Forge Farm Cemetery, Potowomut, East Greenwich, RI

The Old Forge Farm is a magnificent household that I was blessed to visit. As part of a project in house museum planning and preservation, a group of us met with the wonderful Tom Greene, a descendant of the famous Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island. The farm is where Nathanael was born, and beyond it lies a Greene family plot, surrounded by a beautiful old New England stone wall. The RI Historical survey says there are about 60 burials here with 25 gravestones. The stones are a fascinating combination of old fieldstones and broken slate, as well as many white … Continue reading Forge Farm Cemetery, Potowomut, East Greenwich, RI

Cocumscussoc, North Kingstown, RI

Yesterday I visited the Narragansett Indian land in Rhode Island known as Cocumscussoc which became the original colonial/Indian tradepost in 17th century RI. Established by Roger Williams, the post was run by Richard Smith, who built a home here. “Captain Richard Smith built what has long been designated as the “Old Castle,” within one-half mile of the village of Wickford. This, in 1639, was erected for the farm house of Captain Smith, and here the good Roger Williams, who also fled from persecution, often visited. The brave and just old Canonicus and also Miantinomo frequently visited Smith. This castle was … Continue reading Cocumscussoc, North Kingstown, RI

Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI

Providence’s beautiful garden cemetery, Swan Point still inspires and is accessible to “leisure uses” that it was designed for – although not so many as there once were! Security guards constantly buzz about to make certain you don’t get TOO leisurely! No blading, biking, animals, no faster pace than a “brisk walk”, beverages and food items are frowned upon. It’s no longer the place to bring the family and dog to have a picnic or a jog through – but still magnificent nevertheless. Swan Point was founded by Thomas Hartshorn in 1846, arising from the “vivid intellectual community composed predominately … Continue reading Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI

Happy Halloween!

My most favorite holiday, as you surely must be able to guess. In honor of this day of terror, hauntings, and (yum) candy, I present to you this article from the Providence Journal on gravestones, which even includes an interview with Professor Robert Emlen, Brown University’s curator, and my current professor for the class “Gravestones and Burial Grounds”. What a perfect fit! ———————————————————————-DEAD MEN MAY TELL NO TALES, BUT THEY STILL HAVE PLENTY TO SAYSunday, October 31, 2004LAURA MEADE KIRK Journal staff Writer “As you pass by pray cast an eyeAs you are now so once was IAs I am … Continue reading Happy Halloween!

St. John’s Churchyard (formerly King’s Churchyard), Providence, RI

King’s Church was founded in Providence, RI in 1723. During the American Revolution it’s name was changed to St. John’s (no need for English loyalty anymore!), and the current church structure was built in 1809. I love this churchyard, tucked away down a brick path along the historic houses of Benefit St. – if you are unaware of it’s existence, it is easy to stroll past it without even recognizing it. Stepping into the yard, you are taken back in history – it is easy to imagine Poe courting his love, Helen, who lived in a house just beside the … Continue reading St. John’s Churchyard (formerly King’s Churchyard), Providence, RI

North Burial Ground, Providence, RI

An excellent primer before visiting this massive burial ground was “North Burial Ground, Providence, Rhode Island Old Section 1700-1848” by John E. Sterling. Through a lot of time, dedication, and the handy use of modern cemetery software and support of the RI Historical Society, Sterling created a record of burials for the older section. This was a huge undertaking, because although you can access about 16 gigantic books of interment records for about 73,000 individuals, these books only record from 1848 forward – yet the burial ground had been open since 1700! By 1848, there was already 22 acres worth … Continue reading North Burial Ground, Providence, RI