The Big Barn Project

A New Permanent Exhibition

For the first time in over 40 years the Little Compton Historical Society is working on a new permanent exhibit, and we are eager share our plans with you. Our exhibit committee is completely reimagining the space within our 19th-Century Dairy Barn to create a 2,300 sq. ft. exhibition exploring farming in Little Compton from the time of the Sakonnet People to the present day.

The exhibit will use the most interesting objects in our agricultural collection, primary source
research, historic images, and oral histories to share the story of local farming along with other occupations, like weaving and fishing, that helped Little Compton’s farming families make ends meet.

A highlight of the exhibit will be two short films featuring dozens of historic images from our collection and a number of interviews with contemporary Little Compton farmers.

We Need Your Help!

As with so many of our projects, community input is the key to success. If you have photographs, movies, video, or documents related to local farming past and
present please consider donating them, lending them for digitization, or sending us digital copies (lchistory@littlecompton.org). If you have farming objects you would be willing to donate, please let us know. Our collections committee will consider each item. The exhibit will include all types of farming as well as textile production, basket weaving, dairying, ice harvesting, fishing, and early trades including shoemaking, blacksmithing, and carpentry.

We are especially interested in connecting with present-day farmers.

Learn More

To learn more about the project and the ways community members can take part, please
watch this Zoom talk by Executive Director Marjory O’Toole.

Share Your Stories

Marjory will also be facilitating several community conversations via Zoom to gather information about local farming past and present. Space is limited to allow all participants an opportunity to speak. You can also volunteer for an oral history interview by calling 401-635-4035 or emailing lchistory@littlecompton.org.

Grand Opening

We’ll be unveiling the exhibit on Fourth of July Weekend both in-person, according to the COVID-19 precautions in place at the time, and with a virtual tour of the exhibition. Follow us on social media and make sure we have your email address to ensure you receive updates this winter and spring.