Remember Me

Little Compton’s 45 Historic Cemeteries
Local History Lecture by Marjory O’Toole
7 PM – March 19   – LC Community Center
FREE & Open to the Public 

The Old Burying Ground

The 45 minute lecture will be followed by a brief project planning meeting for those interested in being cemetery volunteers.

The Little Compton Historical Society invites the public to enjoy a presentation on Little Compton’s 45 historic cemeteries given by Executive Director, Marjory O’Toole on Monday, March 19 at 7:00 pm at the Little Compton Community Center.

Ms. O’Toole will explain why Little Compton has so many cemeteries and how they’ve been lost, found, and altered through the years. She’ll also discuss some of Little Compton’s unique gravestones as well as recent evidence identifying the location of the town’s “Negro Burying Ground” and the presence of numerous unmarked graves in the Old Burying Ground on the Commons recently discovered by ground penetrating radar. The talk is free and open to the public and is the first of many events planned for 2018 to explore, restore and preserve Little Compton’s historic burying grounds.

Following the 45-minute lecture and slide show, Ms. O’Toole will invite interested audience members to stay to hear more about the Historical Society’s “Remember Me” project, a major community effort to research, clean, and repair historic cemeteries throughout Little Compton. Over 100 volunteers are needed this summer to clean 1000 gravestones. The Society also hopes to recruit 45 volunteers willing to monitor cemeteries in the future and to complete annual condition reports.

Community members are also asked to share their stories, documents, and photographs regarding local cemeteries with Ms. O’Toole no later than mid-April in time for their use in the special exhibition and cemetery guidebook the Society will launch this July. Loans or donations of objects related to death and remembrance including mourning clothing, decorations made from human hair, memorial embroideries, and even displaced gravestones are needed for this summer’s special exhibition. Anyone with these or similar objects is asked to contact the Historical Society at 401-635-4035 or lchistory@littlecompton.org.

Photo: The Old Burying Ground on the Commons, by Bart Brownell.

Teaching RI’s Black History

Dear Teachers,

We’ve made, and will continue to update, a public folder of resources that you can use in your classroom to teach your students about the history of slavery, indenture and freedom in Rhode Island.

Here is the link:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1808SHJO3ojMyKSww5m7QDwionZKwIY7C

On February 10, 2018, our Executive Director Marjory O’Toole will be leading a workshop discussing ways to use her book “If Jane Should Want to be Sold: Stories of Enslavement, Indenture and Freedom in Little Compton, RI” in your classroom.  Marjory is just one of a dozen excellent presenters featured in the “Next Steps: A Place-Based Approach to Teaching African American History in Rhode Island” conference at Rhode Island College. Tickets are only $10.  Use this link to learn more.

https://sites.google.com/view/africanamericanhistoryinri/featured-speakers

This young girl is Moselle Gray. Enslaved in North Carolina as an infant by Arnold Gray formerly of Little Compton, Moselle was inherited by her master’s brother who granted her freedom and brought her to live in Little Compton with his family. Moselle’s life was not easy in Rhode Island, but today a large, diverse, and very vibrant Newport family honor her as their matriarch.    

Moselle, c. 1866. Gray Family Album 2007.2585

Cider Social – Cow Pie Bingo – Antiques Sale! Monday, October 9

Cider Social Oreo 2016 2017 cropped(1)

A four-legged visitor will be the honored guest at this year’s Cider Social celebration at the Little Compton Historical Society on Monday, October 9 (Columbus Day) from 1 to 4 pm. For the fourth year the Society has expanded its annual Cider Social to include local vendors, a Cow Pie Bingo Fundraising event, and a booth selling vintage and antique items donated by the community.

As usual the Cider Social is free and open to the public. There will be complimentary cider and donuts while supplies last, free tours of the Wilbor House Museum, a candy haystack, corn husk-doll making, and the last opportunity to see this year’s special exhibition, “Little Compton’s 20th-Century Artists” all at no charge. The special exhibit ends that day.

On October 9, the Society will also be hosting their annual antiques sale. Anyone with antique or vintage items to donate to this sale is asked to do so before the ninth. Local vendors will be on hand selling variety of hand-crafted items and the Historical Society’s museum shop will be open offering a variety of local history books and gift items. New vendors are welcome and should call 401-635-4035 to reserve a spot.The fee is $20.

The highlight of the day will be the Cow Pie Bingo event taking place between 3 and 4 pm. Oreo, a Belted Galloway, will return for his second year of Cow Pie Bingo. Oreo will be accompanied by his farmer, Pete Dellasanta of Pete’s Farm. Pete, who began his own farm in high school and is now a college freshman, will lead Oreo onto a gridded field promptly at 3 PM and the first square in the grid to receive a cow pie will be the winner. Tickets corresponding to each square on the grid are on sale now at the Historical Society for $10 each or three for $25 and will also be sold the day of the event until 2:55 PM. The holder of the winning ticket will receive a $500 prize. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Historical Society.

Pete and other judges will be on hand to make the final call determining the winning square. If no cow pie is deposited before 4 PM the judges will draw the winning ticket from a hat.

Volunteers are needed to help with the event. Anyone interested in volunteering or in purchasing a vendor’s spot is asked to call the Historical Society at 401-635-4035.

Little Compton Antiques Festival & Classic Car Show

The Little Compton Historical Society is proud to partner with Preserve Rhode Island and Ferguson & D’Arruda Antiques to present the Little Compton Antiques Festival on the grounds of the Wilbor House Museum and to host, for the first time, a Classic Car Show featuring approximately 30 vehicles.

Antiques Festival Preview Party – Fri., Aug. 4 from 6 to 8 pm.

Antiques Festival & Classic Car Show – Sat. Aug. 5 from 9 to 4.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit both the Little Compton Historical Society and Preserve Rhode Island.

The Antiques Festival kicks off with a Preview Party on Friday evening featuring a sunset supper, complimentary beverage, live music and early buying privileges. Admission to Saturday festival included with Preview Party ticket.

For more information, visit http://www.preserveri.org/little-compton-antiques-festival

Antique or vintage donations for the sale are welcome anytime before the event.