E News Nov 3, 2023 - Important Events - Read Here

Nov 3, 2023

Dear HistWick members and friends,

The past month offered so many engaging and enjoyable activities that brought our community together to celebrate fall. Many of our members (and of course many others) took part in the Horribles Parade for children, the Witches of Wickford Parade, and Witches Paddle. I hope you had the opportunity to join in the fun!

As we prepare for the holidays, more Wickford Village events are planned. Most importantly HistWick Annual Holiday Potluck Supper will take place on Sunday, December 3 at 5:30 pm at the Wickford Yacht Club. It’s a very popular members-only event, so save the date and we’ll send full details later this month.

HistWick is still actively soliciting pledges for the renovation of the Old Town House. To bring the Old Town House back to life, Historic Wickford, Inc. needs everyone’s support with a pledge, no matter how small! No money is being collected now, but YOUR pledge is very much needed to secure the total amount necessary to restore this 1807 historic meeting house.

For the many pledges that we have already received, we are truly grateful. Our goal is to generate as many pledges as possible. So the full participation of our membership and HistWick’s many friends is vital because your pledge will help secure both federal and state grants!

To pledge: Click here to help save Rhode Island’s oldest small-town public assembly space and join in this important historic project.

Also, please remember to cast your vote on two bond referendums: Question 1: Construction of a new middle school and public safety building; and Question 2: a recreation center that can serve as an emergency center. Early in-person voting is until Monday, November 6 at the North Kingstown Municipal Office Building, 100 Fairway Drive, Monday-Friday, 8:30 to 4:30. And, on Tuesday November 7th at your designated polling station, 7 am to 8 pm.r

My best to all,

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Historic Wickford, Inc.




Saturday, November 11, 9:30 am traditional ceremony and 10 am parade

UpDike Park (corner of Brown am West Main Streets) 

Members of the North Kingstown Parades Committee welcome all to take part in the Saturday, November 11 commemoration of Veterans Day. HistWick Past President and current board member, Michael Donohue, will lead the traditional ceremonies at Updike Park and by the nearby waters of Wickford at 9:30 am. The parade kicks off at 10 am with the route to follow the lengths of West Main and Brown Streets through Wickford Village over Hussey Bridge to Boston Neck Road and then onto Fairway Drive to the high school for the concluding ceremonies which are expected to commence at 11 am.



If anyone would like an historic house plaque for their home, please contact Larry Ehrhardt ([email protected]). He plans to place an order soon. The cost is $55. Larry does a great job producing attractive plaques to add to your home’s exterior!


HANDEL’S MESSIAH COMES to WICKFORD: Performed by Ensemble Altera

Saturday, December 2, 7:30 pm

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 

55 Main Street, Wickford

Ensemble Altera, which is fast becoming one the nation’s leading chamber choirs, will perform Handel’s Messiah in the heart of historic Wickford Village. The performance will begin at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Main Street) at 7:30 pm. VIP ticket holders are invited to a pre-performance fire-side reception across the street in one of Wickford’s lovely historic homes. Cocktails and appetizers will begin at 6 pm. Tickets are available for $75 for general admission and $100 for VIP admission with preferred seating and the pre-performance reception.



CHRISTMAS AT THE CASTLE: Remembering Christmases Past

Saturday December 2 and Sunday December 3, Noon to 4 pm 

Smith’s Castle, 55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown

Smith’s Castle, a national historic site, invites the public to join its annual two-day celebration of Christmas at the Castle. This year’s theme, “Remembrance of Christmases Past”, revisits the ways the house and docents have celebrated the holiday through its nearly 400 year history. This family-friendly event will feature puppeteer Dan Butterworth; music and stories from Anne Marie Forer & Sheila Reynolds; as well as performances by the Brown Madrigal Singers, The Wheeler School Concert Bell Ringers, and Christmas Music of the 1940’s singalong. Christmas at the Castle also offers colonial crafts, cookie decorating, hand-painting, and outdoor games (weather permitting). In addition, visitors may tour the house and meet Father Christmas, along with docents in colonial attire. Colonial craft demonstrations will be displayed in the house through the afternoon. And, don’t miss out on our annual bake sale, Christmas bazaar and raffle. And, there’s free cider and gingerbread for all.

Christmas at the Castle is made possible by the generosity of the North Kingstown Arts Council and the volunteers and staff of The Cocumscussoc Association.

For further information about Smith’s Castle visit our website at http//:www.smithscastle.org

E News April 27, 2023 - Important Events - Read Here

April 27, 2023

Hello HistWick members and additional E-News friends,

Spring is definitely in the air and many activities will take place for our enjoyment. These offer an opportunity to socialize with friends and meet new ones as well.


This email also alerts you to the date for HistWick’s very popular annual meeting for HistWick members–Thursday May 25 at 5pm (rain date June 1) on the lawn overlooking the water at the historic Smith’s Castle. Mark your calendar now; we’ll share details in an upcoming E-News. If you are not yet a HistWick member, consider joining to be invited to this event.


On Saturday and Sunday June 24 and 25, 10-4pm (rain or shine), HistWick will host Wickford in Bloom: Historic Home and Garden Tour. We are actively recruiting docents to support the tour’s property owners during the event. All that’s needed from volunteers is a 3-hour commitment and a welcoming demeanor when guests arrive. So please consider giving a little of your time to this very successful event. More details about Wickford in Bloom are below and at www.HistWick.org.


Thank you,

MaryAnn Hackett

Historic Wickford, Inc. President



North Kingstown Parking Study

The Town of North Kingstown is in the midst of conducting a Parking Study and have engaged the Pare Corporation to begin this work with a 2-month data collection of off-season parking survey that’s one month in. Village stores have questionnaires for residents and visitors to complete. As part of this effort, Pare Corporation staff will meet with businesses, residents, and visitors to examine parking issues during various hours and days. They will conduct a public hearing in July, followed by a 2-month data collection of on-season parking in July through September. A series of internal meetings with town officials, followed by a public hearing towards the end of the year, will culminate the study and be integrated into a final report to the town.


