Spring 2015 Newsletter Now Available

Click here to view.


 • ‘Revisit Barrington History’: reorganized Museum exhibit

 • Barrington Historical Maps series now online.

 • Early Barrington Documents update

 • Barrington Infantry: Spotlight on Barrington’s Early Militia Flag

• Barrington’s Italian Families, oral history video by BHS senior Liam McGuirl

• Spinning Wheel Restored

• Nockum Hill News

• Grapes & Grains wine-tasting event, Thursday, June 4

Annual Meeting and Dorr War Presentation

Sunday, January 11, 2015, at Noon
Bluewater Bar and Grill
(formerly Tyler Point Grill)
Guest Speaker: Russell J. DeSimone

The Dorr War is little known outside Rhode Island but was fought over the right to vote and representation in state government. Find out how losing a war does not always mean the defeat of the ideas that started it! We will also be displaying the pennant that the Barrington Militia carried in the final Dorr War battle at Chepachet.

Russell J. DeSimone is an independent scholar who has spent a lifetime studying Rhode Island history and published several manuscripts including “Broadsides of the Dorr Rebellion” and “The Dorr Rebellion Chronicled in Ballads and Poetry”. He is currently co-historian-in-residence for the Dorr Rebellion Project Site at Providence College.

Guests should pre-pay for lunch, $28 per person, indicating choice of Atlantic haddock, chicken piccata, or pasta primavera, and send payment by check by January 7, 2015 to Barrington Preservation Society, c/o Peggy Mello, 15 Appian Way, Barrington RI 02806.

BPS Presents — 12th Annual Winter Jazz Festival

cornetThe Barrington Preservation Society will sponsor its 12th annual Winter Jazz Festival on Friday, December 12, in the Barrington Congregational Church at 461 County Road, at 7:30 pm.

Under the direction of Barbara Hughes, this concert is the first full concert performance of the year by the Barrington High School Jazz Ensemble. Welcoming the holiday season with music, they will perform jazz and seasonal favorites for a near-capacity crowd. Refreshments will be served in the vestry following the concert.

Admission is $5 (free for BPS members), and tickets will be available at the door.

“Swim that Rock!” BPS Presents: Jay Primiano


Swim that Rock! BPS presents: Jay Primiano

Wednesday, November 12, 7 PM, Barrington Senior Center (lower level of Peck Library)

Dressed in orange, foul weather gear and carrying a bull rake, Jay Primiano will introduce readers and writers of all ages to his recently-published book Swim that Rock, inspired by summers spent fishing and quahogging on Narragansett Bay.

According to Primiano, everyone has “rocks” or challenges they need to face, and story-telling is a way to deal with those rocks. Primiano and his best friend John Rocco spent the summer of 1982 quahogging together on Narragansett Bay and created a story from that experience of an awkward young man who loses his father at sea, faces financial hardship and discovers his own strength working on the water.

Poet, author and performer Primiano creates characters that take on a life of their own, and charts the action, while John Rocco, a professional illustrator, provides drawings of Narragansett Bay and the tools of the quahogging trade.

Published last year, Swim that Rock is available in local bookstores.


Join the Barrington Preservation Society as we celebrate Barrington’s and Rhode Island’s maritime past with Jay Primiano.

The lecture is free and open to the public and complements the Barrington Preservation Society’s current museum exhibit: Barrington Ship to Shore. The museum (also on the lower level of Peck Library) will be open to the public at the conclusion of the lecture.

Gallery Talk: Master Shipwright Clark Poston on Restoring Wooden Boats

Gallery Talk: Thursday, September 4, 2014, 7:00 PM, Barrington Library Auditorium:

Master Shipwright Clark Poston on Restoring Wooden Boats


Clark Poston will describe the process for restoring classic, wooden boats at a lecture on Thursday, September 4 at 7 PM in the Barrington Library auditorium.

Poston trained for seven years at the Mystic Seaport Museum with renowned boat builder John Gardner and then spent two years building and restoring wooden boats on Martha’s Vineyard at Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway before going to Europe as the lead shipwright on the archival restoration of Avel, an 1896 C. E. Nicholson cutter.

