Loading Events

« All Events

Little Compton Historical Society Annual Meeting

August 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT


7:00 Business Meeting — Church Sanctuary
7:15 Speaker: Holly Herbster, Senior Archaeologist at The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.
8:00 Reception — Church Vestry

Primus’ House: History and Archaeology in Little Compton

The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL) has teamed with the Little Compton Historical Society (LCHS) for a second collaborative project to document the history of Black and Indigenous families in Little Compton, Rhode Island. The property

is owned by the Nature Conservancy and was the home of Primus Collins, a freed person of color who purchased the property on Meeting House Lane from Nathaniel Church in 1836. Primus’ daughter Lucy Collins remained in the house until her death in 1893. The land known as the Church-Collins-Nicholson Property includes a cellar hole, remnant outbuilding foundations, and associated fieldstone wall networks. In 2021 PAL conducted an archaeological survey at the Collins Site, with testing focused around the cellar hole, yard areas, well, and foundations. The survey was designed to help answer questions about the date of house construction and augment the documentary history of the Collins family researched by LCHS Executive Director and historian Marjory O’Toole. The archaeological fieldwork and laboratory processing were completed with PAL archaeologists and volunteer LCHS and community members.

Join PAL Senior Archaeologist Holly Herbster and LCHS’ Marjory O’Toole as they share the history of land use on the property and the results of the 2021 archaeological investigations. Learn what the documentary record and the archaeological data tell us (and don’t tell us) about the Collins family, about the ancient history of this part of Little Compton, and how this information is being used to help interpret one of two sites in Little Compton that are known to have been associated
with eighteenth and nineteenth-century Afro-Indigenous families.

The Secrets of Cellar Holes project was funded in large part by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.


August 10
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Event Categories:
, ,


Marjory O’Toole
Jenna Magnuski


United Congregational Church of Little Compton
1 Commons
Little Compton, RI 02837 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website
Theme: Overlay by Kaira © Little Compton Historical Society
548 West Main Road, Little Compton, Rhode Island