Jamestown, Rhode Island
More than forty museums are
located within a 45 minute drive from Jamestown.
Attractions are grouped by their location (town or city) and
distance from Jamestown.
interests, there is something for you. Take a day, or part of a day, to visit one or more of these
sites that focus on history, architecture, decorative arts, fine
art, photography, culinary arts, industrial arts,
shipbuilding, sailing, crafts of bygone and modern times, steam
engines, steam boats, fire fighting, popular culture and other subjects.
Be sure to check on operating schedule and possible pre-arrangements.
museums include Watson Farm,
a living history museum that offers a glimpse into the way most
people lived in Jamestown for three hundred years; the Beavertail Lighthouse
Museum and aquarium; the Jamestown Fire Department Memorial Museum
collection of antique fire fighting equipment; the
Sydney L. Wright Memorial Museum collection of artifacts from ancient and Colonial period
Narragansett Indians and Seventeenth Century Europeans found in
Jamestown in 1966 and 1967; and the Jamestown Museum
collection of ferry system memorabilia, historic photos, maps, and other
items that help tell the story of Jamestown's history.
page for more information about
these museums and other interesting things to do in Jamestown.
|These Newport museums are 3 to
5 miles from Jamestown. Take Route 138 East across the bridge,
then Route 238 South to central Newport. Continue to
destination. An Interactive
Newport Map is
available for assistance.
Newport museums include eleven Presevation Society of Newport County properties that represent more than 250 years of
Newport social and architectural history. Examples are The Breakers, Marble House, The
Hunter House and
The Newport Restoration
Foundation, owns a total of 83 historic structures in and around
Rough Point, Doris Duke's home in Newport;
Whitehorne, a Federal home containing the Doris Duke
collection of Newport Furniture; and many other restored historic
homes. The National
Museum of American Illustration displays the largest
private collection of works by great illustrators in the architectural
setting of Vernon Court.
Additional Newport museums
include Astors' Beechwood, a marvelous ocean-front mansion; Belcourt Castle, a spectacular
owner-occupied mansion museum; The Newport Historical Society
collections of fine and decorative arts, furniture, musical instruments,
textiles and clothing and artifacts of everyday life housed in the Museum of
Newport History; other Newport Historical Society
properties: The Newport Colony
House, the Great Friends
Meeting House, the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard
House and The Seventh Day Baptist
Meeting House. You can also visit the historic
Touro Synagogue, the Newport Postcard Museum
and the Naval War College Museum.
The 60 acre campus of Salve Regina
University is internationally known as leader in
conservation and reuse of historic structures. The International Tennis
Hall of Fame portrays the history of the sport, the
Newport Art Museum shows historic and contempory Rhode
Island works, historic Fort Adams
was the largest coastal fortification in the United States, finally, the Museum of Yachting, located within the fort, has 10,000
square feet of historic yachts, including the Courageous,
two-time America's Cup winner.
more detailed information on these Newport museums and other
interesting things to do in Newport.
about 6 travel miles west of Jamestown. Take Route 138 West to
1A South. .
Gilbert Stuart Birthplace: Prolific and
well-connected, Stuart painted over a thousand portraits
including Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and
Monroe and other socially prominent men and woman. This
site includes a water-wheel powered snuff mill and gardens.
The 1750 home features period furnishings.
Located on Gilbert Stuart Road, just
south of the Jamestown Bridge,between
Routes 1 and 1A, Saunderstown, RI.
Signs are on Route 1 (138) as well as 1A. (401) 294-3001
||Casey Farm: Built about 1750, overlooking Narragansett Bay, this
a prosperous plantation produced food for local and foreign
markets until commerce was disrupted by the Revolutionary War.
Worked by tenant farmers for two hundred years, it is owned by
the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.
Resident farm managers and member-volunteers raise organically
grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers for subscribing households
Community Supported Agriculture program. 2325
Boston Neck Road Saunderstown, R.I. 02874 (401) 295-1030
|Wickford is 10
miles north of Jamestown via Route 138 West, then US 1 North, or
1A North to US 1.
Smith's Castle: Parts of this
home date to 1678. Constructed on the site of the original
"Smith's Castle". Built upon land called Cocumscussoc,
purchased in 1637 by Roger Williams from the
legendary Indian leader Conanicus. It was used as a
staging area for a Colonist attack on Wampanoag warriors during
King Philip's War in 1675. In retaliation, the original house
was burned in 1676. Cocumscussoc became
one of the great plantations of 18th-century New England, at one
point encompassing more than 3,000 acres. It was divided into
five farms worked by tenant farmers, indentured servants, and
slaves. Bu the end of the Eigthteenth Century the age of
plantations had passed and the property was sold off in pieces.
