Babcock-Smith House Museum
You might think that Jackie Smith’s last name would have been enough to qualify her for the Resident Manager position which opened up when Patricia Hval retired, but it was her enthusiasm, deep love of history, her work ethic, and her previous experience at the Varnum House and the Nathanael Greene Homestead which sealed the deal.
Jackie is deeply involved with tracing her genealogy and has discovered that her history can be traced to four of Westerly’s early settlers even though she grew up in Fairfield, CT. She plans to apply to Brown University’s doctoral program in history even though she knows that the competition for the fifteen places will be stiff.
If she is admitted, Providence will be no strange city to her since she ran a successful café near PPAC and is a graduate of Rhode Island College. We welcome her to the other end of the state and hope that she can find that elusive genealogical connection to Orlando Smith.
Seasonal Exhibit of Women’s Fashion Accessories
Drawing on the Museum’s collection of accessories, Jackie Brennan, Mary Cool and Jan Tunney have outdone themselves with a display of hats, gloves, shawls, parasols and almost any other accessory you can imagine. Lavender and black draping provide a dramatic background for all sorts of accessories—some of which have gone out of fashion and some of which have remained constant. On display in the Isaac Smith Room of the Museum, they can be seen any time the Museum is open.
As a result of rousingly successful walking tours of the downtown granite buildings and River Bend Cemetery for the Rhode Island Preservation Conference sponsored by RIHPHC and held in Westerly this year, the Museum will begin a multi-year series of walking tours of the cemetery with each tour having a different focus.
This year’s tour will be an introduction to the various types of monuments in the older section of the cemetery, with an emphasis on those made from Westerly granite – which is not hard since most of them are!
We are also offering a tour of some of the downtown buildings and monuments. If you are not able to attend, our DVD of downtown buildings will cover much of what we will be doing on the walking tour. For details, see the events page.
Fifth-graders Enjoy Visit to Museum
Fifth graders returned for a full day at the museum where they and their teachers discovered new space and improved interactive activities. Two of the more memorable musings by the children:
* When asked why there were no women in the photo of the granite workers, one young woman replied, “Because they underestimated us.”
* We had learned that fourth graders studied simple machines, so it seemed like a good review question when Linda Chaffee was showing giant levers and introducing compound machines such as the jack. When she asked for an example of a simple machine, one youngster, fresh from his tour of the Museum, replied, “That thing that you push up and down to make butter.” Ah, yes. The butter churn. Truly a simple machine.
To Submit Granite Information, Anecdotes, or Artifacts:
Email: Ellen Madison, firstname.lastname@example.org
Snail mail: John Coduri c/o Babcock-Smith House Museum, 124 Granite Street, Westerly, RI. 02891
Phone: Linda Chaffee, 401-377-8490
Phone: Betty-Jo Cugini 401-315-2446
In the News...
* Museum bids farewell to resident manager Patricia Hval and welcomes
* Carolyn Longolucco has retired from overseeing the Candlelight Dinners. As a thank you for all those years of service, the docents have given her her very own dinner.
* An addition and correction sheet reflecting changes for the third printing of "Built From Stone" is available to supplement your "old" edition of the book.
* Trustees held a workday to spruce up the grounds, Jackie Brennan and her daughter Dawn mended and cleaned the braided rugs, we cleaned out the “treasures” from the storage space off the Common Room, and rearranged the storage shelves in the cellar of the Museum to make our plaster model storage more efficient.
© 2009 Babcock-Smith House Museum