PORTSMOUTH HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Rating: 4 stars 1 1 review
870 E Main Rd Portsmouth RI 02871 USA
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Portsmouth Historical Society is an undiscovered gem. Situated on the corner of East Main Road and Union Street, it occupies the now defunct Christian Union Church. The first floor consists of a small research library and a museum with permanent displays of local interest. Each year the curator’s committee creates a temporary exhibit. The 2012 exhibit was titled ‘On the Water’. It focused on commerce, recreation, bridges and lighthouses. The second floor is the beautifully restored church space which is used for speakers. On the grounds is the Old Town Hall, circa 1860, where farming implements and a collection of horse drawn vehicles are exhibited. The small red building is the oldest schoolhouse in Rhode Island. Funds for its construction were authorized by Portsmouth in 1716 and it was built in 1725. All are open free to the public. Donations are welcomed. A mere $10 annual membership fee provides members with newsletters about speakers and events. I give the organization 4 stars only because their limited funding restricts the hours of operation to Sundays 2-4 from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Scheduled appointments, speakers and events are accommodated beyond these times. Their website is being recreated as it has recently moved to PortsmouthHistorical.com As a volunteer I can attest that it is rewarding to work with this small group of enthusiastic, creative individuals. They produce great results on a shoe string!
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