East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society
Fun Facts
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General Lafayette visited often at the Varnum House. He and General Varnum were very good friends. The northeast bedroom in the house is still called the Lafayette Room.
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Prophetess, Jemima Wilkinson (the Publick Universal Friend), established a meeting house in Frenchtown, located on what is now South County Trail.
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Frederick Douglass spoke at the East Greenwich Academy in 1888.
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Until 1854, East Greenwich was one of the five state capitals in Rhode Island. The others were Providence, Newport, South Kingstown and Bristol.
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow purchased the Windmill Cottage on Division Street for his friend, Professor George Washington Greene. He also was instrumental in having the windmill attached to the house to serve as a study for Professor Greene.
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Dr. Eben Tourgee, founder of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, was a descendent of one of the Frenchtown Huguenots who were here in 1682. Dr. Tourgee also taught at the East Greenwich Academy when it was known as the Providence Conference Seminary and Musical Institute.
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Inscribed in the wall of the Eldredge House at the corner of Peirce and Division Streets are several Greek letters which translate to: "I was sick and ye visited me." This is a most appropriate line for the home of two of the town's most devoted physicians — Dr. Charles Eldredge and his son, Dr. James H. Eldredge
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Benjamin Franklin was a frequent visitor at the Greene Farm on Love Lane. His friendship with Governor William Greene and his wife Catherine brought him here for many visits.
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“Wedding Dress” was taken from a fragment of handwoven linen printed in brown for a bride’s wedding dress. A small piece of the calico was saved by a descendent of the bride (Mrs. Sybil Brown). It was printed in East Greenwich, circa 1789, by Herman Van Duesen.
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The 1842 Constitution of Rhode Island was adopted by the General Assembly in the former East Greenwich Methodist Church on Main Street on November 5, 1842.
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Major William Gibbs McNeill, Chief Engineer of the Railroad and uncle of James McNeill Whistler, the famous American painter, designed the handsome double-arch, granite bridge (1837) on King Street, with George Washington Whistler, the father of James.
[Located in Category: Category 1 (Public)]