Providence as well as many representations of master stone carvers from all over New England and a few from beyond. The fact that so many stones came from other places emphasizes Bristol’s position as a force in the maritime trade of the period. 
SEPTEMBER PROGRAM BY POPULAR DEMAND, THERE IS AN EXTRA PRESENTATION BY CLAIRE BENSON ABOUT MADAME COLT OF LINDEN PLACE FAME EVENT:  Thursday, September 26, 2013 3 pm at Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI MADAME COLT:  Matriarch of Bristol Speaker:  Claire Benson CO-SPONSORED BY LINDEN PLACE AND THE BRISTOL HISTORICAL AND PRESERVATION SOCIETY Come listen to a talk of Claire Benson's extensive research into the life of Madame Theodora D'Wolf Colt who reclaimed her family home after being away for 40 years.  She renamed it Linden Place and made it one of the most beautiful mansions in New England.  Madame Colt also came to dominate Bristol Society for many years.  Born in Bristol, Madame Colt lived in Cuba, Hartford, CT, and Patterson, NJ, before returning "home" to Bristol which she had left when her father whisked the family away when she was just five years old.  Benson has researched letters and documents from throughout New England and collected photographs from a variety of historic collections.

 August Program Rhode Island's Civil War Hospital Speaker:  Frank Grzyb Monday, August 5, 2013, at 7 p.m. Herreshoff Community Room at the Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI A little known piece of Civil War history took place in Portsmouth Grove, Portsmouth, RI, between 1862 and 1865.  The stories about this Portsmouth Grove general army hospital where thousands of wounded Union soldiers along with Confederate prisoners recuperated provide a new perspective on the interaction between the army and local society in wartime -- and on life in Civil War America.  Frank Grzyb's study details hospital life and medical care along with later adventures of former patients and staff.  He even follows the stories to the final resting places of those who died on the grounds. Author and Portsmouth resident, Frank L. Grzyb will present his book RHODE ISLAND'S CIVIL WAR HOSPITAL:  LIFE AND DEATH AT PORTSMOUTH GROVE, 1862-1865.  Copies will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting.  A graduate of Nichols College and Fairleigh Dickinson University Graduate School, Frank Grzyb served in the army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation, the Vietnam Service and the Vietnam Campaign medals.

EAST BURIAL GROUND WALKING TOUR    SATURDAY, JUNE 29TH, AT 10 A.M.   SATURDAY, JULY 13TH, AT 10 A.M. Meet at the Burial Ground, Wood Street (East of the Town Common)  The East Burial Ground was set out in 1811 as the eastward extension of the burial ground established in 1739 on the southeast quadrant of the Bristol Town Common.  The burial ground contains examples of the works of many 17th and early 18th century stone carvers from all over New England. Vincent Luti, renowned author of Mallet and Chisel, lecturer and scholar of the stone carver’s art will lead this fascinating tour through the East Burial Ground and identify these carvers, what the symbolic designs on the stones signify and reveal how society’s view of burials and death has changed since the Colonial period.    The works includes Bristol’s own Richard Smith, an original settler in 1680, William Throop, Jr  and William Coy(e).  Coye, born in Bristol, carved the headstone of his cousin Sarah Swan in 1757, when he was a 17-year-old apprentice to Plymouth stone carver Stephen Hartshawn.  There are also examples of stones from the Stephens shop in Newport and George Allen’s shop in Providence as well as many representations of master stone carvers from all over New England and a few from beyond.  The fact that so many stones came from other places emphasizes Bristol’s position as a force in the Maritime trade of the period. $5 to members and $10 for non-members.   

 JUNE PROGRAM Monday, June 24, 2013, at 7 p.m. Herreshoff Community Room Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI RHODE ISLAND SCRIMSHAW MYSTERIES:   Scrimshaw and its Ties to Bristol Speaker:  Richard Donnelly Photo:  A  SCRIMSHAW SWIFT made by Bristol Sea Captain Spencer Pratt What started as a mystery with a broken cardboard box full of pieces of  a scrimshaw swift and an inlaid mahogany box on display on the Society’s 2nd floor has ended with a marvelous reconstruction of the swift and connections to Bristol Sea Captain Spencer Pratt.  Pratt, the carver and maker of the boxes, was an artisan and officer of the Ship Mechanic. Prior to Mr. Donnelly’s visit to the Society, there were only four boxes known made by Spencer Pratt.  Ours increased the number to five.  Recently, Richard has located another Pratt box and swift at the Mystic Seaport bringing the number to six.  This presentation, will introduce us to the basics of scrimshaw and the story of Spencer Pratt as well as showing the process of putting the swift back together without any pictures to guide the process.   Our speaker, Richard Donnelly, is an antiques dealer, photographer and sleuth extraordinaire.  In the recent catalog of the scrimshaw collections of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved, all of the photographs are by Richard.  The New Bedford scrimshaw collection is the largest in the world.  Richard is a member of the Society and lives in Barrington.  .

FIRESIDE LECTURES Presented by Mount Hope Farm and the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 LEGENDS:  THE WOMEN IN KING PHILIP'S WAR by Edward Lodi.  Though often overlooked by historians, a number of remarkable women played major roles in King Philip's War.  Edward Lodi will present the stories of serveral of these women whose names have been lost to history but whose exploits have become the stuff of legend.

 Wednesday, March 20, 2013 FROM EAST TO WEST:  THE ROOTS OF "BEAUTIFUL BRISTOL" by Dr. Sara Butler This talk will focus on Charles Adam Platt's 1902 design for a Country Place at North Farm as a trailblazing effort of landscaping preservation.  Platt incorporated a portion of Dr. George Rogers Hall's notable collection of nineteenth century trees and shrubs, many of which were imported from Japan.  Snow date is March 27th.

Founded in 1936 to promote interest in historical research and preservation, to stimulate the study of the history of Southern New England, especially the Town of Bristol, to collect and preserve whatever pertains thereto, and to provide museum quarters for the exhibition of the same and a meeting space for our members.

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