More utility lines will soon be buried, beautifying the Paradise Valley, Third Beach and Indian Avenue areas of Middletown.
The Scenic Aquidneck Coalition, made up of the Preservation Society, Preserve Rhode Island and the Aquidneck Land Trust, is excited to announce that 77 utility poles will be eliminated along 1.2 miles of roadway in this area. This section of Middletown has been beloved by artists, thinkers and writers since the 18th century and it includes a National Wildlife Refuge and a nonprofit bird sanctuary.
Putting the utility lines underground not only will enhance scenic views, but will also improve resiliency during hurricanes and flooding. More than 90 percent of the project’s $3.8 million cost is being funded through donations from residents in the area as well as a grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation. Construction is expected to begin later this month.
We thank the donors who made this effort possible, and salute our partners in the Scenic Aquidneck Coalition.
It seems like a long time since we welcomed guests to The Breakers. Of course, it’s a small fraction of the nearly 72 years we have been giving tours!
On June 17, 1948, the Preservation Society signed a lease for The Breakers with Countess Szechenyi, née Gladys Moore Vanderbilt, — daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II — for a token $1 per year, allowing it to open the first floor of the house to the public for paid tours. Less than two weeks later, the first visitors went through the doors. Formerly seen by only a privileged few, the house drew 8,339 visitors in the first month of operation and 26,200 by the end of that first season in late October.
Our founder and longtime President Katherine Warren later reminisced she was worried no one would come! Today, The Breakers has been visited by over 23 million people.
We look forward to welcoming back guests to The Breakers and The Elms soon!
Follow Revolutionary Spaces for all updates!Silence is violence. As a new organization striving for a just, equitable future, we cannot ignore the injustices Black people in America face every single day.
As a nation, we look to our history to tell us who we are. Too often our founding history has been enlisted to justify inequality and legitimize white supremacy. We cannot allow this to happen any longer. We must recognize and credit the many Black and Brown people who have contributed so much to the ongoing American experiment. While we can’t change the past, we have a duty to tell the truth about the founding of our nation, and we stand committed to exploring this history in new and honest ways.
We know we have work to do as a public history organization striving to be anti-racist in our practices. But we stand here committed to listening, to learning, to growing. This is only the beginning. ... See MoreSee Less
The US Army stationed soldiers of the segregated Second Battalion of the 366th Infantry at the Dunns' Corner section of North Yarmouth. The soldiers guarded the Royal River Grand Trunk Railroad Bridge, which provided an important connection between Maine and Canada. American troops were segregated until 1948 when President Harry Truman signed an executive order that ended segregation in the military. Early in World War II, Black troops were not allowed at the front lines, which is why African American soldiers were guarding Maine rail lines and bridges. That changed, however, and Black troops fought with distinction, which helped bring about the integration in the armed forces. MHS is planning on a collaboration -- "A Convenient Soldier" -- this summer. Stay tuned for more details. ... See MoreSee Less
New video available online! Watch "Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington" with Ted Widmer, Macaulay Honors College (CUNY). Take a look at upcoming online programs at www.masshist.org/calendar. ... See MoreSee Less
New video available online! Watch "The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America, 1600-1870" with Daniel R. Mandell, Truman State University, and Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Take a look at our upcoming online programs at www.masshist.org/calendar. ... See MoreSee Less
Although CT museums may be allowed to open on June 20, our first priority is to do everything in our power to keep the WDS family safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. As much as we anticipate seeing visitors, members and co-workers, our immediate goals are to prepare for reopening at a future date by following state guidelines for operations and the mandatory self-certification process before opening.
Construction of the new Education and Visitor Center remains on schedule with an expected completion date in late July. We continue to work behind the scenes to maintain the property and plan for when we reopen. We are retaining all staff and look forward to their return to a normal work schedule.
We look forward to welcoming you back to WDS at the earliest opportunity! Please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions in the meantime.
Henry Gartley shares this image of a bust of George that was erected by the Free Masons in Houlton. The first president is taking the Covid-19 pandemic seriously and modeling safety by wearing a face mask. Do you have a photo you would like to share for Maine History? It's easy to do - check it out: www.mainememory.net/share/individuals.shtml... See MoreSee Less
Our next virtual program will be on Thursday, June 18, at 5:30 p.m. with landscape historian Judith Major, who will discuss the pioneering art, architecture, and landscape critic Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer and her life and work in Newport.
