Preserve Your Family's Legacy
at the South County History Center
The South County History Center needs your help to document the history and culture of South County (Washington County), Rhode Island. We welcome the donation of archival and library materials and associated objects that further the study of and appreciation for the history and culture of South County and that comply with our Collections Management Policy. The Center collects relevant materials from all time periods and strives to include materials that represent South County's diversity.
The majority of the Center's collections have been generously donated by people who want to ensure the preservation of important materials and share their treasures with others. If you would like to discuss making a contribution to the Center's collection, please contact Erica Luke, Executive Director, at 401.783.1328 or email@example.com.
A Selection of Fogarty Collection Materials
South County's rich history is being preserved for future generations thanks to a number of generous donors who have entrusted the Center with family photographs, documents and associated materials. These collections are used by historians, students, genealogists and other researchers from across the country who want to learn more about our community.
Recently, the Center has accepted a number of exciting materials, including a most special collection given by Diane Fogarty in memory of her parents Richard H. and Louise M. Fogarty. In 1958, the Fogartys purchased the Lower Weeden Farmhouse on Blackberry Hill Road in Matunuck. For decades after their purchase, the Fogartys rehabilitated the home, documenting the process through dozens of slides, letters and drawings spanning more than four decades.
The family's love for the property is demonstrated through a number of heartwarming materials donated with the collection: a painting of the farmhouse by Mrs. Fogarty, artwork saved from the walls of a decaying garage and a box Mr. Fogarty made for his daughter from the remains of a beloved tree felled during a storm.
New and exciting materials, like the Fogarty collection, are being donated to the Center regularly and will be featured on our Facebook page as they are available for researchers.
New Collections Find a Home at the Center
Above: Fogarty Family outside the Farmhouse
Right: Box Made by
Mr. Fogarty for his daughter
Resilient Rhode Island
Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State
Archaeologists recover Native
American artifacts on Block Island
1918 Public Health Notice
courtesy of National Library of Medicine
Fall 2018 Public Programs
Where the Land Meets the Sea:
Hurricane Sandy & Its Impact on
Rhode Island's Archaeological Record
Tuesday, October 2, 6:30 p.m.
at The Towers (35 Ocean Road)
Hurricanes and Nor’easters have routinely battered the Rhode Island south coast impacting the lives of many of its residents and resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. In addition to significant property damage, storm surge and wind-driven waves from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 eroded considerable sections of the state’s south shore damaging many historical and archaeological sites situated at the contact between the land and sea.
Jay Waller, senior archaeologist with the Public Archaeology Lab and South County History Center trustee, will discuss the often-overlooked effects that storms have on Rhode Island’s archaeological heritage and summarize the results of recent emergency response and preservation planning surveys conducted in response to this recent disaster. These archaeological surveys represent the first large scale, systematic attempts to identify and evaluate vulnerable archaeological sites situated along the Rhode Island coast.
Saturday, October 20, 2 p.m.
at The Coastal Institute Auditorium
URI Bay Campus
(215 South Ferry Road)
Pandemic viruses have had dramatic impacts on South County for centuries. Join the South County History Center as we explore some of these health epidemics, including the history of smallpox presented by Dr. Ashley Bissonnette of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and the 1918 flu presented by Dr. Kenneth McIntosh, professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard School of Public Health and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. An exhibit of medical artifacts from the Center’s collection will be on display before and after the program.
The Boston Daily Globe, 1896
THe Great New England Vampire Panic
Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 p.m.
At the South Kingstown Land Trust Barn
(17 Matunuck Beach Road)
In partnership with South Kingstown Land Trust
Exeter, Rhode Island, 1892: After a large exodus of residents, only 900 people remained in this nearly deserted rural village. Frightening and mysterious sicknesses repeatedly struck families throughout town. Residents searched for the cause and reached the unusual conclusion that the culprit was Mercy Brown: 19-years-old, recently-deceased and a vampire.
Dozens of supposed vampires were identified throughout New England during this century-long panic, now believed to have actually been caused by tuberculosis or “consumption.” Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni, former Connecticut State Archaeologist, will explore his study of this folk belief and a possible vampire burial discovered nearby. Discussing the incidence of consumption and the great fear it inspired will be public historian Dr. Mary Babson Fuhrer.
An exhibit of medical artifacts from the Center’s collection will be on display before and after the program. Halloween treats will be served following the program under the full moon.
One for the Books:
Major (and Memorable) Weather
Saturday, December 1, 2:30 p.m.
at Kingston Free Library's Potter Hall
In partnership with Kingston Free Library
Resilient Rhode Islanders have experienced their share of extreme weather. From blizzards and hurricanes to sunny weather, meteorologists study atmospheric conditions to ensure that we can prepare for the worst and enjoy the best of Mother Nature.
Join us as we explore the science behind weather forecasting and discuss some of our area’s most memorable weather events with a panel combining 75 years of experience: WPRI’s Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca and Bob Thompson, former Meteorologist-in-Charge for the National Weather Service in Boston.
Tony Petrarca and Bob Thompson
The program series "Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State" is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Council seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.
SOUTH COUNTY HISTORY CENTER
at the OLD WASHINGTON COUNTY JAlL
Fall 2018 Hours
Through November 15: The Center will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. (Holiday season hours to be announced.)
Museum offerings may be limited due to special projects. Research appointments recommended.
Please check our website for updates.
Admission is $8 for adults and
$6 for students (K-college).
Active duty military families and
law enforcement and correctional officers
receive free admission.
2636 Kingstown Road
Kingston, RI 02881
Ken Mars, Jr. (right)
from the Mars Collection
© Photographer Name
Update: Kenneth T. Mars, Jr. Photograph Collection
Work to preserve the Kenneth T. Mars, Jr. Photograph Collection is now beginning, thanks to generous donors to the History in Focus campaign. Given as a donation to the Center, the Mars Collection contains more than 25,000 photographs documenting life in South County.
The Center is pleased to announce that is has been awarded a Community Grant from the Rhode Island Foundation to support an upcoming traveling exhibit celebrating the Mars Collection. Details will be shared online as they are available, and campaign donors and Center members will receive special access. For more information about this exciting project and to support the History in Focus campaign, please visit SouthCountyHistoryCenter.org or call 401.783.1328.
2636 Kingstown Road
Kingston, RI 02881
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