Old Narragansett Church, Wickford - North Kingstown, RI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 41° 34.393 W 071° 26.971
19T E 295779 N 4605290
Quick Description: in one legend of the Old Narragansett Church, a plain white building in North Kingstown that was built in 1707, to settle a quarrel about which new parish should have the church, the structure was 'stolen' by northern residents one night, Jan. 1800.
Location: Rhode Island, United States
Date Posted: 8/22/2010 12:23:00 PM
Waymark Code: WM9HB0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member PTCrazy
Views: 3

Long Description:
In the Wickford section of North Kingstown, there stands a white structure that is the Old Narragansett Church. The church is not visible from Main Street, though there is stone path with interesting historical points inscribed in the flagstones leading from Main Street to Church Lane where it is located. The church was and still is affiliated with the Anglican (Episcopal) Church and is currently used for occasional services. It is the oldest Anglican structure in the U.S. north of the Potomac River.

This church structure dates back to 1707, and was originally located elsewhere in the town. A pamphlet at the building (the link below provides the same text) states that it was originally located "at the Platform on the road running west from Pender Zeke's Corner. The road is now called the Dark Corner Road or Shermantown Road." On a map I found Shermantown Road, but no clear reference as to what was Pender Zeke's Corner. If I take the most eastern intersection - with Route 1 or Tower Road, it is around 3 miles to the southwest of Wickford.

Near 1800, it was decided that it was time for the congregation to split, for it was too far for many residents to travel and attend service, and in 1800, following a vote of the Vestry, the church was moved its original location to the present location in Wickford, on land donated by Lodowick Updike.

Legend has it that there was a quarrel between the northern and southern parts of the parish over who should own the structure. So, on a clear night in January, 2010, when the ground was covered with a heavily crusted snow, people of the norther part hitched up 24 yoke of cattle and hauled the church down hill to Wickford. Thus the northern, Wickford, people stole the church from the South Kingstown people and settled the question. This is unlikely, and is not supported by records. The tour guide indicated that even moving the church as one structure appears to be in doubt and it was probably disasembled then reassembled at the new location, though there is little evidence in the records what was actually done.

This structure was used as the main parish church until 1848, when a new church was built in town, and is the same church, today, St. Paul's Church, on Main Street. The old church was neglected for several decades until it was restored, starting in 1885 and completing by 1914.

The church is in good condition, today, and on summer weekends, it is open for tour. One particular feature is an organ that was brought into this church that dates back to about 1680.
Original Location: N 41° 31.200 W 071° 28.200

How it was moved: Other

Type of move: Inside City

Building Status: Private

Related Website: [Web Link]

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Roscoe45 visited Old Narragansett Church, Wickford - North Kingstown, RI 4/14/2011 Roscoe45 visited it