Tiverton: Almost Forgotten

What you didn't know about Tiverton will surprise you. From Paul Revere to Charles Nelson Reilly, from a brutal form of punishment to a heroic Revolutionary War raid, Tiverton's history is captured in its familiar and almost-forgotten places. This tour presents an overview of the town's history--by no means comprehensive, but illuminating in its detail.

The Battle of Rhode Island

During August 1778, Tiverton was the fulcrum on which the American Revolution teetered. From all over New England militiamen marched along dusty roads to rendezvous at the fort on Tiverton Heights. From Gloucester, Newburyport, and Marblehead came…

Colonel Barton's Raid

On the night of July 9, 1777, a young Rhode Island militia officer named William Barton and a small raiding party slipped through British defenses on the Portsmouth shore and carried away General Richard Prescott—wearing nothing but his…

Whitridge Hall

This site, the former Whitridge Hall, served as the launching pad for a memorable show business career. In the 1950s, a summer theater troupe called this building home. The troupe hired an 18-year-old actor named Charles Nelson Reilly, who made his…

The Old Stone Bridge

A tall man in a long, dark coat and a broad-brimmed hat walked the 2,000 feet across Stone Bridge from the Portsmouth shore to the Tiverton side, where a toll keeper waited to collect his fare. The man passed the money to the keeper, William…

Bridgeport and the Pogy Fleet

In the early 1900s, Tiverton was well-known for the stench of rotting fish. One local writer described the odor wafting from the menhaden factories along the Sakonnet River as “Rhode Island’s most famous smell. Even the strongest and bravest were…

The Whipping Post

Jane Tobes, possibly an enslaved woman, admitted that she brought rum to the men working in the fields, enticing them to neglect their work and get drunk. So, on July 7, 1772, the judge of the Tiverton Court, Job Almy, laid down the law: “I do…

Chace-Cory House

The Chace-Cory House, built around 1730 by Benjamin or Abner Chace, witnessed the passing of many Tiverton generations by its front door. Once a lonely house, it has seen nearly 300 years of change at Four Corners. Its floorboards are well-worn by…

Old Stone Baptist Church

There was a time when, if a bride wanted to walk up the aisle at the Old Stone Baptist Church, she had to hoist herself, gown and all, through one of the church’s back windows. Most churches place the pulpit and the main entrance at opposite ends…

Bourne Mill

Strike! Strike! Strike! It was a warm summer day in July of 1904, and tensions were running high in Fall River, Massachusetts. Earlier in the month, the Fall River Cotton Manufacturers’ Association had announced a 12.5% wage cut in all of the…

Mark's Stadium

It was the Golden Era of soccer in the United States, and there was no question about the top team, the Fall River Marksmen. The 1923-24 Marksmen team was a dominant force in the American Soccer League during a time when southeastern New England was…

Town Farm

In June 1830, the residents of Tiverton gathered for the annual town meeting, an opportunity for the freemen of the town to participate in local government. Included on the day’s agenda was a proposal to create a town farm as a refuge for the…

Sin and Flesh Brook

It was March 28, 1676, and Zoeth Howland was riding through the deep woods of Tiverton. According to the story that has been told for more than 300 years, Howland never made it to his destination. Later that day, town residents discovered his…