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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

New at the Charlestown Historical Society






Dear Members & Friends,

We hope your summer has been enjoyable and that staying 'local' has provided you an opportunity to enjoy your community. Although we have been open this season only for Saturday morning hours, the Archive & Schoolhouse have enjoyed a diverse group of visitors and new members. We are climate controlled and maintaining adherence to safety protocol, so please come by and enjoy some conversation and interesting displays! 

We'd also like to thank all of our members and supporters for your annual dues and donations. As we enter our 51st year as an organization, we are most appreciative of our community who have enabled the CHS to 'Learn, Teach and Preserve the History of Charlestown, Rhode Island.'


CHS Records & Photo Preservation of

Charlestown's WWII Naval Air Facility (CNAF)

(Present-Day Ninigret Park)



14 of 32 members of US Naval Air Squadron 108, Charlestown, RI (CNAF)


The CHS recently began an effort to digitize and preserve a wide array of physical records relating to Charlestown's WWII Naval Airfield Facility (CNAF). These include base records, unit and aircraft histories, personnel documents, historical maps and photographs.


CHS members Larry Webster and Chris McCabe have been collaborating in this effort. Larry has devoted decades to research, care and public education of this history. Chris brings his GIS and archaeological expertise to the table, along with his own naval experience. Their efforts to preserve these historical records for future generations is much appreciated! A future link displaying this information on the CHS website will be available. In the meantime, you can find a condensed history of the CNAF on the CHS website or come by and enjoy our museum display.



Experience the Story of the Hoxsie/Browning Families

from Plymouth to Charlestown in 200 Years

Follow Their Journey and Lay Hands on Their History

Auction with Proceeds to Benefit Charlestown Historical Society


Visit Books on the Pond





This summer some much-needed attention was given to the CHS compound with two outdoor projects. But first and foremost, we'd like to thank the Cross' Mills Public Library for their patience and permission in granting these beneficial changes, as the 1838 Schoolhouse stands on library grounds and daily hours and public attendance were of foremost concern.


In compliance with construction codes when the Archive was raised in 2012, a handicapped-accessible brick walkway was landscaped around the new building. At that time, however, there were property constraints that led to a halt on the continuation of the project. This past month, the extension of the walkway leading from the Archive to the Schoolhouse was completed by landscaper Rob Quinn and his company, Rare Earth Landscaping. It so happens that Rob is the great nephew of Thomas Arnold, one of CHS's early board members who was instrumental in the relocation and preservation of this 1838 District No. 2 Schoolhouse in 1972!



Along with the new walkway, CHS was recently gifted some beautiful granite stone from the Old Burdick Farm (c1760) by the Jones and Fitzgerald families. The farmhouse and farmlands, which encompassed all of the land along present-day Charlestown Beach Road, extended all the way down to the ocean. The Burdick Farmhouse was recently torn down and a gifting of this granite from the house foundation was given to CHS as a commemorative. A plaque will be produced for the bench in honor of this farm and family.  



The Charlestown Historical Society will be open through the end of September on Saturday mornings. We are open year-round by appointment at: Thank You for your patronage!