Before there was Waterplace Park, there was the Great Salt Cove, and before there was the Rhode Island State House, there was Snowtown— a mixed-race workingclass neighborhood known as a haven for brothels, gambling houses and other unsavory enterprises that occupied Smith Hill in the 1830s. A massive archaeological project in Providence in the early 1980s uncovered thousands of artifacts.
In 2013, archaeologists at the Public Archaeology Laboratory (PAL) began to catalog and study those artifacts. Many of the items revealed exciting new information about life in the lost neighborhood known as Snowtown. Heather Olson, PAL laboratory manager, is a member of the Snowtown Project research team, an independent group of archaeologists and historians who are studying the artifacts from Snowtown to recover a picture of what life there was like.
On Thursday, December 2, she will show us some of those lost and-found items and tell us about the project’s most recent discoveries.
Check out the Zoom presentation on our YouTube Channel here.
If you live in Rhode Island, you know who Roger Williams was. But you probably know little or nothing about his wife Mary, who lived in a time when the vast majority of women left no trace of themselves other than their children. Charlotte Carrington-Farmer, associate professor of history at Roger Williams University, is using documents from two continents—and everything she knows about Roger Williams, whom she has studied for twenty years— to paint a portrait of this mostly-forgotten woman.
On Thursday, November 18, 7pm, Dr. Carrington-Farmer will tell us what she has learned, and reveal her most recent discoveries, including a document in Mary’s handwriting and details about her life in England.
Thomas Robinson Hazard (1797-1886), affectionately known as “Shepherd Tom,” was a South Kingstown-born farmer, industrialist, author, folklorist, social reformer and Spiritualist. John M. Peixinho will tell us about Hazard, his home, and his Spiritualist beliefs. Check out the Zoom presentation on our YouTube Channel here.