2011-10-06 / News

Jamestown Historical Society News

This Monday, Oct. 10, is the last day to visit the Jamestown on Stage and Screen exhibit at the museum. The windmill also closes at the end of the Columbus Day weekend. We’ll be opening both sites again the weekend of June 16, 2012. Next year’s exhibit at the museum will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the JHS.

You’ll be able to take virtual tours of the windmill and of this summer’s museum exhibit throughout the winter. Go to our website at james townhistoricalsociety.org and select “museum” or “windmill” under the “Sites to Visit” tab. Right at the top of each page is a link to the virtual tour. The windmill tour was filmed by the Jamestown Daily Record on Windmill Day in 2010 and can also be found on its website. The museum tour was produced by Patti Cassidy for the JHS “From the Vault” series for public access television. “From the Vault” episodes can also be seen on YouTube.

The society opens the windmill or the meetinghouse for tours on request. Call 423-0784 or email tours@jamestownhistoricalsociety.org. To research the collection any time, go to the website and select the “On-line catalog” tab. Jamestown and the Silver Screen

Although the exhibit about movies made in Jamestown is closing, four events in the yearlong Jamestown and the Silver Screen series are still to come in October and early November. All the events will be in the meeting room at the library.

On Friday, Oct. 14, the movie “Wind” will be screened at 7 p.m. Bruce Ebky, who helped make the sailing scenes in the movie accurate and believable, will talk about how he did it. The program is sponsored by Conanicut Yacht Club, Jamestown Yacht Club and the Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation.

On the following Monday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m., the Quononoquott Garden Club will present Dinner at the Movies, a display of table settings inspired by famous movies.

The JHS is putting together Clips and Quips, a program of short clips from Jamestown-related movies with comments by Jamestowners involved in the making of the movie. On Friday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m., expect to see excerpts from – and hear reminiscences about – “Dan in Real Life” and “Me, Myself & Irene,” as well as older and less familiar films such as “13 Days,” “Crash Dive,” and “A Ticklish Affair.”

If the snippets you see and the stories you hear about the making of “Crash Dive” raise your curiosity, you will be able see the whole movie a week later on Friday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion are sponsoring the showing of this World War II submarine film in honor of Veterans Day.

Summer’s end

Almost 100 members of the society gathered for an enjoyable – if a trifle chilly – get-together party at Beaverhead Farm on Sept. 16. Many of the attendees strolled down to the old family burial ground, where 17th and 18th century headstones memorialize members of the Arnold family.

In 1658, the original Benedict Arnold (1615-1678) owned all of Beavertail – about 1,000 acres. The farm was divided among his descendants. His son Josiah received the northern section and established the burial ground, which contains primarily his descendants. When Benedict Arnold (1691-1733) – the grandson of the original Benedict – died, he further divided the farm leaving the Beaverhead Farm south of what is now Fort Getty Road to the son of his sister Abigail, and Fox Hill Farm north of the road to his sister Penelope’s son.

The next day’s house tour was at Fox Hill Farm. The farmhouse at Fox Hill Farm incorporates 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st century elements, while “The Crickets,” a Hodgson Company prefab six-room bungalow, is practically unchanged since it was built in 1929. Both offer fascinating insights into how changing life styles affect the way people design and redesign the spaces they live in.

The JHS is grateful to Jemma Craig, Patrick Driscoll, and Bill and Nonie O’Farrell for opening their homes for these events.

One more end-of-summer event will occur Friday, Oct. 7 – the Jamestown Historical Society annual Volunteers Thank You Party. All volunteers – over 100 people contribute each year to the success of the society – are invited. Some of the volunteers, especially the members of the board and of committees, work hard all year long; some sit at the windmill or museum one day a year, which allows the society to keep those venues open for visitors. We all get together at the end of the summer to celebrate a successful season.

To volunteer next year, call or email JHS volunteer coordinator Tricia Frary at 423-1395 or tfrary@cox.net, or send an email with your name and phone number to volunteers@jamestownhistoricalsociety.org. It’s never too early to get your name on the list.

Shoreby Hill

The Shoreby Hill Historic District was accepted for listing on the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 15. A formal announcement from the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission and copies of the nomination papers are expected in the near future.

This raises to 15 the number of recognized historic sites in Jamestown. BY ROSEMARY ENRIGHT

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