2007-09-06 / News

Jamestown Historical Society News

The finale of the Jamestown Historical Society summer season is our annual House Tour. This year the tour is this Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Two 19th century Jamestown homes are being opened to visitors. The two houses were built within five years of each other at the height of Jamestown's popularity as a summer resort. The price of the tour is $15 and tickets may be purchased at either house on the day of the tour.

The earlier house - the Admiral David Dixon Porter house at 36 Walcott Ave. - was designed by Charles L. Bevins and built in 1888. Admiral Porter and his wife lived in Washington, D.C. and enjoyed their summer retreat for only a few years before their deaths in 1891 and 1893. The house remained in the family until 1926.

The exterior of the house has been much changed over the years

although the graceful outlines of the original remain. Interior design and woodwork, distinctive features of Bevins' houses, are intact.

David Adams, the admiral's great-grandson, will join us at the Porter house to talk about his family.

The second home is the J.B. Lippincott house at 177 Beavertail Road. This house was built in 1892-93 for J.B. Lippincott, the Philadelphia publisher. Lippincott was married to Joanna Wharton, daughter of Joseph Wharton, who had built Horsehead ten years earlier on the east side of Mackerel Cove. Meeresblick (i.e. Bay View), as the Lippincott house was originally called, was designed by Pritchett and Pritchett of Philadelphia and built by Charles Soule of Jamestown.

The Lippincott house is still owned by Lippincott's descendents. It has recently been offered for sale, so this may be the last chance to see its unique interior and hear about its past.

Please join us to see and learn about these wonderful homes and the families who built them and returned to them each summer.

Capital Campaign

Time Capsule

As you look into the past on the House Tour, you can also help the JHS prepare for the future. Our Capital Campaign to renovate the museum, pay for our new vault, and build up an endowment to support our activities is entering its final phase, and we are inviting every Jamestowner to write a message to the future for our time capsule.

Official "Memory Cards" for the time capsule will be available at the House Tour. The cards cost $10 for children under 16 and $25 for adults. The donations go to the JHS Capital Campaign. If you have already contributed to the Capital Campaign, the card is free.

You may say anything you want on your card. You may draw a picture or write a poem. You may tell a story - fact or fiction. You may record what you think the future will be like. In December, the time capsule will be sealed and placed under the floor of the museum. A small plaque right above the time capsule will remind Jamestowners of the future to open it in 2057.

Please help the JHS preserve our past by contributing your thoughts from the present for the future.

Jamestown 350 Week

Jamestown 350 Week, Aug. 11 to 19 was a great success. The parade and Town Hall dedication and the many events sponsored by island organizations all went smoothly. The original Jamestown Land Agreement of 1657, put on display in the Wright Museum in the library for the week, will remain through mid-September. Come and see where our history as a colonial settlement began.

Board for 2007-2008

During Jamestown 350 Week, on Aug. 16, the JHS held its annual meeting and elected its officers and board members for 2007-2008. Rosemary Enright and Harry Wright were re-elected to their third terms as president and vice-president, respectively. Secretary John Horton and Treasurer Dick Allphin were elected to their first official terms - both have been serving on interim appointments since January.

The size of the board was expanded. Only one of the 2006- 2007 board members is leaving. Dick Hines was our Finance Committee chairman for the past five years. We are most grateful to him for his contributions to the financial stability of the organization.

We welcome five new members to the board: Tricia Evangelista, Shawn Mayers, William Mullins, Sally Schott, and Dennis Webster. They join Greg DiGasper, Deb Foppert, Mary Heath, Sue Maden, Ken Newman, and Linnea Petersen. By increasing the size of the board, we will be able to expand our service to the community in many areas.

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