Gilbert Stuart 2023 Spring Fair

815 Gilbert Stuart Road, Saunderstown

Sunday April 30, 1-4 pm

Tour the museum, enjoy Two Contemporary Weavers’ exhibit and live music by Farm Dog, and feast on Johnny Cakes while having your soil tested by URI master gardeners. And take part in games and crafts for the entire family. $10 Adults; $5 Children (6-12). So plan to enjoy the day at the Castle!


Tim Cranston Talk: History of the Elm Grove Cemetery

960 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown

Saturday May 6, 1pm 

In coordination with the RI Advisory Commission on Historical Cemeteries and the RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, celebrate RI Historical Cemeteries Awareness and Preservation Weeks with North Kingstown’s Town Historian Tim Cranston. He will lead a walking tour of one of the town’s most interesting and historic cemeteries. Meet at Cranston family plot near southernmost entrance to the cemetery for this tour sponsored by Historic Wickford Inc. (HistWick). Limit: 40


Smith Castle: Opening Day of the Castle’s 75th Season 

55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown
Saturday May 6, 11-4pm

Docents in period attire will welcome guests and as they tour the first floor interior and its grounds of the former home of the prominent Smith and Updike families. Colonial reenactors will add to the opening day celebration with muster drill demonstrations from the Kingston Reds and the Lebanon Militia. Enjoy performances from the Old Time Fiddlers Club of Rhode Island, a swashbuckling demonstration from the Rhode Island Pirate Players, and a General Court of Tryalls which will hear complaints and administer punishment in the stocks. Younger guests can enjoy colonial crafts and games. Shop in Big Bear’s Trading Post for unique gifts and colonial clothing needs and accessories. Smith’s Castle docents will sponsor a book and bake sales.

No admission for this celebration, however donations are greatly appreciated. This event was made possible by the generosity of the North Kingstown Arts Council and the volunteers and staff of The Cocumscussoc Association. For further information about Smith’s Castle visit: http//:www.smithscastle.org


2023 Harbor Lights Festivities

Wickford Village Shopping Area

Thursday May 11, 6-9pm

Come enjoy Wickford and all its natural beauty at the first Harbor Lights event for the season! Stroll Wickford streets and harborfront as you enjoy a lovely evening filled with calming atmosphere, ambient lighting, great music, and good food from food trucks and local restaurants. Several bands will offer live music as you leisurely walk down the streets. Stores stay open late for your convenience and will host artists and events. It’s a must experience for the whole family to enjoy. Plan to view Harbor Lights from sunset to dark when it’s at its best!


Wickford In Bloom: Historic Home and Garden Tour

Saturday and Sunday June 24-25, 10-4 pm

Tickets are on sale next week in select Wickford Village stores for $25 or available online (www.HistWick.org) or the days of the tour for $30. The tour begins at Updike Park (corners of Brown and Main Streets) where ticket holders and purchasers will receive a map/brochure of 15 beautiful homes and gardens in the village to tour; and the tour is fully walkable.


For a free ticket, sign-up to be a docent!

Docent Sign-up Form 

(complete and submit to volunteer as a tour docent)

Name (last and first):

Email:                         Preferred phone #:

Check the day/s and time/s that you can volunteer:

  • June 24, Saturday  __10 am to 1 pm;   __1 pm to 4 pm
  • June 25, Sunday  __10 am to 1 pm;    __1 pm to 4 pm

Any additional information that we should know:


Please pass this information on to friends and family that may want to volunteer too. 

Thank you! As a docent you will help to make the tour memorable.  

Return the information to:

[email protected] 617.967.6663

[email protected] 603.491.2730

E News April 12, 2023 - Important Events - Read Here

April 12, 2023

Dear friends and fellow HistWick members,

Thank you for the many purchases of the stunning pots of daffodils and generous donations to the town’s merchants that will help support Daffodil Days and other town events. We distributed many pots of daffodils on Tuesday and recipients were duly impressed by the quality of the plants! Thank you HistWick volunteers and Suzanne Mancini (Sew Op) for assisting with organizing and distributing the load. We’ve listed some of Wickford Daffodil Days’ happenings below.

A couple of HistWick board members and a few folks from our membership are busy planning what is sure to be an outstanding June tour of homes and gardens–Wickford in Bloom! We are issuing a call for tour docents for the event that will take place on June 24-25, 10am to 4pm. See more details below. This month’s Stroll Wickford spotlights one of the seven lovely historic homes on the tour–the Updike House on Pleasant Street. Be sure to read this month’s article in Stroll and watch for next month’s issue to find another teaser about types of homes and gardens on the tour.

Life is often busy, but take time to notice and enjoy spring’s beauty,

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Historic Wickford, Inc.

Wickford Village Daffodil Days 

Thursday, April 13 – Sunday, April 16

Wickford Village merchants will host Daffodil Days this weekend and will offer many activities for families. The streets and shops will be ablaze with yellow daffodils in their full glory. Below are some of the highlights:
Thursday (4/13) – 5:00 to 7:00 pm:  Sip, stroll, snack and shop with Gooseneck Vineyards’ wine samples from Wickford Package. (Rain date Friday, April 14)
Saturday and Sunday (4/15-16) from 10:00 am on: Join in the fun and join in some of the activities offered from sidewalk chalk art to pony rides. You may even want to have a photo op with live farm goats from the Heavenly Homestead.
Sunday (4/16) Noon to 3:00: Indie Cycle will offer electronic waste recycling–so bring your waste for safe disposal. Drop off your items in the town parking lot behind the old Walgreens. Most items are free to drop off, but some do have a small fee. Check their website for more information and a list of items they take and don’t take.  www.indiecycle.blogspot.com

Also on Sunday: Enjoy music and food from several food trucks parked around the town.

