Remembering adamsville people v1


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Remembering adamsville people v1

  1. 1. INTRODUCTIONRemembering AdamsvilleDIRECTIONSPeople Places ThingsCREDITS
  2. 2. PeoplePreviousHome NextAlice Wordell Beattie James Brady Walter Elwell Patricia Goulart Sheila Greene KauffmanTim McTague Valerie Crowther Turcotte Jonah WaiteRalph Guild
  3. 3. IntroductionPreviousHomeCreditsRemembering AdamsvilleAdamsville is a village within the town of Little Compton, RI. Itwas settled by millers and Baptist worshipers from nearbyMassachusetts in the late 1600s. In past centuries Adamsvillewas an important commercial center for farmers, travelersand Westport Harbor‟s sailing ships and summer community.Steep hills and impassible roads isolated Adamsville from therest of the Little Compton, and so the village developed intoits own self-sufficient community. Today, Adamsville isbeautifully preserved with many historic buildings adapted forcontemporary purposes.Remembering Adamsville is an oral history project lead by theLittle Compton Historical Society. Over 70 local people sharedtheir stories, personal photographs, archival materials andvolunteer talents in order to make this project possible.To learn more, read the book Remembering Adamsvilleavailable at and download our gps-based(phone/computer) application at Map, LCHS Collection
  4. 4. DirectionsPreviousHomeCreditsRemembering AdamsvilleExploreClick on the links throughout this digital exhibit to explore it inany order you choose. Links are usually photographs,underlined green words, or icons.ListenSome of the audio clips will play automatically. If one doesnot, simply click on the speaker icon or on the small trianglethat appears. To stop the audio click on the “||” icon.ShareSend your Adamsville stories and images to the LittleCompton Historical Society by e-mailing or (Drop Boxing)them to You can also set up anappointment to bring your items to the Historical Society bycalling 401-635-4035.Problems/Questions/CommentsLet us know! Our staff and volunteers are here to help you.Next
  5. 5. CreditsPreviousHomeMarjory O‟TooleProject DirectorExhibit DesignBoard of DirectorsProject VolunteersSerena Parente CharleboisSerena‟s StudioPortraits548 West Main RoadPO Box 577Little Compton, RI 02837401-635-4035lchistory@littlecompton.orgwww.littlecompton.orgNext
  6. 6. Board of DirectorsPreviousHomeShelley Bowen, PresidentDora Atwater Millikin, Vice PresidentJack Angell, TreasurerDiane MacGregor, SecretaryClaudia BellFred BridgeRandy ByersPiper HaweesRichard LisleRichard MenocheWilliam MiddendorfCarolyn MontgomeryChris RawsonPaul SuttellRobert Wolter548 West Main RoadPO Box 577Little Compton, RI 02837401-635-4035lchistory@littlecompton.orgwww.littlecompton.orgNext
  7. 7. Project VolunteersPreviousHomeShelley BowenCarol BelairFred BridgeRandy ByersConnie CastensonAndrea DesliletsLeah DesiletsHanna DesiletsNorma ElwellWalter ElwellHeather Bixby FitzgeraldTheresa GallagherJanice GomezAnne Tripp HopkinsKaren Governo IngrahamTaylor MelansonDora Atwater MillikinDiane MacGregorWalter MonroeCarolyn MontgomeryNancy OliveriaLease PlimptonMaureen McKinnon RegoJames WeirRosalyn WeirRichard WhiteCaroline Wilkie Wordell57 Oral History Donors548 West Main RoadPO Box 577Little Compton, RI 02837401-635-4035lchistory@littlecompton.orgwww.littlecompton.orgNext
  8. 8. Marjory O‟TooleLCHS, Managing DirectorPreviousHomeMarjory Gomez O‟Toole has been the Little ComptonHistorical Society‟s Managing Director since 2006. Alife-long Little Compton resident, Marjory relishes theopportunity to work with her neighbors to preserveand to share the community‟s local history.Remembering Adamsville is Marjory‟s sixth exhibitionfor the Historical Society.She is currently a candidate for a Master of Arts inBrown University‟s Public Humanities Program andcreated this digital exhibition as part of a DigitalStorytelling class.Marjory is grateful for the many trips she took toAdamsville as a child with her grandmother andfondly remembers winning a free candy bar when shegot the “speckled gumball” at Simmons Store.Next
  9. 9. Serena Parente CharleboisSerena‟s StudioPreviousHomeSerena Parente Charlebois partnered with the LittleCompton Historial Society to create 26 portraits of ouroral history donors. We are very grateful to Serena forthe gift of her time and talents.Photographic artist, Serena Parente Charlebois, is an award-winningphotographer specializing in black and white and fine art portraiture.Serena is Certified by the Professional Photographers of America, hasearned her Master Photographer degree and most recently herPhotographic Craftsman degree. Serena has received nationalrecognition for her ability to capture emotional and natural portraitsof children and their families. Her studio is found in the historic NewEngland seacoast community of Little Compton, RI.Artist inspiration:“I fell in love with the art of photography when I was just 9 years old.The rich memories captured and claimed forever on paper fascinatedme.”“I try to compose and create images as if they were a song. I want mycompositions to flow and engage and be a wonderful piece of art, thatmakes you always want to come back and experience again andagain.”Next
