E News April 7, 2024 - Important Events - Read Here

April 7, 2024

Dear HistWick members and friends,


Please check out the activities below; several may be of interest to you and a delightful way to step into the spring season. The 350th Anniversary Speaker Series, a huge success, will move the lectures that were previously scheduled to be held at the library to the North Kingstown Town Hall on Boston Neck Road. Two upcoming lectures are described in this email.


Watch for details in a future HistWick Herald about our annual meeting. This event, held on the lovely grounds of Smith’s Castle, has become a popular annual event for the community of HistWick members. The HistWick board is busy planning a late May meeting. 


Over the next few weeks, I hope to see you on one of my strolls in town that will be made even more lovely with the pots of colorful daffodils made possible through Daffodil Days (see below for more information).


My very best to all, 

Mary Ann Hackett, President

Historic Wickford, Inc.





350th Anniversary Speaker Series


The Story of Slocum: Villages of North Kingstown

Thursday April 11  6:30 pm

Town Hall, Boston Neck Road

View the premiere of a film on the Village of Slocum, featuring interviews with Alvin Noss, the longtime Slocum resident who passed away at age 106 in 2020. Mr. Noss’ detailed recollections capture the changes in the village over a vast span of time.

The film producer, Donna Desautels, will be present about the film’s creation and historians Tim Cranston and Jim Garman will offer details on the history of Slocum Village.

This event coincides with an April through May exhibit of historic Slocum Village items on display at the North Kingstown Free Library.


North Kingstown and the Revolutionary War

Thursday April 18  6:30 pm

Town Hall, Boston Neck Road

The Battle of Rhode Island Association Lecture Series sponsored by Americana Corner continues to collaborate with the North Kingstown 350th Anniversary Speaker Series. Historian Christian McBurney will speak on the 18th about American Revolutionary War heroes from Wickford focusing on Major Samuel Phillips, Captain George Babcock, Captain Thomas Cole, and Private Jack Fones of the famous Black Regiment. 

Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 


Christian McBurney, who resides in Washington, DC (and West Kingstown), was raised in Kingston Rhode Island. He has authored several books on the American Revolutionary War and founded and is editor of a Rhode Island history blog at www.smallstatebighistory.com 


Please note: Space at Town Hall is limited and on a first-come basis. Lectures are recorded and available on the NK 350th YouTube channel (@NorthKingstown 350th) soon after the presentation.


Daffodil Days

April 11 to April 14

Wickford Village

Come and celebrate spring as Wickford Village celebrates Daffodil Days. Activities include a sip and stroll on Thursday from 5 to 8 pm with a rain date of Friday, April 12. Saturday’s activities (4/13) include a walk through Brown Street with Tim Cranston at 10 am. The day will also offer a petting zoo, sidewalk chalk art, and Serendipity’s Daffy Dog Parade—back by popular demand. So deck out your much loved dog to take part in the parade! Meet at Town Hall, Boston Neck Road, at 11:45 am and parade into town to the Serendipity Shop on Main Street.


To see details of all the activities go to: www.facebook.com/ilovewickfordvillage. The weekend will certainly be fun-filled!


Mother’s Day Tea

Smith’s Castle  

Saturday May 11 4:30 to 6 pm

On Saturday, May 11th, Smith’s Castle will host a Mother’s Day Tea with commentary on the history of the holiday and musical entertainment by Mark Burnham and Paul Paravano. Seating is limited (20), but a few places are still available at $25/person. Make reservations online: https://www.smithscastle.org/


Wickford Village and Beyond News


HistWick Supports Tree Planting across the Town

The Historic Wickford (HistWick) board of directors recently approved $1,000 for planting eight trees this year—one in each of the villages in North Kingstown. As HistWick did approximately 3 years ago when we planted 12 trees (all doing well!), we will coordinate with Plum Beach Garden Club and the town Conservation Commission and its Tree Warden on this effort. The planting of the trees celebrates North Kingstown’s 350th anniversary and will gift current and future residents of the town.


Tree of Life Sculpture

In coordination with the North Kingstown Arts Council, Plum Beach Garden Club and HistWick, have supported displaying the Tree of Life sculpture by the late Ken MacDonald, a local and award winning artist. The town will mount the sculpture on the rock located in the center of the brick walkway in Old Library Park on Brown Street. 

This initiative is a 350th anniversary project of the Arts Council and will honor Ken MacDonald’s legacy as a renown local artist. The council plans to produce a brochure and map for people to locate Ken’s many other sculptures across the town, e.g., some in gardens of private homes and the stainless steel sculpture at the town beach.


Harbor View Artisans

If you are looking for the Harbor View Artisan shop, they have moved! Formerly located in the parking area behind Shayna’s, they are now on 24 Brown Street. The gallery displays the works of local artisans—original paintings, photography, jewelry, and acrylic, wood, and fabric arts and crafts.

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

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