Remembering adamsville places v1


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Remembering adamsville places v1

  1. 1. MapsPlacesPreviousHome NextBuildings
  2. 2. 17th CenturyProprietor’s Map1777 MapPre-1812 Map1870 MapInteractive1895 VillageInteractive1895 EnvironsLittle ComptonMapsPreviousHome NextLink to MapQuest
  3. 3. The Proprietor’s MapPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionThis map shows the first European owner of each lot ofland in Adamsville. Adamsville was purchased in a seriesof sales from a branch of the Sakonnets led byMammanuah (Awashonk’s step-son). The land wasdistributed by lotteries held in Little Compton throughout1694.Some of these First Proprietor’s were quick to sell theirproperty to others and never actually settled in the area.Other’s like the Shirtly’s (Shurtleff’s)Churches, Cooks, Simmons and Brownells did buildfarms, homes and businesses and still have descendantsin Adamsville today.The triangle shaped segment indicates a highly desirablearea, perhaps the crossroads, perhaps the river landing.The land was divided in this way to provide more thanone Proprietor access to a place that was viewed asimportant.Next
  4. 4. 1777 MapPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionThis small detail of Adamsville in 1777 comes from theBlaskowitz Map which was created by the British duringthe American Revolution. The mapmakers only mappedLittle Compton’s coastline. They were able to map thissmall section of Adamsville by navigating up the WestBranch of the Westport River.The building south of the road and west of the river islikely the mill. The building across the street from the millis likely the Lemunyon-Brayton House. The house to thenorth of the road and east of the river may be LongfieldHouse.In 1777 the following had not yet been built: Gray’s Store(1788), Church’s Mansion (1815), Manchester’s Store(1820), Simmon’s Store (c. 1910.)Next
  5. 5. Blaskowitz Map - 1777PreviousHomeCourtesy of Newport Historical Society.This map was created by the British during the AmericanRevolution for military purposes. Aquidneck Island(Newport and Portsmouth, Middletown was named later)was clearly their focus. The island was ultimately seizedand occupied by English troops. Note that Little Compton(to the east of Aquidneck was only mapped along theshore.)NextBack to Adamsville Detail
  6. 6. 1870 MapPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionMapmakers used their discretion todetermine if something on the borderneeded to appear on the map. Thismapmaker included several buildings justover the line in Westport and Tiverton.P.O. indicates the post office and a muchsmaller S.H. stands for school house. B.S.Shop indicates a blacksmith shop onCrandall Road.This larger map containing this detailfocused on Little Compton’s ten schooldistricts. Adamsville was in District No. 6.Each district had a single one-roomedschool house.Next
  7. 7. Little ComptonPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionLittle Compton, RI contains several neighborhoods: TheCommons in the center of town, Pottersville in the centereast, Sakonnet Point at its far southwestern tip and Adamsvillein the northeast corner. Because of steep hills and poor roadsAdamsville and the rest of Little Compton were essentiallyisolated from each other for the first 250 years of theirexistence.Little Compton remained Adamsville’s seat of government, butin every other way Adamsville developed in to an independentvillage with its own church and stores. Its mills were at itscenter. Adamsville residents could even pay their LittleCompton taxes at Manchester’s Store.In many ways Adamsville was busier than the Commons.Easier to reach from Fall River, New Bedford and evenTiverton Four Corners, Adamsville was located on well-traveled throughways while the rest of Little Compton was apeninsula. Adamsville was selected as the site for LittleCompton’s first post office for this reason.Next
  8. 8. Interactive1895 Village MapPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionClick on the stars to learn more.Next
  9. 9. Interactive1895 Map EnvironsPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionClick on the stars to learn more.Next
