Ida Lewis was only 11 years old when her father Hosea was appointed keeper of Newport’s Lime Rock Lighthouse in 1853. Four years later, he suffered a debilitating stroke and his teen-aged daughter began assisting her mother in tending the light that marked the often stormy harbor.
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we now have the Springfield rifle carried by African American, Isaac J. Winters, of Company F 43rd U.S. Colored Troops during the American Civil War. He fought heroically in — and survived despite being wounded — some of the War’s most horrific combat.
An Austrian Count and World War I ace, Antoine Gazda, moved to Rhode Island and lived in the Biltmore Hotel (Providence, RI) for all of World War II, where he was guarded 24 hours a day in secret as he developed an aircraft version of his 20mm cannon. This shell casing at the Varnum Memorial Amory Museum was the first round fired from his prototype.
Here’s a special treat! At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a photo album that belonged to a member of the 76th Division Artillery in World War II.
Have you seen the Varnum House Museum’s period herb garden? This fantastic outdoor exhibit features 18th century flowers, plants, and herbs that were used for cooking, medicine, and cleaning, as well as dyes and paints. We also have a gorgeous rose garden! Each plant is labeled to let you know exactly how each herb was […]
This speech by Patrick Donovan was given to the Varnum Continentals membership during our monthly dinner meeting and speaker program on 8 April 2019. I believe, the teaching and sharing of American history can help us come together as a country through the realization that we have a shared story of our national birth and […]
This ancient Fowler was purportedly carried by Thomas Gould of North Kingstown as he patrolled the beaches of Quidnesset watching for Tory and British ships during the American Revolutionary War. It is a conglomeration of early European parts and some crude American-made parts. This old flintlock birding gun dates from the late 1600s to early […]
This is East Greenwich resident Thomas W. Chace’s certificate of appreciation for his service in the United Train of Artillery militia as he took command of the 4th Brigade of the Rhode Island Militia in September 1872. The intricacy and workmanship is amazing! This item is on display at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum.
Amazingly, a second tintype of Lyman Aylesworth (1st Rhode Island Cavalry in the US Civil War) has been found; this time on horseback in the field with his saber drawn. This is a fantastic image even without the ID of Aylesworth. The frame is identical to the other tintype in our possession. A dealer had […]
From its earliest inhabitants (possibly as far back as 12,000 years ago) up to modern times, 55-acre Dutch Island in the center of the Narragansett Bay’s west passage, has played an interesting role. From Italian explorer Giovanni deVerrazano‘s first visit to the bay in 1524, to the arrival of the Dutch in the early 17th […]