To join this Zoom presentation, entitled “The News of Newport: Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer is Expected for the Season,” please send an email, including your full name and the subject line “Judith Major lecture,” to [email protected] or click here, and you will receive information on how to connect.
When the Newport Mansions reopen, all of our guests and employees will be required to wear a face covering. With that in mind, here is a practical option that is re-usable and also supports local business.
This cotton poly-blend nautical chart face mask is double-layered and machine washable. They can be purchased at our Newport Mansions Store at Bannister’s Wharf or online by visiting Newportstyle.net.
Vermont’s Green Up Day celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. In 1970, the day featured closed interstate highways, coerced schoolchildren, and shouted encouragement from a buzzing Cessna. Listen to the latest episode of Before Your Time to learn more! ... See MoreSee Less
Save the weekend! #Juneteenth2020 is coming up and we’ve got several virtual events planned from June 18th-20th to celebrate, including Cooking with Selina Choate: A Soul Food Cooking Show! Head to our website for more info and we hope to see you there! ow.ly/ud1450zT2Fz... See MoreSee Less
For today's #sharingSaturday, we're sharing the story of New Hampshire's transatlantic cable.
On July 15, 1874, the U.S. terminus of the first direct, high-speed, fully submerged transatlantic telegraph cable was laid at Rye Beach, New Hampshire. When the 3,000-mile cable was made functional the following year it connected Rye Beach to Balinskelligs Bay in County Kerry, Ireland.
Because it was the first such cable to terminate on U.S. soil rather than in Canada, its placement at Rye Beach attracted national attention, with stories about it appearing in both "Harper’s Weekly" and "Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper." Europe and America could now share information in a matter of seconds rather than weeks.
The cable remained in service until the 1950s and is still there, lying on a stretch of beach known as the Sunken Forest and visible only during exceptionally low tides.
For more on this story, visit the Timeline of New Hampshire History, below. ... See MoreSee Less
#200forMaine200. Moses Greenleaf created maps of Maine before, during, and after statehood. Greenleaf was an advocate of Maine statehood, and his maps provided government officials and citizens information about Maine’s geography and resources, contributing to the pro-separationist movement. Survey expeditions to interior and Northern Maine informed this 1815 map. Fanciful depictions of rivers, mountain ranges, and lakes seen on earlier maps are instead informed by data here. For the first time, Moosehead Lake is shown in its entirety and Katahdin—the state’s highest mountain—appears. ... See MoreSee Less
#FashionFriday. Leavitt Family coat-dress, Eastport, ca. 1830. The Maine Historical Society’s historic clothing collection includes several items from the stylish Leavitts of Eastport, Maine. This mulberry taffeta coat-dress is one such item. It may have belonged to Harriet Lamphrey (d. 1840), who married into the family when she married Benjamin Leavitt in 1824. The very full "leg of mutton" sleeves -- also known as gigot sleeves -- are emblematic of fashions of the 1830-1835 period. The style takes its name because its sleeves resemble a mutton chop. The fullness and placement of the puffs rose and fell during the era. This garment is from the style’s earlier years. ... See MoreSee Less
#200forMaine200. In July 1814, British troops began occupying Eastport, Maine — a lucrative shipping port they claimed was part of their territory. Great Britain attempted to regain this land, advertising for peace in New England newspapers and suggesting a plan calling for the annexation of Eastern Maine to Canada. Some conservative Massachusetts Federalists seemed ready to agree to these terms. Although it did not come to pass, the willingness to sacrifice Maine became a major rallying cry as separationists reorganized at the end of the war. The War of 1812 ended in early 1815, but Eastport continued to be under British control for another 4 years. In 1818, Eastport was the last American territory occupied by the British to be returned to the United States. Except for the brief capture of two Aleutian Islands in Alaska by the Japanese in World War II, it was the last time that United States soil was occupied by a foreign government. www.mainememory.net/sitebuilder/site/2843/page/4480/display... See MoreSee Less
Today we debut the first of our periodic WDS Digging Deeper Video Series! Intrepid tour guide and educator Will Conard-Malley offers bits of wisdom on life in the three historic houses comprising the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. We'd love to get your feedback below! www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0ZYnu1bqec... See MoreSee Less
Teach your kids about everyone's favorite sea monster, Champ, with the resources for children and families on our website. You'll learn about Lake Champlain, the history of the Champ legend, and make your own version of Champ, like this 1959 sock puppet from our collection. buff.ly/2B7Kiix... See MoreSee Less
Did you know every family has a unique history? How can you uncover the stories of your ancestors? Tune into this episode of Kat's Creative Corner to find out! Then, work together to create a family tree! Visit our blog for the link to the activity: chs.org/blog-2/ ... See MoreSee Less
This one was too easy for you history buffs! It's a blue metal electric hair dryer on a stand. The dryer detaches from the stand to become a hand-held model. There are two switches, one for ON/OFF and one for HOT/COLD. A metal plate attached to the hand-held piece identifies this as a HANDY-HANNAH electric Hair dryer from the Standard Products Corp, Whitman, Mass.
