Category: Uncategorized

Sakonnet Point Then and Now – Landscape Walk – July 26

Sakonnet Point Then and Now – Landscape Walk – July 26

Landscape Walk – Sakonnet Point Then & Now 
Friday, July 26
8:30 AM
Meet at the DEM Board Ramp
Park on Bluff Head Avenue or the Town Dock
John Berg of The Nature Conservancy will lead a one-hour landscape walk of Sakonnet Point with Marjory O’Toole of the Little Compton Historical Society.
Free and Open to the Public
Limited to 25 participants
Registration required at 401-635-4035

Gravestone Cleaning Workshop – July 24

Gravestone Cleaning Workshop – July 24

Wednesday, July 24 ( AM to Noon) 
The Old Burying Ground on the Commons

Learn to clean historic gravestones safely using materials and methods approved by the Association for Gravestone Studies. Help remove harmful lichens from the gravestones on the Commons and preserve these important historic objects for the next generation to learn from and enjoy.

Once you have attended a workshop you are welcome to join us on any other cleaning day or to borrow a cleaning kit to work at your own pace.

Additional cleaning days:

Aug. 15 5 to 7 pm
Aug. 22 9 am to Noon
Sept. 11 9 am to Noon

Slavery & the Making of Early American Libraries – July 23

Slavery & the Making of Early American Libraries – July 23


Sean Moore, Ph.D.

Slavery and the Making of the American Library

Tuesday, July 23 7 PM

Little Compton Community Center

The Commons

Free & Open to the Public

Hear Professor Sean Moore speak about his extensive research into the many connections between slavery, philanthropy, and the founding of American libraries in his talk entitled “Slavery and the Making of the American LibraryEarly American Libraries: Bristish Literature, Political Thought, and the Transatlantic Book Trade, 1731 – 1814.”

Slavery and the Making of Early American Libraries explores how libraries in colonial America stood at the nexus of two transatlantic trades: the book trade and the slave trade. Books were hand-made by craftsmen in this period and were therefore very expensive, meaning that those Americans made wealthy by slavery and related enterprises like sugar, rum, and shipbuilding were some of the few who could afford books imported from England. They pooled their money in founding pre-public “proprietary subscription libraries” where one would have to buy a share in a library in order to borrow a book, and those shares were so expensive that clergy and other good people could not afford them and could only be made “honorary members.” Much of Dr. Moore’s research focuses on the Redwood Library and Athenaeum of Newport.

Following the talk Dr. Moore will be signing copies of his new book by the same title. Sean Moore is an Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and an award-winning author. He has family ties to Little Compton and is a frequent visitor here. This event is co-sponsored by the Little Compton Historical Society and the Brownell Library. It is free and open to the public. No reservations required. Doors open at 6:30. There will be a free-will donation jar at the door.

Little Compton: A Changing Landscape – Special Exhibition – Thursday – Sunday   1 to 5 PM

Little Compton: A Changing Landscape – Special Exhibition – Thursday – Sunday 1 to 5 PM

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Join us this season as we explore the science and history of Little Compton’s changing landscape from its formation as an ancient continent to the present day. Local historians, residents, and environmental scientists have collaborated to share their insights with the public.

Look for our beautiful and informative new book on the subject available in July!

Exhibit Preview Party & Book Launch – Friday, July 5 – Tickets available NOW

Family Day – Saturday, July 6 – Noon to 4 pm – Free & Open to the Public

Exhibit Open:       July – August          Thursday – Sunday              1 to 5 pm


Contact us at 401-635-4035 or for more information.


Our First Community Exhibition: Determination- A Cambodian Experience

Our First Community Exhibition: Determination- A Cambodian Experience

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Story by Jeff Kenyon:

A photo show portraying various aspects of life in Cambodia will take place at the Little Compton Historical Society, 548 West Main Road (Route 77) on November 16, 20, and 27-30 from 9 AM to 4 PM.  An artist reception and book signing will be held on Sunday, November 18, from 3 to 5 PM.  The exhibit and the opening are free and open to the public.