Poston then founded the John Gardner School of Boatbuilding in Annapolis, MD before joining the International Yacht Restoration School staff in 1998.

At IYRS, Poston played a key role in the design, development and roll out of three federally-accredited career training programs: a two-year program in wooden yacht restoration, a six-month marine systems program, and a new six-month program in composites technology. He is also responsible for maintaining the important relationship between the school and its industry partners.

The lecture is sponsored by the Barrington Preservation Society and complements its recently opened exhibit: Barrington Ship to Shore. Poston’s talk is free and open to the public.

Sowams: Helen Tjader talk with video by Nat Rea

Helen Tjader spoke to BPS earlier this year on Sowams’s past as the home of the Pokanoket (Wampanoag) people long before the first Europeans settled here as part of the Plymouth Colony. She has called on all of us to work to establish a National Heritage district acknowledging the Pokanoket heritage of the Sowams area.

A version of this talk has been set to beatiful natural video footage by nature photographer Nat Rea, showcasing the natural beauty of Sowams:

Sowams from Nat Rea on Vimeo.

Barrington Ship to Shore Gala


Plans for our 2014 Gala, Barrington Ship to Shore, are well underway. On Saturday, September 27, 2014, from 5 to 8 pm the Barrington Preservation Soceity will host a cocktail party at the Barrington Yacht Club. The event will focus on Barrington’s rich maritime history—those who mae their living on the water, and those who merely dream of it. Egbert, the Buzzards Bay scallop boat built in 1885 and stranded on top of pilings in the 1938 hurricane, will be welcoming visitors at the Yacht Club dock and offering a day sail in the silent auction. As well as numerous other silent auction items, we will have vintage photographs, boat models and artifacts on display.  We hope you will join us as a patron or guest!

Online Tickets available NOW!

Click here for an invitation letter for patrons.

An Evening with Florence Markoff

Barrington Preservation Society and Friends of the Barrington Public Library Present:


Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:00 PM
Barrington Public Library

Come and meet former radio personality Florence Markoff, known for her popular radio features There’s A Word For It! and Rhode Island Portraits in Sound. These radio broadcasts were solely created by Rhode Island Radio Hall of Famer, Florence Markoff.

Her distinctive style has brought delight to thousands of radio listeners around southern New England.

This event is free and open to all.

Announcing History – Mystery Camp 2014

The Barrington Preservation Society and the Barrington Recreation Department are collaborating in hosting . . .



Ages 8–11
Tuesday to Saturday
June 24 – 28
9 AM – 12 PM


Then the Barrington Preservation Society Museum is the place to begin! Here you will enjoy exploring the history of Barrington by participating in fun activities that tell the story of your town. We will check out the Town Hall and its jail cell, and wander through Prince’s Hill Cemetery to find the oldest gravestones as we discover stories of the early settlers. Learn about the earliest Native American traditions. Take part in an archaeological dig; find buildings made with Barrington bricks; try bookmaking, mapping, journal writing, arts and crafts, music, and some very cool games including a scavenger hunt. We will walk along the bike path and discover the hidden history of Barrington.

$100 / Barrington Preservation Society members
$120 / Barrington Preservation Society non-members
To Register, please complete the Enrollment / Waiver form and return to the Town’s Recreation Department.

Upcoming Gallery Talk, March 9: Bob Howe, Lace Works History

Gallery Talk: Sunday, March 9, 2014, 2-4 PM, BPS Museum

Bob Howe, “History of the Rhode Island Lace Works Factory in Barrington, 1904-1990”


Bob Howe spent 40 years as a designer at the Lace Works Factory, following in the footsteps of his father Gordon Howe. He will talk about the workers, technology, and changes throughout the many years of its operation. The talk will begin in the “Barrington’s Industrial Past” exhibition, where many of the tools and designs are on display. It will culminate with a slide show of the skilled lace-making process.

Meet in the Preservation Society Museum at the lower level of the Barrington Public Library building.