Smith's Castle - North Kingstown, RI
Posted by: NorStar
N 41° 34.988 W 071° 27.447
19T E 295149 N 4606409
Quick Description: Smith's Castle, on the site of a house that was a trading post and stronghold in this area, is now a museum where you can take a guided tour of the building and read about the history of this part of Rhode Island.
Location: Rhode Island, United States
Date Posted: 10/20/2011 6:05:00 PM
Waymark Code: WMCWY4
In North Kingstown is Smith's Castle, which is a museum of an old house that has a view of Narragansett Bay, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The building is a wooden 2 1/2 story house currently painted white. You first enter at a rear door. The guide, in period clothing, takes you to the front entrance, then head a tour through the rooms. In each home the guide explains the artifacts in the room, and tells several stories of the people who lived there. Of particular note were the office of Beriah Brown, the kitchen, and the dining room. In addition to the house itself, stories of the inhabitants are told, as well.
The grounds are a mixture of grass, trees, and rock formations. There are also memorials of men who had died during a conflict with Native Americans in the late 1600s. The house has a great view of Narragansett Bay, especially now that an old mulberry tree had just fallen a week before.
This is not the original structure at this location. In 1637, Richard Smith established a trading post here. The building was possibly fortified, which led to the name, Smith's Castle. In 1675, conflicts with Native Americans turned to all-out war. A group of Colonists gathered at Smith's post and then launched an attack. There were significant losses on both sides. Forty of the Colonists are buried on the grounds. A year later, the house was burned down in retaliation for the attack. Smith rebuilt in 1678.
In 1740, the Updikes, owners of the house at the time, remodelled the house. When finished the house appeared mostly as it does, today. The Updikes made the house and grounds into one of the largest farms, today, holding then over 3,000 acres. After the changes, the property continued to be a farm, and a later renovation changed the outside to a Victorian style. The property changed to a dairy farm in the early 20th century, until 1937, when Mr. Fox passed on and the farm was dispersed. In 1948, the Cocumscussoc Association was formed and purchased and preserved the structure, and this group runs the tours, today.
55 Richard Smith Drive
North Kingstown, RI United States of America
County / Borough / Parish: Washington
Year listed: 1972
Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Information Potential, Event
Periods of significance: 1875-1899, 1850-1874, 1825-1849, 1800-1824, 1750-1799, 1700-1749, 1650-1699
Historic function: Domestic
Current function: Museum
Privately owned?: yes
Season start / Season finish: From: 4/15/2011 To: 12/15/2011
Hours of operation: From: 12:00 PM To: 8:00 PM
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]
Secondary Website 2: Not listed
National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.