2011-08-11 / News

Top island spots chosen for souvenir

BY MARGO SULLIVAN

A new souvenir, touting Jamestown’s 10 top places to visit, has gone on sale at the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum, according to its creator Dorrie Linn.

The “I Visted Jamestown, R.I.’’ card, which comes with a grease pen and a plastic pouch, retails for $3.50. The museum gift shop started selling the card last month. It’s also available at the Jamestown Historical Society and at Baker’s Pharmacy.

“It’s for tourists,” said Rosemary Enright, secretary for the Jamestown Historical Society. Enright helped Linn select some of the photographs. “And it’s aimed at children – probably more for grandparents. It gives people a picture of places to go and it’s like a little tour guide.”

Linn, buyer for the museum’s gift shop, said she spotted a similar item manufactured by the firm What’s the Big Idea, at the annual Boston Gift Show.

“I just thought because Jamestown is so unique as a place to visit, we should have one, too.” She contacted the New York company and they agreed.

Linn chose the top 10 destinations and worked with Enright and Sue Maden, who is also involved with the historical society, on the pictures. The front of the card has five of the top spots and boxes to check near each location as each site has been visited. It’s erasable and reusable, she said.

Then you flip it over to see the other five spots.

The top 10 start with Beavertail. “It’s such a lovely spot,” said Linn.

The Beavertail Lighthouse and Museum come first, followed by the Beavertail Aquarium and the Battery Whiting. The other seven places are Fort Wetherill, the Jamestown Fire Department Station and Memorial Museum, the Jamestown Historical Society Museum, Town Hall, the Conanicut Friends Meetinghouse, the Windmill and the Newport Pell Bridge.

Linn said that because Jamestown is an island, she felt she had to include one bridge.

Besides the photographs, which came from the historical society’s collection, the card features brief histories. For example, the blurb about Town Hall notes the original section was built in 1883 and now houses the council chambers. The card also explains that the historical society’s museum was originally a one-room schoolhouse, then the town library. And it mentions the fact the Newport span is New England’s longest suspension bridge.

Picking just 10 places was hard.

“There are so many things about Jamestown to love,” she said. “My daughter says I live in paradise, and I think she had a point.”

Linn and her husband Thomas used to vacation here.

They retired to Jamestown and now count themselves among the island’s year-round residents. She’s originally from

Ohio but moved to Massachusetts and spent much of her life in Holliston.

At the time Holliston was much like Jamestown, she said, with a population of about 5,000.

She said that Holliston was a friendly and welcoming community during her tenure there. It’s since grown, she said, and she and her husband outgrew their house there.

Although raising nine children took most of her time, she volunteered first in the Holliston schools and later at the Metrowest Medical

Center where she logged 4,000 hours.

Ultimately, she started buying merchandise for the hospital gift shop.

When the job at the Beavertail Lighthouse Association Museum’s gift shop materialized, she had the right experience and landed it.

The card is not her first creative venture, she said. She has also designed a children’s coloring book for Beavertail.

She noticed the gift shop didn’t have any books about Beavertail for children, so she decided to write one herself. Her daughter Sarah Litchfield helped, she said.

She also consulted with friend Jeanne Archambault and her editor, Diana Travisono.

“We did come up with a book,” she said, and sales have been solid.

Being a mother of nine, children are a big part of Linn’s life. She said, “I’m very interested in children and things they like.”

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