2008-09-11 / About Town

Founding document display dedication

The 1657 Conanicut Island Land Agreement display wall in the Jamestown Town Hall will be dedicated on Thursday, Sept.18, at 6:30 p.m. All are invited to view the wall and enjoy the ceremony and refreshments.

The 1657 Conanicut Island Land Agreement is a pre-purchase contract among 101 Rhode Island colonists specifying the participants in the purchase, naming the men responsible for the negotiations with the Narragansett tribe and laying down rules for the initial governance of the island. It is the foundation document for all land titles in Jamestown.

The Jamestown Historical Society purchased the document in 2005 and approached the town with a proposal to create an appropriate display for this unique pact in the new Town Hall, then under construction.

The Town Council approved the proposal and authorized the Town Hall architect, Bill Burgin of Burgin Lambert Architects Inc., to design a niche in the west wall of the hallway between the town clerk's and the finance offices. A Jamestown family donated the money used to purchase specially designed case to fit within the niche and protect the document from light, dust, and other environmental hazards. The Jamestown Rotary Club and the Jamestown Lions Club both contributed generously toward the construction of the display and for forthcoming literature about the document.

A historical society team and seniors at North Kingstown High School developed informative materials to surround the document and worked closely with an exhibit design consultant to create the display.

The Jamestown Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving, collecting, and sharing the island's history. Founded in 1912, the society maintains and operates the Jamestown Museum and three 18th century historic sites: the Windmill, the Quaker Meetinghouse and— with the town—Conanicut Battery Historic Park. All sites are open to the public free of charge.

Learn about becoming a member at www.jamestownhistoricalsociety. org or call 423-0784.

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