The history of South Kingstown in Washington County and New Shoreham on Block Island in Newport County are recalled through a mixture of colorful tales and factual data in this new 48 page illustrated spiral-bound booklet, reprinted from two hard-to-find books: History of the State of Rhode Island published in 1878 by Hoag, Wade and Co., Philadelphia, and Rhode Island, a Guide to the Smallest State, a WPA project published in 1937. The booklet measures 11" x 8 1/2" and is printed one-sided on 60# paper. A clear vinyl sheet has been added to protect cover, which is printed in copper, blue and black on Natural Skytone Parchtone stock. South Kingstown includes the past and/or present communities of: Biscuit City, Mooresfield, Narragansett Ferry, Peacedale (Peace Dale), and Rocky Brook, Kingstown, Tower Hill, Wakefield, West Kingstown. The 1878 book excerpts cover the early development of this area, while passages from the WPA book, give a nostalgic glimpse from a later vantage point, including interesting historical notes, especially as they relate to sightseeing possibilities. Among the many and diverse subjects taken from these books are: Physical features and geological traits; Various Names of Block Island; Massacre of English trader and what followed; Early Settlers and Population Origins; apportionment of lots on Block Island, with names and lot numbers; Forests and Fisheries; Post Office, Education and Hotels on Block Island; Secret Societies; Physicians; Boatbuilding, Blacksmithing and other employments; Churches; Narragansett Swamp, site of a bitter contest in King Philip's War; Vthe Niantics, Narragansett and Pequot Indians; First Town Officers; Early Organization of South Kingstown; the divided loyalties of the distinguished Hazard family of South Kingstown; the distinguished Perry family, including Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the War of 1812; other notables, including Dr. Torrey, Dr. McSparran, Dr. Sylvester Gardiner, and the Helme, Minturn, Potter, Robinson and Brown families; the romantic tale of Hannah Robinson; the colorful life of Capt. Benjamin Wilson "King of Wahalemen and Prince of the Sea," Site of the Palatine Graves, "Weaver Rose," and other interesting bits of history and trivia. There's also an early map of the state, a population table, many points of interest noted throughout the area. The booklet contains two very nice sketches of early hotels on Block Island: Spring House and Ocean View Hotel, along with their proprietors. There are also photos of the Rhode Island State College campus and gymnasium, and the Oliver Hazard Perry House.
Block Island, RI
Sources: History of the State of Rhode Island / Block Island Area History
Authors: John Warner Barber
Original Publication Year: 1878
Original Publisher: Hoag, Wade and Co.
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