Programs & Events

Fall Events 2019

Kick Off Meetings
Women’s History Project
Thursday, October 17

Two meeting times: 1 pm or 7 pm

Wilbor House Museum
All are welcome.

In 2020 the Little Compton Historical Society will join history organizations all across the country to celebrate the 100 th anniversary of the 19 th Amendment guaranteeing women’s constitutional right to vote. The Historical Society invites volunteers interested in researching and/or writing about the lives of Little Compton women, from the 17 th century to the present day, to attend one of two project kick-off meetings scheduled for Thursday, October 17 at the Wilbor House Museum, 548 West Main Rd., Little Compton, RI. The first meeting is scheduled for 1 pm and will be repeated at 7 pm. Volunteers need only attend one of these meetings.

At the meeting, and throughout the winter, local women will be invited to write their own autobiographies. Volunteers will also be asked to interview Little Compton residents (year-round and seasonal), share their personal memories of local women, and/or research women from previous centuries. All the resulting histories will be permanently archived by the Historical Society and will serve as the inspiration for the 2020 special exhibition. All are welcome and anyone new to history research and writing will have ample opportunities for coaching by Historical Society staff and volunteers. 

The Historical Society is also seeking the loan (or gift) of portraits, photographs, diaries, and letters relating to Little Compton women.

If you would like to attend the project kick-off meeting or contribute to the Little Compton Women’s History project in any way, please contact the Historical Society at or 401-635-4035. 

Lafayette and Human Rights
Alan Hoffman
Thursday, October 24

7 PM

Little Compton Community Center
Open to the public. 
Donations at the door. 

Lafayette authority and author, Alan Hoffman, will speak the Marquis de Lafayette’s role as an early human rights activist. Lafayette’s first foray into human rights work was in the American Revolution which he saw as a cause important to all mankind. He continued to promote natural rights – “the Rights of Man and the Citizen” as per his 1789 declaration in France – through his support for revolutions in Europe and South America and for causes designed to provide human rights to the oppressed.

Abolition of slavery engaged Lafayette continuously – from 1783 until his death in 1834. Lafayette advocated for education of the enslaved and their gradual emancipation. In the 1780s, after Washington declined to join him in purchasing an experimental abolitionist plantation in America, Lafayette bought one in French Cayenne and had his overseer provide education and wages for the workers until they could buy their freedom. Lafayette said: “I would never have drawn my sword in the cause of America, if I could have conceived that thereby I was founding a land of slavery.”

One Day Exhibition
The Gardner-Dexter Shore Birds Come Home
Saturday, November 9 – One Day Only

1 to 5 pm

3 pm Remarks by curator Gigi Hopkins
3 – 5 pm Wine and cheese reception

Wilbor House Museum
Reception Room
Courtesy of The Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon
Donations at the Door

Around the turn of the last century Dr. Clarence Gardner and Newton Dexter were deeply involved in Little Compton bird hunting scene and created beautiful painted wooden shorebirds at Dr. Gardner’s Sakonnet Point house. Today their work is held in the highest esteem by collectors all over the country. Two of their finest pieces, dowitcher decoys from the collection of Jane and Ron Gard of Texas, will be returning to Little Compton for one afternoon only under the care of Gigi Hopkins, an expert in the field, and the curator of a recent Gardner-Dexter shorebird exhibition at Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon. The two shorebirds will be joined by other bird carvings and decoys generously loaned by local collectors and from the collection of the Little Compton Historical Society. We invite you to bring your antique decoys and painted shorebirds for Ms. Hopkins to review that afternoon. Perhaps you own a Gardner-Dexter without even knowing it!

RSVP (not required, but appreciated) and any questions, please contact Anna Utech, 781-821-8853,

Traveling Exhibition
Extraordinary Women of the East Bay

Little Compton’s Women’s History Exhibition – Under Construction
Saturday, November 9 to Friday, November 22

Wilbor House Museum – Special Exhibition Gallery
November 9, Opening Day

1 to 5 pm

2 pm Brief Curator Talk by Heidi Benedict, Roger Williams University Archivist
3 to 5 pm Wine & Cheese Reception
Donations at the door.

“Extraordinary Women of the East Bay”, is a traveling exhibit curated by Heidi Benedict, Roger Williams University Archivist. The exhibition will be available at the Wilbor House Museum at no charge during the Historical Society’s open hours through November 22. It will feature some sneak previews of the Little Compton Historical Society’s 2020 exhibition. 

Thanksgiving Service
Thanksgiving Morning
Thursday, November 28

10 am

The Friends Meeting House
234 West Main Road
Donations benefit the Little Compton Assistance Fund

Take part in an ecumenical service of Thanksgiving in Little Compton’s historic Friends Meeting House.

Book Sales Table
Tree Spree
Saturday, December 1

1 to 7 pm

Wilbur-McMahon School on the Commons
Free Admission

Come see the array of local history books and Little Compton merchandise the Historical Society has to offer.  They make perfect gifts for anyone who loves Little Compton.