Saturday (4/15) 10 am: Join Historian Tim Cranston for a Daffodil Days’ Walk with a focus on “The Story of Brown Street: 200 Years of Adaptation in a Changing World”. Meet across the street from Updike Park at the corner of West Main and Brown Streets.


Wickford in Bloom: Historic Home and Garden Tour

Saturday, June 24 & Sunday, June 25, 10-4 pm (rain or shine)

Wickford Village 

Purchase tickets in advance for $25 in late-April (a perfect Mothers’ Day gift) at the following village locations: Green Ink, Yes Gallery, and Beauty and the Bath. HistWick will also offer ticket purchases for $30 on our website (HistWick.org) and on the days of the tour at Updike Park.

The event also includes an opportunity for many to serve as tour docents. These volunteers support homeowners as they welcome guests to their gardens or their homes and assist with traffic flow in them. Each garden or home has one or two docents assigned to them on the tour’s days for 3-hour shifts (10 am – 1 pm or 1 pm – 4 pm). Docents receive complimentary 2-day tickets to the tour to enjoy the lovely gardens and homes on either or both days! If you have questions, please contact anyone of the individuals listed below. To sign-up as a volunteer, copy and complete the form below and return it to one of the four listed. Once on the docent list, you’ll receive a confirmation email and other emails to follow.


SheilaSkiffington, [email protected] 617.967.6663

Jenna Cristini, [email protected] 603.491.2730

Mary Ann Hackett, [email protected] 401.248.1400

Nancy Gauthier, [email protected] 401.499.3301


Docent Sign-up Form

Name (last and first):

Email:        Preferred phone #:

Check the day/s and time/s that you can volunteer:

  • June 24, Saturday  __10 am to 1 pm;   __1 pm to 4 pm
  • June 25, Sunday  __10 am to 1 pm;    __1 pm to 4 pm

Any additional information that we should know:

Please pass this information on to friends and family that may want to volunteer too. 

Thank you! As a docent you will help to make the tour memorable.


Smith’s Castle Events
55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown


Opening Day at the Castle

Saturday, May 13, 11-4:00 pm 

Enjoy re-enactments, entertainment, first floor castle tours, book & a bake sale. The Big Bear’s Trading Post will also be open at which you can buy many unique items. Join in the fun and learn about local history to kick off the 75th Anniversary of Cocumscussoc Association. No admission charge.


Mother’s Day Tea at the Castle

Saturday, May 13, 4:30 pm. 

Treat yourself and/or a special person to tea at the Castle, $20 person. Musical entertainment by Mark Burnham and Paul Paravano. Limited seating. For further information or to make your reservation, visit our website, www.smithscastle.org

E News Feb 3, 2023 - Read Here

Feb 3, 2023

Dear HistWick members and friends,

Today’s E-News reports on several important happenings that will likely interest you. I am appreciative of our dedicated board members, and several HistWick members at-large, for their efforts on these. Thank you!

And . . . have you heard? Wickford is again in competition for the Best Historic Small Town in America (USA Today’s annual competition)We won last year and want to win again. Your dedicated daily voting (and you can vote several times daily using different computer devices) resulted in the town’s 2022 win! We can do it again—so start voting (link below) if you haven’t already! Please vote daily and make it your daily routine.

Several HistWick board members attended the January 23rd North Kingstown Town Council meeting at which HistWick donated five appropriately framed Historic Wickford Walk original paintings. These will enhance the interior of our 1888 town hall. A shout-out to board members Mike Donohue and Nancy Gauthier for leading this effort. And below you’ll find a reminder about Tim Cranston’s (another board member) talk at St. Paul’s this Saturday.

Stay warm through the cold blast on its way,

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Historic Wickford, Inc.


VOTE TODAY—and everyday until February 20!  The nomination as the “Best Historic Small Town” in America in 2023 by the editors of USA TODAY, calls us all to action to vote every day! Please help by sharing the good news (and the link) with family and friends and encourage them to vote daily too! Wickford can win this prestigious award for a second consecutive year if we all remember to vote each day! Use the link below to access the page. Scroll down to click the vote box below the aerial photo of Wickford.



Tim Cranston Talk: St. Paul’s Stained Glass Windows

Saturday February 4, 1 pm

St. Paul’s Church, 55 Main Street, Wickford

HistWick proudly sponsors Tim Cranston (HistWick advisor and local historian) to lead an informative talk about the unique and beautiful stained glass windows of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. According to numerous stained glass window experts, Wickford’s St. Paul’s possesses one of the finest collections of windows of any small church in the region. Tim will share the stories behind these beautiful and sacred works of art and the people they memorialize.


Important Tax Exemption Information 

North Kingstown Properties

     Flat Senior Tax Exemption: North Kingstown

The application below is for the Flat Senior Exemption of $30,000 off of the assessed value of the qualifying parcel. Requirements are: 1). must be a legal resident, own and occupy property in the Town of North Kingstown for a minimum of 15 year as of the preceding date of assessment (December 31st) and 2). must apply on or before March 15th in the year this exemption is to take effect. Use this link to access the application:


Homestead Tax Exemption

This new exemption last year is in addition to any exemptions you are already receiving, including the Flat Senior (described above). You must be property owner on record as of 12/31 in the prior year to be eligible for the exemption that applies to your primary residence. You must provide 3 of the 5 required documents to prove residency. Please note: This is a one-time application and remains on your property until it is sold or you move to another North Kingstown residence. So the good news is that if you applied last year, no need to apply again.

