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Last Remember Me Lecture – September 6

Last Remember Me Lecture – September 6

Two Historic Cemetery Programs in Little Compton this Week

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Final Lecture in the “Remember Me” Speakers’ Series

This Thursday, September 6, Marjory O’Toole, “Remember Me” Project Director and Executive Director of the Little Compton Historical Society, will present “Lessons Learned from Little Compton’s 46 Historic Cemeteries” at the Little Compton Community Center at 7 pm. The talk will focus on the new information discovered after a year of research and restoration in the community’s historic cemeteries. Ms. O’Toole will touch on issues of cemetery ownership, the Town’s Negro Burying Ground, recent and continuing restoration efforts, and the recent discovery of numerous unmarked graves using Ground Penetrating Radar.  The Little Compton Historical Society is presenting the lecture as the last in their “Remember Me” speaker’s series. It is free and open to the public thanks to a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.  No registration is required.

Gravestone Cleaning Workshop

Then on Saturday, September 8, Ms. O’Toole and other Historical Society volunteers will host the next gravestone cleaning workshop in the Old Burying Ground on the Commons from 9 to Noon. The “Remember Me” project’s goal is to recruit 100 volunteers who will each attend a workshop to learn safe gravestone cleaning techniques approved by the American Association for Gravestone Studies and then pledge to clean 10 gravestones this year. If successful the result will be 1000 clean gravestones. To date 90 volunteers have attended or registered for a workshop and the Historical Society estimates that these volunteers have cleaned 500 local gravestones to date. Volunteers age 14 and up are welcome and are asked to register for the Saturday workshop by visiting or calling the Historical Society at 401-635-4035. Additional cleaning workshops will be scheduled this fall, including one in the Adamsville Cemetery. Gravestone cleaning is important to prevent lichens from slowly breaking down the stone and to enable visitors to read the inscriptions on the memorials.

The “Remember Me” project has been generously supported by The Rhode Island Foundation, The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, The Ocean State Charities Trust and members of the local community. A Town-wide Cemetery Tour is scheduled for Saturday, September 22 to explore and celebrate the town’s 46 historic cemeteries, a number of which are not normally open to the public. For tickets please contact the Historical Society.

Elizabeth Cazden Speaks August 21

Elizabeth Cazden Speaks August 21

Elizabeth Cazden Quaker Historian visits the LC Quaker Burying GroundThe REMEMBER ME lecture Series Continues August 21 at Friends Meeting House with Elizabeth Cazden

Rhode Island’s Quakers and their Burial Practices
Tuesday, August 21
6 PM
Little Compton Friends Meeting House – 234 West Main Road Rd
Free & Open to the Public.

(Note start time and location – as they differ from the other lectures in the series.)

Elizabeth Cazden, an independent scholar who is expert in Rhode Island Quaker history, will speak on “Rhode Island’s Quakers and their Burial Practices” at the Little Compton Friends Meeting House on Tuesday, August 21 at 6 PM. Ms. Cazden will focus on how Little Compton’s Friends fit into the regional Quaker community and will explore regional Quaker burial practices. Recently, ground penetrating radar discovered multiple rows of unmarked graves to the east of Little Compton’s Quaker burial ground. The talk is hosted by the Little Compton Historical Society as part of their larger “Remember Me” project celebrating Little Compton’s 46 Historic Cemeteries.

This talk and the others in the series are free and open to the public and are made possible by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. No registration is required.

The final talk in the series will take place in September:

Remember Me – Little Compton’s 46 Historic Cemeteries
Thursday, September 6 –7 PM
Marjory O’Toole, Executive Director, Little Compton Historical Society

Remember Me – Little Compton’s 46 Historic Cemeteries

Remember Me – Little Compton’s 46 Historic Cemeteries



Gravestone Cleaning Workshops –                                                                                         Register Here:

Town-wide Cemetery Tour, Saturday, September 22, 11 am to 4 pm, Tickets $15   Buy Tickets Here:

New Cemetery Guidebook Goes On Sale Now at Wilbor House, Wilbur’s Store, Earle’s Gas Station, Partner’s Village Store, and Gray’s Daily Grind

Call 401-635-4035 with questions or to register by phone.

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Remember Me

Remember Me

Little Compton’s 45 Historic Cemeteries
Local History Lecture by Marjory O’Toole
7 PM – March 19   – LC Community Center
FREE & Open to the Public 

The Old Burying Ground

The 45 minute lecture will be followed by a brief project planning meeting for those interested in being cemetery volunteers.