  10. 10. AliceWordellBeattiePreviousHomePlaying in the BarnThe Clark TaberHouseOld Stone ChurchBazzaarNext
  11. 11. The Stone BarnAlice WordellBeattie:Playing TarzanPhoto of stone barn.Home PreviousA few partial walls of the Stone Barn are standing today. LCHSCollectionThe Stone Barn on Stone ChurchRoad is now in ruins. It appears onearly maps as the Sheffield Barn. Ithas long been thought to be one ofthe oldest stone barns in NewEngland.NextFarming in Adamsville
  12. 12. The Clark Taber House is stilllocated on Stone ChurchRoad in Adamsville. It wasthe family farm of Theodoreand Betsy Taber and theirthree daughters Lillian, Ruthand Ida, pictured here. Thedog in the photo is Ted.In the 1940s Alice‟s WordellBeattie‟s parents moved inwith her grandmother Ruthand her great-aunt Ida to helpcare for them. There were tenpeople living in the house atthat time. It was one of thefew remaining family farms inAdamsville in the 1950s.Photo courtesy of Alice Wordell BeattieHome PreviousThe Clark Taber HouseNext
  13. 13. Alice Wordell Beattie‟s grandmotherRuth Ann Taber Wordell always soldsoda at the Old Stone ChurchBazaars.Photo courtesy of Alice Wordell BeattieHome PreviousThe Old Stone ChurchBazaarNext
  14. 14. JamesBradyPreviousHomeMy Parents Met at theOddfellows HallHear JamesTell the StoryRead James‟StoryNext
  15. 15. Home PreviousCourtesy of Jim and Rosalyn WeirElectra Lodge was built inAdamsville as an offshoot ofthe Odd Fellows Hall on theLittle Compton Commons. Itwas active through the1950s. After the lodge closedthe building became thehome of Stone BridgeDishes. Today it is a privateoffice and residence.Jim Brady:My ParentsMet at theOdd FellowsHallElectra LodgeThe Odd Fellows HallNext
  16. 16. James BradyHome PreviousI remember my mom and dad always talkingabout how they met at a dance that took place at theOddfellows Hall in Adamsville back in WWII.When we had the coastal fortifications ofNarragansett Bay, which encompassed everythingfrom Little Compton, Newport, Jamestown, andNarragansett, there were large influxes of menthat came into the area to man these coastal artilleryunits. The USO would do things to help the GI‟s.One of the events that would take place everynow and then would be the USO dances. The GI‟scould have some contact with the civilian world, meetthe local people and just get away from the militaryinstallation for a little while, and relax ,“R and R,” rest and relaxation. What I was toldby my mother and father was that one of thosedances was held right there in Adamsville at the OddFellows Hall.My father was too old to serve in World War II,but he worked at Fort Adams as a fireman or a boilertender. He took care of the steam plant,with the cooking facilities in the mess halls, and ofcourse hot water for the barracks.When the USO would hold dances, they would put upannouncements for the GI‟s. However, notices wouldalso go out in town for the local girls. Little Comptonwas strictly an agriculture-type community then. Andwhat would happen is you would meet the local girls,you would dance, relax, get away from thatregimented, military-type life for a while. My father,who had an automobile, would drive some of the GI‟sto the dances.It was in the Odd Fellows Hall, at one of these USOdances, that my mother and father met. Towards theend of the war, they were married around 1945. I wasborn in February of 1946. My grandmother and all ofmy mother‟s people were in Little Compton. Sothere‟s always been that particular connection. Butevery time I drive by the Odd Fellows Hall, I say, “MyGod, that‟s the place where my mom and dad met.And if they hadn‟t met, well, for the last sixty-sixyears, I wouldn‟t be here.”My Parents Met at the Odd Fellows HallNext
  17. 17. Walter ElwellPreviousHome NextWalter visited Adamsvillefrequently on rides withhis grandfather. One ofhis favorite activities wassliding down High Hill onOld Harbor Road. He isholding the sled that heused.Jonnycakes and Eels
  18. 18. PatriciaMcKinnonGoulartPreviousHomeThe Stink Bomb inSimmon‟s StoreThe McKinnon Family HomeSleepovers in theSpite TowerNextPat moved to Adamsville with her parents and siblingsin the 1960s. The family purchased Win Hart‟s houseright in the heart of the village. Pat remembers fallingasleep to the sound of music coming fromManchester‟s Restaurant.