Gift of Olive Romerio Franzi of Barre, VT.
If a hair dryer, did it have a hose attached to a head covering? Like in salons- those boofy bits that get all puffed up while blowing hot air on your head? Lol
Not that different from the hair dryer my Mom used for 20 years!
I quess hair dryer but that seems to easy. So. Maybe a speaker of some sort
I have one, it was my mom's. A hair dryer.
Hair dryer, but also served really well to thaw frozen pipes
For thawing car door locks after the ice storm.
Early air conditioning unit. Place bowl of ice in front of the vents, plug in, fan inside blows cooler air out the nozzle?
I’m guessing a hair dryer, but it could totally be a fan. Maybe coupled with an ice box to provide AC?
An air moving device.
Early hand held hair dryer.
Hair dryer...had one!
Telephone switchboard operator handset
Hair dryer ?
An early hand held hair dryer. I've one from the 1920s.
On 17 May 1816, First Lady Dolley Madison wrote to her friend Caroline (Langdon) Eustis. She started by apologizing for not writing earlier, complaining, “my occupations have increased seven fold since you left me, & caused me to forget (allmost) the use of my pen.” This letter seems to be Madison’s answer to a letter written by her “devoted friend” Eustis in September 1815. Both letters are part of a collection of 16 letters to William and Caroline Eustis at the MHS. Read more about this letter exchange. ... See MoreSee Less
Peterborough Town Library is the first library supported by taxation in the world! The Rev. Abiel Abbot led the effort to found the library in 1833. At first books were kept in a local store. In 1873 the collection moved to the Town House. By 1890, George Shattuck Morison was designing a new dedicated library building. Today the library is about to undergo a restoration and renovation to build a new library for the 21st century!
#DidYouKnow Many early celebrations of the Emancipation Proclamation, funded by a grant from Unitarian minister, Rev. Daniel Austin, were held in South Ward Hall, this building on Marcy Street was also the first home of People’s Baptist Church, the only Black church in New Hampshire until the mid-twentieth century. The congregation met here from the early 1890s until 1915, when they moved into their own church on Pearl Street. ... See MoreSee Less
Curious about learning your family's history but don't know where to start? Join our virtual Summer Genealogy Workshop Series and learn the basics needed to kickstart your research! Complete individual workshops or the entire series. Each workshop is 90 minutes on Zoom. Limited online consultations appointments will be offered following each class. Free for VHS and VT Genealogy Library Members. $10/session or $25/series for non-members.
Saturday, June 13: "Genealogy 101" Saturday, July 11: "Using DNA for Genealogy" Saturday, August 8: "Using Newspapers for Genealogy"
"Historical archives often distort the past, magnifying privileged voices and silencing others. So historians and archivists are mobilizing social media and other technologies to build new archives that capture how diverse Americans are experiencing this moment.The collections that emerge will shape the questions that future scholars, students, and citizens can answer when they seek to understand this pandemic. How was the outbreak felt differently across lines of race, class, gender, and geography? How did it change higher education? How can the decisions Americans are making today inform their response to the next pandemic?" Read on... ... See MoreSee Less
We're so excited to share with you our very first online auction! Take a look here at an amazing array of art and objects from some of Rhode Island's most creative and accomplished artists and makers! Here is just one of the many items available. New items are being added, so please check back often! bit.ly/2ZyGmS8... See MoreSee Less
Happy 100th Birthday Dublin Historical Society!It was 100 years ago today that Articles of Agreement were filed with the Secretary of State in Concord, creating the Dublin Historical Society as a legal body corporate in the State of New Hampshire. ... See MoreSee Less
For today's #sharingSaturday and in honor of Memorial Day, we are sharing the story of the Yankee Division and the Ground War in Europe, 1917-1918, a program originally presented and recorded in 2017 as part of the Society's spring lecture series, "New Hampshire and the Great War." This lecture was delivered by Professor Hugh Dubrulle of the St. Anselm College History Department. ... See MoreSee Less
The Andrews Sisters sang it best: "I'm a patriotic jitterbug, yeah, yeah, that's what I am."