It was purchased for preservation and restoration in 1948. A
National Landmark site. House tours cost $5, no charge for
55 Richard Smith Drive, Wickford RI 02852. Telephone 401
the URI campus is about 13 miles west of Jamestown on Route 138
Arts Center Galleries University of Rhode Island:
Self-described as a kunsthalle rather than a collecting
institution, Rhode Island's official galleries are comprised of
three public exhibition areas. Serving the public and students,
approximately 18 exhibits are shown annually representing
contemporary art from emerging and internationally known
artists. Check out the current exhibits in the
Photography Gallery and
Corridor Gallery. Admission Free. 105 Upper College Road,
Suite One, Kingston, RI 02881-0820
||The International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame
& Museum: Housed on the University of Rhode Island campus and administered by the Institute for International
Sport, the Hall of Fame and Museum is a comprehensive
educational and resource center with an exhibit hall and
museum, library, sports photography gallery, artwork displays
and a lecture hall/classroom. The first 20 inductees were named in 1999.
Additional Hall of Fame inductees are chosen every two years
based on distinguished athletic, academic, and humanitarian
achievements by an international panel with more than
3045 Kingstown Road Kingston, RI 02881 Telephone: (401)874-2375
about 14 miles south of Jamestown. Take Route 138 West, then US
1 or 1A South.
South County Museum:
Dedicated to keeping alive the rural, village, and maritime
heritage of the past two centuries in the southern Rhode Island
region, the museum has more than 20,000 artifacts of local
handcrafted technology and everyday life. In its six buildings
and living history farm, it also offers glimses into the
techniques used to produce these useful items. The main exhibit
space is Metz Hall.
Ongoing exhibits include Agriculture tools and implements, a
recreation of Kenyon's Department Store, Railroads of Southern
Rhode Island artifacts and photos, a Country Kitchen and General
Store. Other exhibit sites are the Blacksmith Shop,
One Room Schoolhouse and Print Shop. Strathmore Street, Narragansett RI ( 401)
is about 16 miles north of Jamestown. Take Route 138 West, then
US 1 North.
|The New England Wireless and Steam Museum:
This electrical and mechanical engineering museum contains rare
early radio and steam apparatus. Part of its mission is helping
visitors learn about science, math and physics by reason rather
than rote - through seeing how analysis and testing has been
used to solve engineering problems and advance these important
technologies. With an all-volunteer staff, advance arrangements,
usually with group tours and events, are required. (401)
|1300 Frenchtown Road
East Greenwich RI 02818
House Museum: :Eight room mansion built in 1773 by James
Mitchell Varnum, a lawyer who would soon be drawn into the
Revolutionary War and serve as one of General George
Washington's Continental Army Brigadier Generals. Furnished with
period furniture. Colonial garden. Open June through September.
57 Peirce Street East Greenwich RI. Confirm hours at (401)
Memorial Armory:The armory, built in 1913, serves
as headquarters for the Varnum Continentals and contains an
extensive Military & Naval Museum.
Military weapons and artifacts from the 16th Century to the
present are on display, including posters, historic uniforms and
pictures. The Continentals and the armory are named in honor of
James Mitchell Varnum, the first commander of the Kentish
Guards, and Brigadier General in the Continental Army.
6 Main Street, East Greenwich RI. Open by appointment.
between Newport and Providence. From Newport, take Rte. 114
North, across the Mt. Hope Bridge.
Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum: This 33 acre
estate has spectacular lawns and gardens sweeping down to
Narragansett Bay. The original mansion, built in the mid-1890s,
was destroyed by fire, leading to construction of the current
mansion in 1907. More than 1500 trees and shrubs grow along the
border of its 10 acre lawn. There are almost 250 kinds of woody
plants in the collection.
101 Ferry Road (Rt.114), Bristol, Rhode Island 02809. (401)
|NOTE: More capsule descriptions of
accessible museums will be added as time permits.
Additional nearby museums are located in
Providence, Pawtucket, Bristol, Warwick, North Kingstown, South
Kingstown, Westerly and other locations.
Use the links in the section
below to look for other destinations of interest to you.
More Museums and Information:
Detailed descriptions of many
Rhode Island museums are available at a web site maintained by
the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. Others museums
can be found on the "Attractions" listings of RITourism.com (for Newport, Newport County, Bristol County, Providence, Providence County, South County, Block Island and Kent County) and on the USA Museum list for Rhode Island.
Other museum and attractions lists are South County museums prepared by the
South County Tourism Council, the list of
Rhode Island Historic Sites Open to the Public
compiled by the State of Rhode Island Historical Preservation
and Heritage Commission, and lists of Rhode Island museums posted on VirtualCities and Visit Rhode Island.
Where is the museum and how do I get there?
Click on this Rhode Island map image to access an MSN MapPoint interactive map.