Historical Locations

Historical Locations to Visit

Remarkably, America 's smallest state -- Rhode Island -- is one of the nation's wealthiest repositories of historical attractions, boasting one of the highest concentration of the country's National Historic Landmarks.

Visitors will discover that Rhode Island has an abundance of Colonial and Victorian homes, palatial estates reminiscent of the gilded age, and public buildings, the nation's first enclosed shopping mall, the first manufacturing plant in America, a delightful 17th century fishing village, the boyhood home of one of America's finest colonial artists, and two houses of worship which represent the roots of religious freedom in America. Best of all, the state's compact size makes it easy to travel from one historic site to the next -- none is more than an hour from any other, and many are within walking distance of each other.


210 Locations Available in RI

There are (25) listings per page and (9) pages to view.

The following Historical are listed in order by establishment name. Click on the establishment name for additional details and contact information.

Artillery Company of Newport
Newport County
The museum is considered to have one of the most outstanding collections of foreign and domestic militaria to be seen in the United States. Started in 1960, it has grown from a minute collection that today represents over one hundred countries throughout the known world. The command, Rhode Island Militia, chartered in 1741, is the nation's oldest military organization in continuous service under its charter.

Astors' Beechwood Mansion
Newport County
This Victorian Living History Museum re-creates the vivid past of Newport in the year 1891. Interact with history as you step back in time for a 45-minute guided tour given by professional actors in costume replicating Newport high society. Call for dates for The Beechwood Speakeasy, Murder Begets Murder, an interactive Murder Mystery and Victorian Christmas Events. Astors' Beechwood Mansion is also available for special events and weddings. Handicapped access on first floor only.

Babcock-Smith House
South County
Early Georgian-style home of Dr. Joshua Babcock, Westerly's first physician, postmaster and friend of Benjamin Franklin, who was a frequent visitor. Later owned by Orlando Smith, who in 1846 discovered granite on the property which later became one of the country's leading granite centers.

Baptist Church in Warren
East Bay
Russell Warren, architect. Replaces earlier structure, burned in 1778, during a British-Hessian raid. Tower bell recast from original Paul Revere. Rhode Island College, now Brown University, was established in the earlier Baptist Meeting House, 1764.

Barrington Civic Center Historic District
East Bay
Barrington Town Hall (1887-1888) was designed by Stone, Carpenter & Wilson, architects of Providence. The medieval style 1 1/2 story building, constructed with three flank gable units of varying height, has two circular towers. The basement, first and second stories of the towers are constructed of boulders. The historic district also includes the library which is located in the early 20th century school, 18th century cemetery and pond.

Bayard Ewing Building
Greater Providence
A superior example of Rhode Island commercial architecture. A brick building with Greek-Revival details, it was used by the Fall River Ironworks, the Rumford Chemical Company and the Phillips Lead Company. Renovated in 1977 by the Rhode Island School of Design for reuse by its Department of Architecture. Changing exhibitions and lectures are open to the public throughout the school year.

Beavertail Lighthouse Museum
Newport County
The 1938 hurricane uncovered the original base of the third lighthouse established in America (1749), an interesting example of early Colonial stonework. The present granite tower, just north of the original light, was erected in 1856. The point also offers spectacular views of Rhode Island's Atlantic coastline. The assistant keepers quarters houses a museum featuring a 4th order fresnel lens, models of many RI lighthouses and a pictorial history of RI lighthouses.

Belcourt Castle
Newport County
Louis XIII-style castle designed by Richard Morris Hunt for Oliver H.P. Belmont. Exhibits a full-size gold Coronation Coach and one of the largest collection of antiques and treasures in Newport. The only Newport mansion with owners in residence. Open to the public since 1957. Furnishings from 33 European and Oriental countries and from the 20th centuries.

Bell School House
South County
One room school restored to 1898 on exterior, earlier features interior. Old text books. Occasional special Historical Society exhibits, publicized by newspaper and local cable.