For more information and the application, use this link:




Wickford in Bloom: Historic Home and Garden Tour

Saturday and Sunday June 24 and 25

Historic Wickford Village

A small group of HistWick board and members-at-large are planning what will certainly be a spectacular HistWick-sponsored tour that attracts people near and far. We appreciate the homeowners who have generously and graciously agreed to showcase their garden or historic home and the planning committee members who will devote countless hours to ensure the tour’s success. Thank you! More details to come, but mark your calendars now.

E News Sept 14, 2022 - Read About Special Event at South County Rm and Harbor Lights

Sept 14, 2022


Friends and HistWick members,
This E-News offers several historically significant activities that we are sure you will enjoy. Most noteworthy is the completion and ribbon cutting dedication of Old Town Hall that will take place this coming Monday–see below for details.

Also, HistWick will be a sponsor of the October 13 Harbor Lights event. Please join us to enjoy the beauty and a little history of the harbor.

My best to all,
Mary Ann Hackett, President
Historic Wickford

Explore our website: www.HistWick.org
Recognition Day for Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA)
Friday, September 16

To mark POW/MIA Recognition Day, members of the North Kingstown Parades Committee will place U.S. and POW/MIA flags at Anchor Park located behind the former Walgreens in Wickford Village. They will also display flags at Veterans Memorial Park across from the Historic Town Hall on Boston Neck Road. On the 16th please take a moment to remember and appreciate those who served our nation in wartime and were POWs or MIAs.

Historic Town Hall: Grand Re-opening
Monday, September 19, 5:30 pm
80 Boston Neck Road, NK

North Kingstown’s c.1888 Town Hall has a new and impressive look with the $1.5 million dollar restoration of the 4,800 square foot (sf) two-story original building and the construction of a 2,600 sf new addition. Its dedication will take place outdoors, weather permitting, this coming Monday. After a brief program of speakers, followed by ribbon cutting, attendees can tour Town Hall’s interior. The building offers town council chambers, meeting space, and offices for the town’s division of parks and recreation staff. Congratulations to town officials and the architects for effectively marrying the historic structure with a new and accessible modern addition. We can now be proud of our historic town hall with its substantial granite steps that lead to the elegant, arched brick main entrance. Join us for its dedication.

Legendary Lighthouse Keeper of Lime Rock
Thursday, September 22, 6 pm
Smith’s Castle 

Over the space of 46 years, Ida Lewis, called the “Bravest Woman in America”,  faithfully kept the lamp lit at Lime Rock Light Station and rescued as many as 36 people from drowning. Hear her story as told by Brian Wallin, Historian. Weather permitting the event will take place outdoors (bring your lawn chair); the presentation will move indoors if weather conditions warrant. $5 suggested donation.

Treasures from the Library’s South County Room
Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 am
North Kingstown Free Library, 199 Boone Street, NK

HistWick and the North Kingstown Free Library (NKFL) will feature Tom Frawley, Reference and Nonfiction Coordinator, and Tim Cranston, local Historian and HistWick advisor as they delve into the historic collection of treasures in the library’s South County Room. The room’s artifacts and pictures will come alive with Tom and Tim’s telling of stories and recounting of the pieces’ history. The event is limited to 50 people, so please pre-register at: https://nklibrary.libcal.com/event/9680879

October 8 through May 27, 2023
Mashantucket Pequot Museum 

10 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, Connecticut 
The Indigenous Peoples Project will feature indigenous cultural expression on canvas to present a vibrant story of antiquity and resilience. The Pequot Women Exhibition exemplifies the spirited determination, vibrant character, and resilient fortitude of the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot women in both a traditional and contemporary nature. The exhibit will feature the work of Angel Smith, an artist who provided an illustration for HistWick’s award-winning Historic Marker project.

For more information: [email protected] or call 860-396-6910.

Please note: Wickford Village harvest decorations will be available soon. We’ll provide details for purchasing mums and cornstalks in our next HistWick E-News.

E News July 28, 2022 - Read About Old Narragansett Church Tours

July 28, 2022


Friends and fellow HistWick members,

This HistWick E-News offers several upcoming events. Most notable are tours that the community and visitors can enjoy in the beautifully restored Old Narragansett Church. The church was featured by USA Today in the recent competition that Wickford won for the Best Small Historic Town in the nation.

We also look forward to seeing the interior of Old Town Hall on Boston Neck Road. The restoration and construction are nearly complete (walk or drive by); it is stunning–a nice marriage of the old with the new construction.

With pride in our town,

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Historic Wickford, Inc,



Tours of Old Narragansett Church 

Thursday thru Monday

11 am to 4 pm; Now thru Labor Day Weekend

60 Church Lane, Wickford

Old Narragansett Church, founded in 1707 south of Wickford and moved to the town in 1800, has been beautifully restored by its owner, the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. The Bishop in the Rhode Island Episcopal Diocese, Bishop Knisley, recently accepted a HistWick award and plaque for the restoration of the church. Believed to be the oldest Episcopal church in the Northeast, the church is offering the public docent-led tours now thru Labor Day, Thursday thru Monday, 11 am to 4 pm.  Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Docent volunteers are needed. If you are interested in serving as docent, please call 401-294-4357 and leave a message for Ruth Ann Lewis via Donna Feeley, St. Paul’s Church administrator. Volunteers will receive relevant training.

Queen Anne Service. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Wickford assists with the care and maintenance of Old Narragansett Church and sometimes worships at the site. On Sunday August 7 at 9 am in the historic church, St Paul’s will conduct the Queen Anne Service, a longstanding Wickford tradition. It commemorates the gift of silver by a fund established by Queen Anne (reign 1702-1714) to help the new colonial-era Anglican churches. Music is provided by a foot-pumped 17th century organ with wooden pipes. All are welcome to attend; please note that the church has no air conditioning;


Smith’s Castle Events

Breakfast Talk

Saturday, July 30, 10 am

5 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown

Join Robert Geake, Rhode Island Historian and Cocumscossoc Assn. President as he shares the adventures and trials of 18th century travelers as revealed in their personal journals. Coffee and light breakfast fare served. $5 donation requested.