If you'd like a reason to get all dolled up and get in the swing of things, consider joining us on Thursday for Showtime on the Homefront, a virtual shindig celebrating the performing arts of WWII. We have a full lineup of stars to keep you entertained, with the vocal stylings of Wensday, dance performances and how-tos with CHIFFEROBE, and a costume contest judged by Haley Star. All partygoers will also receive a package featuring food and drink recipes, playlists, printable decorations and much more to get you in the spirit. Plus, you can request a private breakout room for you and your pals to enjoy games, drinks, and trivia.
Are you playing cards a bit more these days? We celebrate National Solitaire Day with this deck of playing cards used by Albert G. Walker (1836-1902), from Glastonbury, who was a successful magician in the mid 19th century. (Read more about him at bit.ly/3girygC). The cards were made by the L. I. Cohen company. Lewis I. Cohen was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but moved to London, England in 1814. Here he was apprenticed to his half-brother Solomon Cohen who had a business manufacturing pencils. In 1819 he returned to the USA and quickly made a name for himself as the first American to make lead pencils and for introducing steel pens to the USA. However, Cohen's greatest achievement was in developing playing card manufacture through mechanized color printing. He published his first deck in 1832. He was one of the pioneers of printing four colors in one pass, registering his color-printing machine in 1835. Lewis Cohen retired in 1845 and the company eventually became the New York Consolidated Card Company. So, grab your deck of cards and deal yourself a hand of solitaire. ... See MoreSee Less
Check out this scavenger hunt (using the MHS catalog ABIGAIL) a staff member put together! Can you find something in our collection that was created pre-1500? How about an artifact owned by a First Lady of the United States? And an item created the year your grandmother was born? Click on the link to see the entire list and let us know what you find. ... See MoreSee Less
*Just 1 week until*: **Showtime On the Homefront!** Get your tickets now for our virtual shindig at: www.rihs.org/event/showtime/ . We will travel back to the 1940s to enjoy archival film footage, a vignette collections tour, silent art auction, Rhode Island trivia, and much more while supporting the enduring work of the RIHS. Pictured here is part of the WWII efforts to be found in the Girls’ City Club (GCC) of Providence collection (MSS 438) [RhiX173637] YOU make our work possible. ... See MoreSee Less
This Connecticut Folklife video takes us into Kunga Choekyi's kitchen, where she walks us through the process of making two kinds of Tibetan momo: Garlic Chive Momo (Chu-tse Momo) and Beef Momo (Sha Momo). Have you ever eaten a Tibetan steamed dumpling here in Connecticut? Do you think you'll try to make one now? #FolkloreThursday#foodways#folklife... See MoreSee Less
Ready for some midweek motivation? Today is National Be a Millionaire Day and we are sharing the story of Rhode Island’s first Irish millionaire, a true rags-to-riches story: Joseph Banigan!
Banigan was born in Ireland in 1839. Eight years later, he immigrated to the United States with his family as they fled the Irish potato famine. After only a year of American schooling, he joined the child labor force full-time. By his late twenties, Banigan had devised a way around Charles Goodyear’s rubber vulcanization patient and had gone into the rubber-making business with $100,000 of crowd-funded capitol.
With Banigan at the helm, the Woonsocket Rubber Co. became the leading rubber manufacturer in the country, due in large part to his progressive policies and modern production techniques. He built Alice Mill in Woonsocket to house part of his production facilities and named it after his mother. Banigan sold the enterprise to United States Rubber Company in 1893 for a whopping $9,000,000. In exchange, he became president of US Rubber Co., a position he held for three years. After butting heads with the rest of the board, he left the conglomerate to, once again, create his own rubber company: Joseph Bannigan Rubber Co. That same year, he constructed the Banigan Building on Weybosset Street in Providence, which was RI’s first skyscraper!