The Little Compton Historical Society invites the public to enjoy a presentation on Little Compton’s 45 historic cemeteries given by Executive Director, Marjory O’Toole on Monday, March 19 at 7:00 pm at the Little Compton Community Center.

Ms. O’Toole will explain why Little Compton has so many cemeteries and how they’ve been lost, found, and altered through the years. She’ll also discuss some of Little Compton’s unique gravestones as well as recent evidence identifying the location of the town’s “Negro Burying Ground” and the presence of numerous unmarked graves in the Old Burying Ground on the Commons recently discovered by ground penetrating radar. The talk is free and open to the public and is the first of many events planned for 2018 to explore, restore and preserve Little Compton’s historic burying grounds.

Following the 45-minute lecture and slide show, Ms. O’Toole will invite interested audience members to stay to hear more about the Historical Society’s “Remember Me” project, a major community effort to research, clean, and repair historic cemeteries throughout Little Compton. Over 100 volunteers are needed this summer to clean 1000 gravestones. The Society also hopes to recruit 45 volunteers willing to monitor cemeteries in the future and to complete annual condition reports.

Community members are also asked to share their stories, documents, and photographs regarding local cemeteries with Ms. O’Toole no later than mid-April in time for their use in the special exhibition and cemetery guidebook the Society will launch this July. Loans or donations of objects related to death and remembrance including mourning clothing, decorations made from human hair, memorial embroideries, and even displaced gravestones are needed for this summer’s special exhibition. Anyone with these or similar objects is asked to contact the Historical Society at 401-635-4035 or

Photo: The Old Burying Ground on the Commons, by Bart Brownell.

Teaching RI’s Black History

Teaching RI’s Black History

Dear Teachers,

We’ve made, and will continue to update, a public folder of resources that you can use in your classroom to teach your students about the history of slavery, indenture and freedom in Rhode Island.

Here is the link:

On February 10, 2018, our Executive Director Marjory O’Toole will be leading a workshop discussing ways to use her book “If Jane Should Want to be Sold: Stories of Enslavement, Indenture and Freedom in Little Compton, RI” in your classroom.  Marjory is just one of a dozen excellent presenters featured in the “Next Steps: A Place-Based Approach to Teaching African American History in Rhode Island” conference at Rhode Island College. Tickets are only $10.  Use this link to learn more.

This young girl is Moselle Gray. Enslaved in North Carolina as an infant by Arnold Gray formerly of Little Compton, Moselle was inherited by her master’s brother who granted her freedom and brought her to live in Little Compton with his family. Moselle’s life was not easy in Rhode Island, but today a large, diverse, and very vibrant Newport family honor her as their matriarch.    

Moselle, c. 1866. Gray Family Album 2007.2585

Cider Social – Cow Pie Bingo – Antiques Sale!  Monday, October 9

Cider Social – Cow Pie Bingo – Antiques Sale! Monday, October 9

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A four-legged visitor will be the honored guest at this year’s Cider Social celebration at the Little Compton Historical Society on Monday, October 9 (Columbus Day) from 1 to 4 pm. For the fourth year the Society has expanded its annual Cider Social to include local vendors, a Cow Pie Bingo Fundraising event, and a booth selling vintage and antique items donated by the community.

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 the last opportunity to see this year’s special exhibition, “Little Compton’s 20th-Century Artists” all at no charge. The special exhibit ends that day.

On October 9, the Society will also be hosting their annual antiques sale. Anyone with antique or vintage items to donate to this sale is asked to do so before the ninth. Local vendors will be on hand selling variety of hand-crafted items and the Historical Society’s museum shop will be open offering a variety of local history books and gift items. New vendors are welcome and should call 401-635-4035 to reserve a spot.The fee is $20.

The highlight of the day will be the Cow Pie Bingo event taking place between 3 and 4 pm. Oreo, a Belted Galloway, will return for his second year of Cow Pie Bingo. Oreo will be accompanied by his farmer, Pete Dellasanta of Pete’s Farm. Pete, who began his own farm in high school and is now a college freshman, will lead Oreo onto a gridded field promptly at 3 PM and the first square in the grid to receive a cow pie will be the winner. Tickets corresponding to each square on the grid are on sale now at the Historical Society for $10 each or three for $25 and will also be sold the day of the event until 2:55 PM. The holder of the winning ticket will receive a $500 prize. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Historical Society.

Pete and other judges will be on hand to make the final call determining the winning square. If no cow pie is deposited before 4 PM the judges will draw the winning ticket from a hat.

Volunteers are needed to help with the event. Anyone interested in volunteering or in purchasing a vendor’s spot is asked to call the Historical Society at 401-635-4035.

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