Breakfast Talk at the Castle

Saturday August 13, 10 am

5 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown

At this breakfast talk, hear stories about colonial enslaved men who enlisted in the Black Regiment of Rhode Island to gain their freedom. Coffee and light breakfast fare served. $5 donation requested



NK Chamber of Commerce Event

Savor the Sunset

Wednesday, August 3rd, 5:30 to 8 pm

Hopelands on the Bay; Campus of Rocky Hill Country Day School

Wampanoag Road, Warwick

Savor the Sunset on the beautiful bay as you enjoy fabulous food and drink from local restaurants and craft breweries and distilleries! You can also join lawn games, listen to live music, and be photographed in a photo booth.

The Chamber’s growing list of participants includes: American Mussel Harvesters (Oyster Shucking Bar & Steamed Mussels); Alma’s Juice Bar & Market;  Back 40; Black Oak; Bayberry Garden; Carriage Inn; Exeter Job Corps; Union & Main; Grey Sail Brewing; Gooseneck Vineyards; Shaidzon Brewing; Sons of Liberty Distillery; Whalers Brewing; and Del’s Lemonade. A portion of the proceeds benefits

the VFW Post 152! Tickets: $45


E News July 19, 2022 - Read here

July 19, 2022


Hello HistWick members and friends,

This HistWick E-News calls your attention to several very popular upcoming events. After a hiatus due to the pandemic, in September Plum Beach Garden Club will host its always sellout luncheon. See details in this email and the attached invitation. Register soon.

Smith’s Castle makes a significant contribution to expanding our knowledge and appreciation of local history. As such HistWick works closely with the Castle to promote their activities.Don’t miss an opportunity to experience it this summer.

On the attached promotional from the town’s Merchants Association, you’ll find the dates for the August and September Harbor Lights. This Wickford event’s success continues to grow, attracting locals and folks from across the state and beyond.


Mary Ann Hackett

President, Historic Wickford, Inc.


Plum Beach Garden Club Luncheon

Thursday, September 15, 11:30 to 2:30 pm

The Dunes Club, 137 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett

Autumn Inspirations, the Plum Beach Garden Club 2022 Luncheon, features Sarah Boynton, an award-winning national and international botanical arts and floral designer. Sarah will demonstrate making seasonally appropriate designs and step-by-step arrangement elements and techniques. Her creations will inspire you for decorating for the upcoming fall and winter holiday seasons. Her stunning botanical arts jewelry will be on display. The event offers a delicious lunch followed by the always-popular, action-packed raffle of creative items artistically designed and displayed by its club members. Please reserve early; seating is limited. Tickets require advanced purchase and cost $60. Make checks payable to PBGC; mail to Becky Dower, 35 Ipswich Blvd, North Kingstown, RI, 02852. Include your name, email, and phone and the checks and information of guests that want to sit together. Sitting together at an assigned table requires a group reservation. For more information go to:   https://www.plumbeachgardenclub.org     or click on the PDF below Harbor Lights’s poster:



Smith’s Castle Breakfast Talk

Saturday, July 30, 10 to 11:30 am

Smith’s Castle, 55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown

Join Robert Geake, Rhode Island Historian, Author and President of the Cocumscossoc Association as he shares the adventures and trials of 18th century travelers as revealed in their personal journals. Enjoy coffee and light breakfast fare at the event. A $5 donation is requested. https://www.smithscastle.org



Wickford Harbor Lights

Thursday August 11th 5-9 pm

Thursday September 8th 5-9 pm

E News June 29, 2022 - Read here

June 29, 2022


Friends and HistWick members,

With the arrival of summer comes many community activities offered in our historic harborside town. Most notable is the ever popular, long standing (since 1962) Wickford Arts Festival at Wilson Park on the weekend of July 9th and 10th  and the Art Council’s Summer Concert Series on Tuesday evenings that we highlighted in our HistWick E-News on June 2nd.  We call your attention to several other activities (below) with our hope to see you at a couple of them.

My best to all,

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Historic Wickford, Inc.


Festooning Wickford with Flags to Celebrate July 4th

July 4th, 8 am 

Meet at Updike Park 

The North Kingstown Parade Committee has issued a request for a few volunteers to place flags at designated spots in the village. With several volunteers the task takes only 30 to 40 minutes. And, if you could help collect the flags too that would be wonderful. More information about when the committee will organize the pick up will be shared with the volunteers on the 4th. Thank you.


Smith’s Castle Events–55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown

Breakfast at the Castle: Ask Roger 

Saturday, July 9th, 10 am

Join John McNiff, Ranger of the Roger Williams National Memorial and Historic Interpreter as he shares memories of historical life in the character of Roger Williams. You can personally “ask Roger Williams” any question that has been on your mind about his life, experiences, and early colonial times. Enjoy coffee and light morning refreshments. A $5 donation is suggested.

and  more at the Castle . . .

Lectures on the Lawn

Monday, July 18th, 6  to 7:30 pm

Loren Spears and Ted Widmer will discuss Roger Williams’ 1684 publication, A Key to Languages in America. Republished and available on Amazon, this book is one of the most important artifacts of early Indigenous culture in America that has historical, literary, political, and religious significance. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy this interesting discussion. $5 donation suggested


NK Chamber of Commerce Event

Savor the Sunset

Wednesday, August 3rd, 5:30 to 8 pm

Hopelands on the Bay; Campus of Rocky Hill Country Day School

Wampanoag Road, Warwick

Savor the Sunset on the beautiful bay as you enjoy fabulous food and drink from local restaurants and craft breweries and distilleries! You can also join lawn games, listen to live music, and be photographed in a photo booth.

