Amidst the flurry of trains and industry that marked this area during the 19th century was a much needed bucolic retreat, what we now call Burnside Park. Adjacent to the historic transportation hub of Providence, Burnside Park was originally created…

Created as Exchange Place in the 19th century, Kennedy Plaza stands out in a neighborhood defined by change. It’s served same role for over a century: the city’s central transportation hub. Today, as many as 69,000 people move through the site…

A visionary and independent thinker, Roger Williams (c. 1603 – 1683) was warned by the Puritan authorities in Massachusetts Bay Colony to refrain from spreading his “new and dangerous opinions.” Williams’s “opinions” did not sit well with…

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

Imagine a stereotypical small farm with a few chickens pecking around the yard, the sun shining on their bright red feathers. This image is close to the reality in Little Compton today, but for a few decades the town was the center of an…

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

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

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

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

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

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

He looks surprised to see her but who can blame him? Goddesses do not often descend from the heavens and communicate with humans. The goddess Liberty hands a spear to a young farmer, still holding his plow. Leave your work in the fields! Take up arms…

All across America people ridiculed and smashed Henry D. Cogswell’s fountains, but this one survives in downtown Pawtucket.Cogswell – a dentist, millionaire, and crusader in the temperance movement against alcohol – had not always been a…

In 1873, an economic depression gripped the country and threatened the future of the Gorham Manufacturing Company. The company’s skilled metalworkers and innovative designers had a reputation for creating quality goods, but none of these things…