Beneficent Congregational Church (United Church Of Christ)
Greater Providence
Nicknamed the Round Top, plans were inspired from Dublin by its Irish-born pastor, Rev. James "Paddy" Wilson (1791-1839), making it one of the earliest classical buildings in America. Oldest building on the west side of downtown Providence. The beginnings of some Providence public schools were in the school taught by Paddy Wilson. The meeting house is topped by a wooden copy of Lysicrates' monument to music. The original is in Athens, Greece.

Benefit Street's Mile of History
Greater Providence
The most impressive concentration of original Colonial homes in America. Beautifully restored houses, churches and museums overlook the city's historic waterfront. Self-guided walking tours and "A Guide to Providence Architecture" available from the Providence Preservation Society.

Blackstone River State Park
Blackstone Valley & Northern Rhode Island
A riverfront park with bike paths, walking trails, canoe portage, freshwater fishing. Historical walking tours along the canal tow path built in 1828.

Blackstone River Valley Bike Path
Blackstone Valley & Northern Rhode Island
Completed 6-mile section of proposed 17-mile path through the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor between Providence and Worcester, MA. Paralleling the river, and industrial revolution canal tow path, the trail affords spectacular views of New England foliage in the autumn. 724-2200. Accessible off Front St., to Manville Rd. in Lincoln. Additional segments leading south to Pawtucket and north to Woonsocket are in design stages.

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
East Bay
Former summer home of Pennsylvania coal magnate, Augustus Van Wickle, this charming 45-room, turn-of-the-century mansion and 33-acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens overlook Narragansett Bay and historic Bristol harbor. One of the first and most innovative arboreta in America, it features 50,000 flowering spring bulbs, a Japanese water garden, exotic bamboo stand, a display garden and the largest giant sequoia east of the Rockies, among hundreds of unusual plantings.

Block Island Historical Society
Block Island
Permanent and special exhibits on history of Block Island.

Bowen's Wharf
Newport County
Features restored waterfront shopping, restaurant and marine district with cobblestone and brick walkways and a rich blend of 18th, 19th and 20th century history and architecture.

Boyd's Wind Grist Mill
Newport County
Built in 1810 in Portsmouth. Dismantled and moved to a 14-acre park in Middletown in 1990. Recently placed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places.

Brandaris Sailing Charters
South County
Private, corporate and family yacht charters. Dinner and sunset cruises, nature excursions, foliage tours, seal watches and Wickford area tours. Special lobster dinner cruises and bike tours.

Brenton Point State Park
Newport County
Occupying the former grounds of one of Newport's grandest estates, Brenton Point State Park affords its visitors one of the most commanding and spectacular views on the East Coast. The park is located at the point of land where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic, midway along renowned Ocean Drive. Visitors can enjoy picnicking, hiking, fishing, or just relaxing with the cool breezes and majestic views of the Atlantic.

Brick Market Place
Newport County
Designed by Peter Harrison and used initially as a market and granary. Now, the quaint restored area offers a tremendous variety of gift shops, boutiques and restaurants.

Bridgeton Car Barn
Blackstone Valley & Northern Rhode Island
In 1902, a substantial car barn was erected to house electric cars to be used for mass transportation. Car service to the area ceased in 1928, but a portion of the car barn remains as a reminder.

Bristol Historical & Preservation Society Museum & Library
East Bay
Originally built as county jail (1828) using stone ballast from Bristol sailing ships. Two-tier jail addition, built in 1859. Group walking tours by appointment. Library for historical and genealogical research, open by appointment. Museum collections span from Revoultionary War to present.

Brown and Hopkins Country Store
Blackstone Valley & Northern Rhode Island
In the quaint village of Chepachet features one of the nation's oldest continuously operating general store, dating from 1809. Country-home accessories, reproduction furniture, candles, coffee and penny candy.

Butts Hill Fort
Newport County
Site was a key position during Rhode Island's only major Revolutionary War land battle, August 29, 1778. Old redoubts still discernible and marker tells of the battle in which Generals Lafayette, Hancock, Greene and Sullivan participated.

Canonchet Farm Park
South County
174-acre park. Historic cemetery with graves dating to 1700. Nature trails.

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