The Chamber’s growing list of participants includes: American Mussel Harvesters (Oyster Shucking Bar & Steamed Mussels); Alma’s Juice Bar & Market;  Back 40; Black Oak; Bayberry Garden; Carriage Inn; Exeter Job Corps; Union & Main; Grey Sail Brewing; Gooseneck Vineyards; Shaidzon Brewing; Sons of Liberty Distillery; Whalers Brewing; and Del’s Lemonade. A portion of the proceeds benefits

the VFW Post 152! Tickets: $35 per person ($45 after July 15).



Harbor Lights

Thursday, July 14th, 6 to 9 pm

Wickford Village

Wickford Harbor Lights invites you, your family and friends to this very popular event. If you haven’t experienced Harbor Lights yet, you are missing a special treat! This year the event lights up the harbor with fires on floats—a mesmerizing sight for young and old and there’s food, fun and music for all. Folks in town and beyond are talking about how much fun it is to join the Harbor Lights festivities!


Go Fund Me page for the Lewis family

The HistWick board thanks Cam Lewis for his outreach at our recent HistWick annual meeting. The Lewis’ Ukrainian family is starting a new life in the U.S. and will benefit from your support. You can help this family by donating at the Go-Fund-Me page:


E News June 2, 2022 - Read here

June 2, 2022


Friends and HistWick members,

As summer approaches Wickford offers so many opportunities for you, your family, and friends to take advantage of. Of foremost importance to our HistWick organization is our upcoming annual meeting. So members, and those interested in joining HistWick, please mark your calendars for this very popular event! We have lined up several interesting speakers.

Oh–and one last Call-Out! Have you noticed the new waste receptacles in town along Brown Street? HistWick donated several and worked with the town on their selection.

And please vote each day for Wickford. We are in second place for Best Historic Small Town. We can win if you vote!

See you around town,

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Historic Wickford, Inc.



2022 HistWick Annual Meeting

Thursday, June 16 (rain date, June 23), 5 pm 

Smith’s Castle, 55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown


The HistWick board cordially invites you to join us for the HistWick Annual Meeting. We will:

  • meet on the impressive lawn of the historic Smith’s Castle for a sprightly social time with neighbors and new and old friends,
  • review HistWick’s accomplishments and our upcoming goals,
  • hear about what’s happening in the town and beyond, and
  • enjoy great food and liquid refreshments.

Plan now to join us!


Vote for WickfordToday and Every Day

USA Today Competition for Best Historic Small Town

We are now in second place and we have until Noon, June 6 to vote each day. So, please take a minute out of your day to vote for Wickford. You can also vote on multiple devices to register more than a single vote a day. We want to win; Wickford is a magical place.

The link to vote:



Wickford Harbor Lights 

Thursday, June 9, 6 – 9 pm 

Wickford Harbor Lights, sponsored by Rhode Island Beautiful Homes, invites you, your family and friends to Harbor Lights. This year Harbor Lights will light up the harbor with fires on floats—a mesmerizing sight for young and old! Food, fun and music for all. Folks around town are talking about how much fun it is to join the Harbor Lights festivities!


North Kingstown Parade Committee

Flag Day, June 14

Placing Flags in the Village: 6 to 7 pm

The North Kingstown Parade Committee is asking for help to place and/or pick up flags in Wickford Village on Tuesday, June 14 to celebrate Flag Day. We will meet at Updike Park at 8:30 am to festoon Wickford Village with 50 flags in designated spots for Flag Day’s annual commemoration. And you can also help later in the day by collecting the flags between 6 and 7 pm. If you are interested, please email me [email protected] or just show up. It takes a village!!!


Strawberry Festival 

Saturday June 18, Noon to 4 pm at Smith’s Castle

55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown

Smith’s Castle will host its Strawberry Festival, an annual celebration of spring on June 18 from Noon to 4 pm with a rain date of Sunday, June 19. Children’s activities feature puppeteer Dan Butterworth, pony rides, hand painting, crafts, and colonial games. Adults will enjoy entertainment by the Jesse Liam Band, tours of the Castle, walking the trails, viewing the colonial gardens, and visiting the booths of local vendors. Our famous strawberry shortcake and fresh strawberries will be available for purchase. Admission is $8 per adult; $6 for children and free under 5 years of age; military discount; $20.00 family cap. Admission covers all activities. For more information and our 2022 calendar, visit the Smith’s Castle website: www.smithscastle.org/upcomingevents


North Kingstown Arts Council 2022 Summer Concert Series

Tuesdays, 6:30 pm North Kingstown Town Beach, 10 Beach Street

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the concerts at the beach sponsored by the North Kingstown Arts Council. The concert series begins on Tuesday June 21 and will run weekly through August 30.

June 21, 2022 – Paula Clare Band (Old-school blues, R&B, soul)
June 28, 2022 –Take it to the Bridge (Classics to Current Tunes)
July 12, 2022 – Gov’s Own 88th Army Band (Big Band)
July 19, 2022 – Driftwoods (Beach Boys Tribute Band)
July 26, 2022 – Country Wild (Contemporary country)
Aug. 2, 2022  – Neal and Vipers (Blues, R&B)
Aug. 9, 2022  – Reminisce (Oldies)
Aug. 16, 2022 – Narrow River (Southern RI acoustic rock band)
Aug. 23, 2022 – Good Vibe Tribe (Classic Rock, Country & Oldies)
Aug. 30, 2022 – Brass Attack (Soul, rock, pop, Motown)


No parking at the beach after 5:30 pm, only drop offs allowed. A shuttle is available at the NK Town Hall – 100 Fairway Drive.