  19. 19. The McKinnon HousePreviousHomeJack and Dorothy McKinnonpurchased the family home onOld Harbor Road in 1973. It wasoriginally built by Win Hart whoused the glass breezeway as anappliance showroom and put inthe in-ground pool to benefit hiswife who had a debilitatingillness. The McKinnons raisedsix children here.Print byMaureen McKinnon RegoNext
  20. 20. SheilaGreeneKauffmanPreviousHomeGreene‟s PackageStoreBottle DiggingA Tight BondNext
  21. 21. Ralph GuildPreviousHome NextRalph Guild has restorednumerous historicbuildings in Adamsville.Thirty-years ago hepromised John Hart hewould keep the Mill theway it was, and Ralphcontinues to keep thatpromise.The Lemunyon-Brayton HouThe Longfield House
  22. 22. Greene‟s Package StorePreviousHomeMy GrandfatherBuilt theLiquor StoreBetty Greene with her brother. c. 1953.Courtesy of Sheila Greene KauffmanGreene‟s Package Store wasestablished in the early1950s and served not onlyAdamsville but the nearbysummer community atWestport Harbor.Next
  23. 23. Bottle DiggingPreviousHomeDr. WhiteVisit and click on the “On-line Collection”to see photos and records of dozens of Adamsville artifacts.Dr. White‟s LaboratoryBottle DiggingNext
  24. 24. Dr. White‟s LaboratoryPreviousHomeBottle DiggingDr. WhiteDr. White‟s Laboratory was located on MainStreet in Adamsville to the west of theOddfellows Hall. The building was moved toSouth Shore Road. You can still see the largegap in the stone wall.Courtesy of Tom and Leslie DescheneNext
  25. 25. Dr. WhitePreviousHomeBottle DiggingDr. George F. S. White lived and worked in Adamsville from 1844 to1881 . After his death, his son operated a laboratory in the villagethat sold Dr. White‟s “Speciality.”The patent medicine was originally sold as a diphtheria cure, buteventually government officials required that “diphtheria” beremoved from all advertising.Buried “Speciality” bottles have been found throughout the village.The LaboratoryLCHS CollectionNext
  26. 26. TimMcTaguePreviousHomeTradition atGray‟s Grist MillMilling withJohn HartMakingJonnycakesPowering the MillNext
  27. 27. Gray‟s Grist Mill - InteriorPreviousHomePhoto by Gus KelleyColor by Tim McTagueJohn Allen Hartwith TimothyTaylor McTagueturning therunner stoneover inpreparation tosharpen the millstones, c. 1982.Next
  28. 28. PreviousHomeJohn and Marion Hart lived in thehouse attached to the back ofGray‟s Store. John was the millerat Gray‟s Grist Mill for decades. Inthe 1980s his expert jonnycakemaking was captured in this photojournal by the new miller TimMcTague.See Part 2NextWhat are Jonnycakes?Gray‟s Mill RecipeJohn Hart‟s Jonnycakes – Part 1
  29. 29. John Hart‟s Jonnycakes – Part 2PreviousHomeSee Part 1NextWhat are Jonnycakes?Gray‟s Mill Recipe
  30. 30. Valerie Crowther TurcottePreviousHome NextBake Sales on the WallValerie Crowther Turcotte livedin Dr. Warden‟s House as ayoung girl in the 1940s and‟50s.