The show, Determination:  A Cambodian Experience, is taken from the title of a book written by Makna Men recounting his family’s journey in escaping from Cambodia during the horrific reign of Pol Pot, and their life in Rhode Island.  Makna arrived in Rhode Island in 1982, with his mother and four brothers, from refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines.  A graduate of Central High School and Rhode Island College, he earned Master’s degrees from Cambridge College and Brown University.  Currently the senior academic advisor at Bristol Community College, Fall River, Makna, his wife, Samoutta Iem, and their three children reside in Cranston.


DON NGUON arrived in Rhode Island in 1981.  He graduated from Classical High School and graduated at the top of his class from the University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering.  Don currently works in mechanical engineering in West Bridgewater, MA.  He and his wife Pov Ky live in Providence.  Don is active in documenting cultural events in the local Cambodian community and in using his engineering expertise to design buildings at a local Buddhist temple. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Water for Cambodia.

JEFF KENYON, who grew up in Providence, holds a B.A. degree from the University of Rhode Island and Master’s degrees from Providence College and Rhode Island College.  He has also studied ESL, photography, and Asian Studies at PC.  Jeff became active with the Khmer community while working at Rhode Island College in federal programs for high school students.  He was introduced to Maha Ghosananda, founder of the first Khmer Buddhist temple in Providence, Wat Thormikaram on Hanover Street.  This meeting served as the genesis of his Buddhist studies.  A longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Middletown Rotary Club’s Water for Cambodia, Jeff has followed his interest in street photography both locally and on the streets of Siem Reap and Battambang, Cambodia.   He and his wife, Beryl, live in Little Compton.

Both Makna Men and Don Nguon have returned many times to Cambodia to find relatives separated by the Cambodian Holocaust and to spend time in their respective home villages.  They are active with Water for Cambodia in health and clean water projects that benefit villages throughout Cambodia.

For more information about the Water for Cambodia Project and NGO based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, please visit the web site at waterforcambodia,org.

The Little Compton Historical Society welcomes this community exhibition created by private individuals as the first to use its exhibit space during the winter season. Artists or non-profit organizations interested in exhibiting in the space should contact the Executive Director Marjory O’Toole at 401-635-4035.


Last Chance to See the Exhibition – Monday, October 8 – Cider Social – Antiques Sale

Last Chance to See the Exhibition – Monday, October 8 – Cider Social – Antiques Sale

The Little Compton Historical Society invites community members to a final opportunity to see their 2018 Special Exhibition “Remember Me: Little Compton’s 46 Historic Cemeteries” on Monday, October 8 from 1 to 4 pm during their annual Cider Social.

As usual the Cider Social is free and open to the public.  There will be complimentary cider and donuts while supplies last, free tours of the Wilbor House Museum, a candy haystack, corn husk-doll making, and a station at which visitors of all ages can make reproduction mourning jewelry similar to the mourning rings on display in the exhibition. The exhibition also contains information on each of Little Compton’s 46 historic cemeteries, the history of cemetery preservation in Little Compton, and a variety of objects that shed light on historic burial and mourning practices including a wreath made from human hair and an impressive collection of mourning dresses dating from the 1860s to the 1920s. The Remember Me project was funded in part by The Rhode Island Foundation, the Rhode Island State Council for the Humanities, and The Ocean State Charities Trust.

During the Cider Social the Historical Society will also host a sale of donated antique and vintage items. The Society is hoping to “clean house” and sell all of the items it currently has in storage, so shoppers can look forward to some very attractive prices especially as the day wears on. The items that are offered for sale have been donated specifically for that purpose and have been deemed inappropriate for the museum’s permanent collection.

For those unable to attend the Cider Social on Monday, the Special Exhibition will be open this weekend from 1 to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.