Please note that the concerts abide by current state Covid guidelines.

Concerts are free, but donations are gratefully accepted. For more information and a list of Thursday Night Family Concerts visit:



The Wickford Art Association: Wickford Arts Festival 

Saturday and Sunday, July 9 – 10, 10 to 5 pm

Wilson Park will again host this annual event on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 from 10 to 5 pm. Attendees from near and far look forward to this renowned and juried event that has been sponsored by the Wickford Art Association since 1962. All are invited to browse the works from artists across the county. We also encourage all who visit to take the new Causeway Path back into Wickford Village to rest in the gardens and enjoy a wide variety of food. Many of the shops will offer specials, too.

E News May 10, 2022 - Read here

May 10, 2022


Friends and HistWick members,
This HistWick E-News highlights a couple of activities that may interest you. The board and I would like to call your attention to an important upcoming event–the HistWick Annual Meeting for our members. See the information below. This popular community event offers time to spend with old friends and an opportunity to meet new ones. Most importantly you’ll hear about what your organization, Historic Wickford, Inc., has accomplished over the past year in spite of a pandemic, and our goals for the coming year. And as always we will offer good food and drinks. At the event we will welcome your ideas and what you see as needs that can shape HistWick’s 2022-23 goals. We will also offer opportunities for you to become involved in several HistWick activities. Last year, and this year as well, we will meet outdoors on the impressive grounds of the historic Smith’s Castle. It’s a perfect place for HistWick to convene its annual meeting! So if you are a HistWick member, plan now to attend, and if you are considering membership, feel free to join the meeting to learn about our dynamic organization.

Our best on these windy spring days,


Mary Ann Hackett, President
Historic Wickford, Inc.



Save The Date

HistWick Annual Meeting

Thursday, June 16 (rain date, June 23), 5:00 pm 

Smith’s Castle

The HistWick board cordially invites you to join us for the HistWick Annual Meeting. We will:

  • meet on the impressive lawn of the historic Smith’s Castle for pleasant social time with neighbors and new and old friends,
  • review HistWick’s accomplishments and our upcoming goals,
  • hear about what’s happening in the town, and
  • enjoy great food and other refreshments.

Plan now to join us!


And on a separate notebut related to HistWick’s accomplishments—the next time you are in town, notice the new trash receptacles in the village. They are another step in improving village aesthetics. HistWick leaders collaborated with the town on selecting the receptacles’ style and HistWick donated three of them. Several trash receptacles are paired with recycle bins that the town purchased through a special grant.


Wickford Harbor Lights KickOff

Thursday May 12,  6:00 – 9:00 pm 

Wickford Village–Brown and Main Streets

Wickford Harbor Lights, sponsored by Rhode Island Beautiful Homes, invites you, your family and friends to this ever popular, fun-filled event. This year Harbor Lights will illuminate the harbor with real fire on floats—a mesmerizing sight for young and old! The event will offer face painting, balloon art, live music, food trucks, carriage rides, and more. Consider dining in a local restaurant that will offer specials or shopping in the village’s shop that will stay open late.


History Walk with Tim Cranston: Lafayette Village

Saturday, May 14, 10:00 am to Noon

The Village of Lafayette, a 19th century mill village that remains almost completely intact into the 21st century, is a treasure worth visiting. The mill is now a professional working mill community made up of the main building and three smaller historic buildings. Join Tim Cranston, local historian, to explore this remarkable place and learn about the people who lived and worked there and what they created in the massive brick complex that was once known as Rodman Manufacturing. Tim will also highlight the village’s newly installed self-guided history walk signage.

Registration is required. There are 25 seats available. Information at the Library’s website: https://nklibrary.libcal.com/event/9061526?hs=a

Meet by the waterfall behind the Rodman Mill building on 650 Ten Rod Road (Route 102)


Coffee and Donuts at the Fort: Battle of Rhode Island Association  

Saturday, May 21, 9:00 am

Butts Hill Fort in Portsmouth (Free but Reservation Requested)


The Battle of Rhode Island Association and the Butts Hill Fort Committee cordially invite you to “Coffee and Donuts at the Fort”. The Fort is the largest Revolutionary War earthwork extant in southern New England that was successively occupied by Americans, British, and French forces and was the headquarters of American forces in the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. This historic site that exists today has had little change since 1781. The event presents an opportunity to see the past year’s progress to restore the fort and make it accessible to new generations of Rhode Islanders. The day will consist of a one-hour program with a brief history of the Fort and the restoration plans of the Battle of Rhode Island Association. It will also include an optional tour of the fort. Wear sturdy shoes and park in the large lot on Dyer Street. Reservations are requested; please email Nancy Crawford at: [email protected]. Nancy will then send you a map to the fort and parking specifics.

E News April 17, 2022 - Read here

April 17, 2022


Dear Friends,

I just thought you should know about a few other events happening around town.  We are truly a village and as they say “It takes a village”.  Hope to see you at these events.


Mary Ann Hackett

President, HistWick


Events at Smith Castle


Saturday, April 23rd, 10am

After light breakfast refreshments, Marilyn Harris will speak on “The Role of the Colonial Press in Fueling the American Revolution” with special emphasis on the contributions of Smith family descendants. No preregistration necessary. $5 suggested donation.

Saturday, May 7th – 11:00-4 pm Opening Day at Smith’s Castle with re-enactors, live entertainment, children’s activities, Castle tours (first floor) and vendors in celebration of our 74th Anniversary. No admission fee; contributions appreciated.


Looking ahead:

May 21st: Bob Geake revisits “18th Century Travelers in Southern Rhode Island as Seen through Their Journals.”