Joseph Banigan was more than just a business tycoon; he was a lauded philanthropist. He helped establish the Home for the Aged Poor, St. Vincent De Paul Infant Asylum, St Joseph's Hospital, and St. Maria's Home for Working Girls. He contributed large endowments to Catholic University and Brown University. He also provided Irish immigrants, like him, with a helping hand in Yankee Rhode Island. He routinely hired Irish-Americans and treated them with respect they seldom saw outside his establishments. Banigan’s philanthropy was recognized by Pope Leo XIII in 1885 when he was named a Knight of Saint Gregory. By the time Joseph Banigan died in 1898, he had left an indelible mark on the state of Rhode Island that can still be seen to this day! ... See MoreSee Less
Debbie Downer here. Any honest review of history would include some context. The riches that came about from rubber manufacturing were either directly or indirectly tied to forced labor in Africa (Belgian Congo) and elsewhere. Behind every millionaire, no matter how sincere in their philanthropy, there lies the ripple effects of an extraction economy. Look for heroes and admire them for their virtuous acts, but always remember there's probably more to the story.
All homeowners in Rhode Island are millionaires!
Otherwise you couldn't afford the home. Let's face it if you make 50 Grand a year in 20 years you're a millionaire
He was instrumental in helping my great grandfather and brothers . My great grand uncle became an attorney and city councilman because of him.
Scott Molly’s biography, “Irish Titan, Irish Toilers” was excellent.
Nice quick coverage of a part of Rhode Island history, makes one eager to know more.
"I intend next week (Thursday) to be inoculated by Doctr. Joseph Gardner at Point Shirley...it would be a singular pleasure to me if you and I could be pockey Companions," wrote Jonathan Sewall to John Adams on 15 February 1764. While we don't have a response from Adams to Sewall's offer, we know that Adams was inoculated against smallpox in April 1764. Similar to some of the fears we face with COVID-19 today, Adams was concerned about infecting loved ones by sending mail. In a 26 April 1764 letter, he explained to Abigail Adams that he hadn't written for a few days due to,"an Absolute Fear to send a Paper from this House, so much infected as it is, to any Person lyable to take the Distemper but especially to you." Click on the link to read more about getting inoculated in the 18th century. ... See MoreSee Less
Imagine you were a kid 70 years ago! What toys would you have played with? Would they be the same as your toys today? Tune into this episode of Objects Tell Stories to explore some popular toys from the 1950s and 1960s and discover what they can tell us about the past! Visit bit.ly/2ZnxezC to download our homemade Silly Putty recipe! ... See MoreSee Less
On May 19, 1943, Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered his second speech to a joint session of the United States Congress. He was in Washington for the third Washington Conference, which lasted from May 12–25, 1943.
In the speech, Churchill pledged full British support in the war against Japan. He also warned that the real danger facing the Allies was the “dragging out of the war at enormous expense.”
Later that day, Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt met at the White House, where they agreed on May 1, 1944 as the date for the D-Day Invasion of France (though this date would be delayed just over a month to June 6, 1944). ... See MoreSee Less
In the winter of 1764, smallpox descended on Boston and John Adams went to get inoculated against it. You might have heard that Edward Jenner pioneered the smallpox vaccine in 1796--so how did Adams get inoculated in 1764? It is because Adams used an earlier method of inoculation called "variolation," rather than Jenner's "vaccination." Click on the link to read "Variolation vs. Vaccination: 18th Century Developments in Smallpox Inoculation," a recent post on our blog. ... See MoreSee Less
This week’s #MuseumMonday features the Port Royal Band Books: 21 volumes of handwritten music used by the Port Royal Band between 1861 and 1865. In July 1861, Gustavus W. Ingalls was commissioned to organize a band for the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment. It became one of the most famous Civil War ensembles, now best remembered as the Port Royal Band, due to an extensive duty tour at Port Royal Island, SC. This page is from the 1st Eb Cornet Post Band, No 2., LMC. Learn more at: www.nhhistory.org/object/303678/1st-eb-cornet-post-band-no-2-lmc... See MoreSee Less
For today's #sharingSaturday, we share the story of how the Concord coach helped settle the West.
On April 15, 1868, a train carrying 30 locally produced stagecoaches departed Concord for Omaha, Nebraska, where they were put to use by the Wells Fargo Company. The trainload was the Abbot, Downing and Company’s largest-ever single shipment.
The company’s Concord coach was already a well-known figure in westward expansion, used throughout the United States, Mexico, South America, Australia, and South Africa. The thoroughbraces—long leather strips 3 inches thick—made the coach’s design unique and offered passengers a smoother ride than other coaches. Each Abbot, Downing coach was also custom made with distinctive artwork painted on the exteriors. The Concord coach became the most commonly used public conveyance until well into the 20th century and a symbol of America’s westward expansion.
For more on this story, visit the Timeline of New Hampshire History, below. ... See MoreSee Less