There is a new web site devoted to Rhode Island’s historical societies, collections, and sites.
RHODI, the Rhode Island History Online Directory Initiative is a new website from the Rhode Island Historical Society. Explore it today to learn more about the organizations, museums, libraries and preservation sites that are dedicated to Rhode Island’s history.
If you are visiting Rhode Island, or looking for information from a distance, you can learn more about available resources by following the many links at the RHODI website.
Visiting the Roger Williams National Memorial
Speaking of historical sites, I recently visited Rhode Island’s only National Memorial (there are no National Parks in Rhode Island).
The Roger William National Memorial is located in Providence, to the north side of downtown, around the spot where Roger Williams first settled in Providence. It consists of a tiny park and a welcome center, with a little parking along one side. This picture, below, was in early morning, but by mid-day, in warm weather, there are usually people playing catch, parking their bikes, having a picnic, or exploring the memorial.
The rest of the pictures were taken last winter, obviously a quiet time at the park. The picture below shows the Hahn Memorial, built in the 1930’s to honor Isaac Hahn, “the first person of Jewish faith to be elected to public office from Providence”, according to the Roger Williams National Memorial website.
There is a welcome center at the north end of the memorial, in the Antram-Gray House. Part of this building has survived since 1730, and has served many purposes over the years before it became the welcome center. A spot next to it called “Bernon Grove” commemorates the founder of King’s Chapel (now St. John’s Episcopal Church, across the street). As Roger Williams planned, those of many faiths found refuge in the colony of Rhode Island.
Inside the visitors center I was greeted by a very nice park ranger and we had a great chat about Roger Williams and Providence history.
I looked around at the exhibit inside.
One last thought
On North Main Street, just up the street from this memorial, is the First Baptist Church in America. I took this picture, below, of the church and the sign out front during the celebration of the 350th Anniversary of Rhode Island’s 1663 Charter, last year.
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Photos by Diane Boumenot