Cemetery Tour – September 22

Cemetery Tour – September 22

Tour 30 Historic Cemeteries in Little Compton

this Weekend

On-line tickets sales for the Cemetery Tour (Sept. 22) have ended, but you can still buy tickets tomorrow beginning at 11 am in these locations:
Wilbor House Museum – 548 West Main Road
Friends Meeting House – 234 West Main Road
Little Compton Community Center – The Commons
Adamsville Cemetery – Corner of Colebrook Road and John Dyer Road

8 Richmond-6

Little Compton:  Thirty volunteers are ready to great visitors in historic cemeteries and burying grounds throughout Little Compton this Saturday. The Little Compton Historical Society is hosting the town-wide cemetery tour as part of its “Remember Me” project and has spent the last year researching the town’s 46 historic cemeteries and sharing their fascinating histories and the stories of the people buried in them with the public; people like Pirate Dick Grinnell who was haunted by the clattering hooves of an Arabian Horse on his deathbed and Elizabeth Sisson who lived an unconventional life as a 18th-century single mother of three girls. Many of the burying grounds feature the gravestone carving of the John Stevens family.

Five of the cemeteries on the tour are not normally open to the public including the Captain Edward Richmond Burying Ground; the Stoddard, Gifford, and Tompkins Burying Grounds; and the misplaced gravestones of Adamsville’s Samuel Church. Seven other cemeteries on the tour typically require an appointment before visiting but will be easy to explore this Saturday. Each cemetery will have a knowledgeable guide ready to share the history of the cemetery and answer visitor questions.

The tour is scheduled from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday, September 22. Ticket holders will receive a bracelet providing access to all 30 cemeteries and a map to help guide them on their tour. Visitors may choose which cemeteries to visit and may visit them in any order using their own car or bicycle. Parking is available in each location. In case of rain, the tour will take place on Sunday, September 23. If the tour is switched to the rain date an announcement will be posted on

Tickets for the tour are $10 for members of the Little Compton Historical Society and $15 for non-members. Children 12 and under are free and must be accompanied by an adult. Participants may purchase tickets in advance at the Wilbor House Museum (548 West Main Road) or on-line at

Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour at four locations including the Wilbor House Museum, the Little Compton Community Center, the Adamsville Cemetery at the corner of John Dyer Road and Colebrook Road, and the Friends Meeting House at 234 West Main Road. The Wilbor House Museum can accept credit cards. The four locations will also offer restrooms, and the opportunity to purchase cold drinks and the “Remember Me” cemetery guidebook which provides in-depth information for each cemetery on the tour. Anyone interested in purchasing the guidebook in advance may do so at the Little Compton Historical Society, Wilbur’s General Store, Earl’s Gas Station, Gray’s Daily Grind, and Partner’s Village Store.

Visitors to the Wilbor House Museum will be able to tour the old Wilbor Cemetery as well at the “Remember Me” special exhibition featuring information on each of the town’s historic cemeteries, the history of local gravestones and burial practices and a display of mourning attire from the 19th century. Visitors to the Friends Burying Ground will also be able to tour the Friends Meeting House which is not often open to the public. At the Old Burying Ground on the Commons, volunteers will share stories of Little Compton’s earliest English settlers including Colonel Benjamin Church and Betty Alden Pabodie, believed to be the first white girl born in New England, as well as the dozens of enslaved and free people of color buried with and without gravestones in the town’s Negro Burying Ground. Gravestone conservators Betty and Carlo Mencucci will also be repairing gravestones in the Old Burying Ground on the Commons throughout the tour.

The “Remember Me” project has been generously sponsored by the Rhode Island Foundation, The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Ocean State Charities Trust and numerous community members. One of the project goals is to recruit 100 volunteers to clean 1000 gravestones. The Historical Society reports that 95 volunteers have cleaned approximately 750 gravestones to date.


Theme: Overlay by Kaira © Little Compton Historical Society
548 West Main Road, Little Compton, Rhode Island