  31. 31. JonahWaitePreviousHomeGray‟s Store, 1932End of the DebateThe SeventhGenerationThe Gray FamilyMy Dad,Grayton WaiteNext
  32. 32. The Oldest Continuously Operating General Store in the U.S.PreviousHomeFor years, Gray‟s store vied with anotherestablishment in Virginia for the title “OldestGeneral Store.” In 2007, the debate came to anend when Gray‟s was officially recognized by U.S.Senator Jack Reed and other officials as the“Oldest Continuously Operated General Store in theUnited States.”Gray‟s was established in 1788 by Samuel Churchand was purchased by Jonah Waite‟s ancestor,Philip Gray in 1879. The store closed unexpectedlyin 2012 when owner Grayton Waite, pictured in thisnewspaper photo, passed away after a battle withcancer.The Oldest StoreCourtesy of Jonah Waite Next
  33. 33. Gray‟s Store Interior, c. 1932PreviousHomeFrom Left to Right:Herman Grayhis sister, Marion Gray Hart,her husband, John Hart,unknown customer,store keeper, Ed Cookthe Hart‟s daughter,Millie Hart Waite,Courtesy of Jonah WaiteNext
  34. 34. The Gray Family, c. 1890PreviousHomeFrom left to right:Herman GrayPhilip James Gray (seated)James L. GrayPhilip Gray (seated)Courtesy of Jonah WaiteNext
  35. 35. John KneelandPreviousHomePlanting Apple Trees with DynamiteNextJohn‟s family owned and operated a small farm on Old Harbor Road.Neighbors came to buy milk. John‟s grandmother would give the customershomemade donuts. The cream on the unpasteurized milk was so thick youcould turn an open milk bottle upside-down and nothing would come out.John in 1941. Courtesy of John K. Kneeland.Henry Fonda‟s GoatWhen I was about 13 my father planted 50 apple trees. He took dynamiteand cut the sticks in thirds. It was my job to hold the basket of dynamiteand walk behind him. He would light the dynamite and drop it down a thehole he made with a stick and put then the stick back in. We would walkto the next hole and do it over again. Sometimes we would get three orfour holes away before one would blow. Sometimes just one. Dynamiteblows down. Then we would go back and shovel out the dirt. It was justlike shoveling sand.Farming in Adamsville
  36. 36. Henry Fonda‟s GoatPreviousHome NextMovie actor Henry Fonda bought this goat forone of his daughters. They soon discoveredthey were not cut out to be goat farmers andsearched for a new home for their pet. John‟sfather acquired the goat, and it lived a happylife on the Kneeland Farm.John Kneeland with Henry Fonda’s Goat, 1935.Courtesy of John K. Kneeland.Planting Apple Trees with Dynamite
  37. 37. Grace SimmonsPreviousHome NextGracie‟s father was Fred Simmons of F.A. Simmons‟ Store. She had abrother, Ernest. She had worked at the phone company for years. WhenErnest passed away [she took over] the store. She was a woman of herown kind, I mean, she was Gracie. When we used to go in, there was astove in the middle of the store, and she would be sitting in a rockingchair nearby, almost always reading. She had never been married andlived in the house next door. She was always nice to me, however, shedidn‟t like children and the children did not like her. She was extremelygood to me after my first husband passed away. She let me have mycharge account there and pay when I was able to. But she wassomething. Bright red nail polish, spike heels, lipstick on all the time.Always dressed nicely and always with a cigarette in her mouth. She wasiconic.Courtesy of Jen Bordon.Nancy Oliveira Remembers Gracie
  38. 38. Dr. Rupert von TrappPreviousHome NextDr. Rupert von Trapp in his Adamsville office.Courtesy of Stefanie von Trapp Derbyshire.Dr. Rupert von Trapp and his new wife Henriette moved toAdamsville in the late 1940s. Rupert developed a successfulmedical practice and together they raised their six children.Rupert was the oldest child of Captain George von Trapp ofSound of Music fame.The von Trapp House
  39. 39. Winston Hart1908-1992PreviousHome NextWin Hart left home at age eleven in part because his parents had difficultysupporting their large family, and in part because he had a reputation as askilled horse-team driver. A Little Compton farmer saw Win driving horsesand asked Win‟s father if Win could come and work for him. Win never spentanother night at his parents‟ house. As an adult, Win ran a successfulelectrical business in Adamsville and was responsible for much of thedevelopment in the village.Sixty-Three JonnycakesWin Hart‟s House
  40. 40. Win Hart‟s Story- 63 Jonnycakes1908-1992This oral history was recorded in 1991 by John and Vivian BelkoPreviousHome NextWe had four black griddles on the woodstovethat cooked the jonnycake. Our mother used tocook a hundred jonnycakes in the morning.Everything was done on the woodstove, summer andwinter. That‟s where we got the heat. Even when we‟dget up, go from the bedroom, you‟drush downstairs and dress in front of the ovenwith the door open.We all left home. We had to. That‟s why mymother had to cook. When she cooked jonnycakes fornine people, us growing boys would eat heavy, eightor nine jonnycakes to a meal, see. Course there wereseven children and a mother andfather, that‟s sixty-three jonnycakes. I left home whenI was eleven years old. I never went back home tostay overnight since I went to Little Compton.It was a farm, and I was a driver on a two-horse team.I had to get up at 5:00 in the morning and milk thecows, and feed the horses, and then go and have mybreakfast, while the horses wereeating. Then go out and harness „em. This two-horseteam, we‟d rent it out to Sakonnet Point while theywere building these lovely homes.I‟d have to walk the horses to the job and be there at8:00. Then when we got through at half-past four, I‟dhave to go back to Pottersville, which was seven oreight miles. You weren‟t allowed to run the horses.You had to walk them all the way. When I‟d comehome at night, I‟d have to put the horses up and milkthe cows, and feed them before I had my supper, thencrawl upstairs.
  41. 41. JefferyShurtleffPreviousHome NextExpandingAdamsvilleCheese
  42. 42. Connie Shurtleff McGeePreviousHome NextBon Fire Tires
  43. 43. Florence Jean LetourneauPreviousHome NextCrack the Whip