When Samuel Clarke was nineteen years old, he built himself a house on land his father owned on Shannock Hill. The house was small— probably only one room with a loft. He sided the exterior with wide clapboards and built the chimney and fireplace of fieldstone. At the back of the fireplace, near the baking oven, Samuel carved the year: 1691.
The Samuel Clarke house is now the oldest house in Richmond and one of the oldest in Rhode Island. In February 2019, the Samuel Clarke Farm earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
John Peixinho, who has owned the Samuel Clarke Farm since 2015, is primarily responsible for obtaining the National Register designation. On Thursday, October 10, Mr. Peixinho will open the Peace Dale Museum of Art and Culture’s 2019 Fall Lecture Series by telling us about the history of the farm and describe its 17th and 18th century features, some of them rare. Mr. Peixinho will illustrate his talk with color photographs.
The 50-acre Salt Pond Archaeological Site (RI 110), at the head of Point Judith (Salt) Pond, is one of the most important Native American excavations on the Eastern Seaboard. Work at the site, once home to a large Narragansett Indian settlement, is revealing important information about what life was like in Rhode Island just before Europeans arrived.
The Salt Pond archaeological excavations are also providing information about the first Thanksgiving, which took place in Plymouth, Mass. 397 years ago this fall. What foods were harvested? How were the Wampanoags dressed? How did they cook the food they brought?
Jay Waller, Senior Archaeologist at The Public Archaeology Laboratory, has done extensive work at the Salt Pond site. On Thursday, November 15, he will be at the Museum to talk about what we can learn about the first Thanksgiving from the discoveries at Salt Pond.
In an age when clergymen enforced civil laws and magistrates enforced religious laws, Roger Williams believed that the state had no right to interfere with a person’s relationship with God. He could not find a community that guaranteed freedom of religion, so he founded his own community—Providence—and in doing so, embarked on a monumental experiment.
Could Williams and a small group of like-minded people create a new kind of government that recognized liberty of conscience? Could city-bred people learn to plant and harvest crops, chop wood, and handle a canoe?
You’ll be able to find out the answers to those questions and more when Roger Williams himself (as interpreted by National Park Service Ranger John McNiff) visits the Peace Dale Museum of Art and Culture on Thursday, November 1.