June 25th:Tim Cranston reveals the history of “The Updikes in Wickford.”

August 13th: John Dower,and Patrick Donovan tell of “The Enslaved Men Who Enlisted in the Black Regiment.”


Arbor Day, Friday April 29 10:30 am

North Kingstown, R.I. – The Town of North Kingstown has been selected to host the 2022 Rhode Island Arbor Day Celebration. Rhode Island’s 135th Arbor Day Celebration will take place on Friday, April 29th, 2022 at 10:30am at Wilson Park, West Main Street, North Kingstown, R.I.

Arbor Day is America’s official tree holiday where the nation celebrates and shows its appreciation of trees. The celebration will include a speaking program where state and local officials will give remarks highlighting the importance and benefits of trees and present tree-related awards. There will also be a ceremonial tree planting. Local schools have also been invited to participate.

As part of being chosen to host Arbor Day, the Town will receive twelve (12) new trees that will be planted across Wilson Park. These new trees can be enjoyed through a guided tree identification tour given by the R.I. Tree Council. Trees benefit our communities through beautification, moderation of our temperatures, cleaning the air, providing habitat for wildlife, increasing property values and enhancing the economic vitality of the area.

The Town of North Kingstown is honored to be chosen to host this event and invites the general public to join them on the 150th Anniversary of National Arbor Day.

The Town would also like to thank the North Kingstown Planning Department who has been the local lead agency in organizing this event as well as the North Kingstown Public Works and Recreation Departments for their assistance in preparing for this event. In addition, the Town would like to acknowledge the efforts of both HistWick and the Plum Beach Garden Club for their roles in applying for this honor.

Please contact North Kingstown Supervising Planner Becky Lamond with any questions on this event at [email protected] or (401)268-1572.


Assistance for Afghanistan Family, Saturday May 7 at 6:00pm

Matthew Baldwin Mc Coy has created a go fund me link to support the Noori family.  The Noori Family arrived in Wickford, North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in January 2022 after being evacuated from Afghanistan in August 2021 as part of Operation Allies Refuge (OAR). Naseer, Diana, Mohibullah, Tasnim, and Hasidullah joined our community after spending a brief time at Afghan refugee safe havens in Qatar, Italy, and at Joint Base McQuire – Dix – Lakehurst, New Jersey. The family is here in the United States under the humanitarian parole program. Because of the takeover of their country by the Taliban, the Noori family would like to make the United States their new home. They need our temporary financial help to sustain them while they get on their feet and become self-sufficient.


Your generosity will help fill the gap between temporary federal and state government assistance and benefits.


You are cordially invited to meet the Noori family in person at a Task Force Wickford fundraising event being held at 6:00 PM, Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the Cold Spring Community Center, 36 Beach St, North Kingstown, RI 02852.


This is a collaborative event, so any/all ideas and suggestions are welcomed.

Thank you for your continued support of the Noori family.



Matthew Baldwin McCoy

381 Potter Road

North Kingstown, RI 02852

H: (401) 447-8944

C: (401) 447-0984

E-mail: [email protected]

HistWick Annual Meeting and Wickford Won! - Read here

June 22,2022

Dear HistWick members and friends,


Our recent HistWick annual meeting at Smith’s Castle was an outstanding success. More than 100 people attended to hear town updates; honor Episcopal Bishop Knisely and Linda Piedra for their leadership in preserving Wickford’s historic Narragansett Church (property of the Rhode Island Episcopal Diocese) and a 1795 home on Main Street; and learn about the restoration of the historic Butts Hill Fort in Portsmouth.


At the meeting Town Manager Ralph Mollis made a most exciting announcement: Wickford won the USA Today competition for Best Historic Small Town in the nation! We won because not only is Wickford a truly amazing town, but one with a strong community spirit in which so many of us voted in this competition! So if you voted once or dozens of times, thank you!


The meeting also presented an opportunity to introduce the Lewis family who live on Main Street. As a result of the war, their Ukrainian family is settling in North Kingstown. Since they receive no state or federal funding, A GoFundMe site has been set up to support their efforts. If you’d like to help go to: https://gofund.me/07e48a39


Please review our most recent HistWick E-News for upcoming town activities. The Wickford Art Festival at Wilson Park is coming soon–July 9th and 10th. Smith’s Castle has several interesting coffees and teas—for details visit their website: www.smithscastle.org


Enjoy summer,

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Note from the President - Read here

April 2022


Friends and fellow HistWick members, I don’t think any of us will be sad to see COVID in the rear-view mirror. From all the pain associated with COVID to the challenges of  dealing with difficult political questions in the U.S. and around the world, conflict seems to have been the byword for the past few years. And somehow, fortunately, most of us have survived with hope that 2022 will be much better.


Like most organizations, large or small, HistWick struggled. We were unable to offer our typical programs to our membership. These activities gave us the opportunity to engage with neighbors and friends, to learn more about the history of our community and to encourage visitors and newcomers to join us in celebrating the Wickford heritage we share.


Plans for 2022 and 2023 are developing as we can collect in groups again. And with our limited financial resources, we will continue to aid other organizations in need,  and other projects throughout Wickford.


We will continue to send semi-weekly e-mails to members sharing information on issues important to village life and celebrating when we learn of some of the good things accomplished by residents and their families.


We hope you find these efforts valuable. All of our work is aided by you, HistWick members, through your membership in our organization. If you have not yet had the time to renew your membership, would you consider doing that today?


The membership form can be found below and can be returned by mail to:


Box 261, North Kingstown, RI 02852


Download  Membership Form Here



And, as always, we welcome any questions you may have about HistWick as well as any comments or suggestions you have regarding how we might continue to improve our work in Wickford.


Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022 and please, stay well, your presence in our community is valued.


Historic Wickford, Inc.

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