  10. 10. An Adamsville Love StoryPreviousHomeSusan Peckham lives in the Wilcox Houseon Cold Brook RoadMaggie Bodington came to my house, and we were talkingabout the house. She told me there were two brothers thatused to live there. Her story was about Alton Wilcox. Altonwas sweet on this girl. He saw her quite a bit and finallyasked her to marry him. She said, ―No. You don’t have anymoney. You don’t have a house, and you have no way ofmaking a living. I cannot marry you.‖ So he took that andwent home.Then he took off and went to Chicago. There he made afortune, and he came back. He bought a lot of land, and hebuilt a house. He built a barn and got animals. Then he wasall set, and he went back to her, found her, and she waspleased to see him, but distant, but hepersisted. He told her of all the things he had, andwould she now marry him. She said, ―No! I’m alreadymarried.‖Now Alton continued to live on John Dyer Road, and henever married. He made his living, and people knew him, inthe forties anyway, for the geese that he raised. They’dhave them for holidays. Fred Simmons’ Store would deliverto him. So in the forties, Fred Simmons’s son told Mr.Bodington that, ―You know, [Alton is] still giving out that oldmoney.‖ So he must have made a fortune out there!When [Alton] died, the house was sold. Eventually thehouse burned down and soon after, the barn burned downtoo. Now I wonder, under what stair, under whatbrick, where in the barn, where was the rest of the money!Editor’s Note: Susan will be happy to know that at leastsome of Alton’s money finally made it to the bank. Accordingto Tom Deschene, Alton was once robbed. After therobbery Hap Simmons convinced Alton to go to thebank, change his large old-fashioned bills into currentcurrency and deposit some of it in the bank.Next
  11. 11. Manny Avila’s HousePreviousHomeIn Private CollectionThe Cornell Farm was a very large and verysuccessful goose farm perched atop AdamsvilleHill. The farmers would walk the geese down thehill and all the way to Tiverton Four Corners forshipment to nearby cities.During Prohibition, Manual Avila thought thefarm’s commanding view of the Westport Riverwould make it a perfect spot for his rum-runningoperation. Manny ran a gravel company on thefarm as a front for his rum-running. He employedmany local workers. They would meet alcohol-ladened boats from Canada on the river ornearby beaches, drive the booze up to the farmon Bootleggers’s Lane, and hide it.Avila took good care of his workers, providingthem with a bunkhouse on the farm and hotmeals.Next
  12. 12. Blacksmith ShopPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionThe Adamsville blacksmith shop changedhands over the years. The last blacksmith towork there was Fred Simmons who leftblacksmithing, as cars became morepopular, to establish Simmons’ Store. Theshop is now Brayton’s Garage.Next
  13. 13. The BlanchardsPreviousHomeIn the 1950s and sixties the Blanchards lived in the historic Athington House at the top of Adamsville Hill.Sarah Desjardins Remembers the BlanchardsNextMy father was introduced to Adamsville by RalphBlanchard who was a professor of English at Brown. Theyhad this very nice old home up on ColdbrookHill. Dad came down with him one day and said,―This is for me.‖ He had grown up summers in LittleCompton. He liked Westport, Adamsville. It was a lot lesssocial, more low-key. The Acoaxet Club was a lot smallerthan Sakonnet.The Blanchards were interesting people. Ralph hadbeen engaged to a French woman who had a chateauin France and died in the war, and he married hersister Monette. Monette worked at the Athenaeum inProvidence, a very bright, intelligent, small woman.Her mother was still living, Madame LaCaze, and she waslike a little bird dressed in black sitting next to Monette.Whenever we went up on Coldbrook Hill and had CambricTea, and went through their beautiful garden, we, the littlekids, had to say, ―Bonjour Madame!‖ That was ourFrench, and she’d twitter on with something else and wehad no idea what she was talking about. I mentioned thefireplace. There is probably the largest—best oldcooking, baking, you could do anything in it, you couldstand in it upright—fireplace in the area.You would see [Monette] driving around in a huge bluesedan, barely able to see over the steering wheel, andeverybody was in fear and trembling. One day she did missone of the curves going down Coldbrook Hill going towardAdamsville, but she survived. Monette always pronouncedit ―Adamsveeeel.‖
  14. 14. Frank Brownell - PainterPreviousHomeAdvertising blotter, c. 1915. Courtesy of Bruce Elwell.Frank Brownell was a house painter who added car painting to improve his business.Next
  15. 15. Church’s MansionPreviousHomeLCHS Collection.Church’s Mansion is thegrandest home in Adamsville andalso the site of the Spite Tower. Itwas built in 1815 by SamuelChurch. The Great Gale of 1815hit during construction, andSamuel was killed by a beamduring construction.The house has two front doors.The one pictured faces MainStreet. The older door faces the―old road‖ and Gray’s Store, builtby Samuel Church in 1788.Next
  16. 16. Home PreviousCourtesy of Jim and Rosalyn WeirElectra Lodge was built in Adamsvilleas an offshoot of the Oddfellows Hallon the Little Compton Commons. Itwas active through the 1950s. Afterthe lodge closed the building becamethe home of Stone Bridge Dishes.Today it is a private office andresidence.James Brady:My Parents Met atthe Odd Fellows HallElectra LodgeThe Odd Fellows HallNext
  17. 17. Gray’s StorePreviousHomeCourtesy of Oscar SylviaSamuel Church built Gray’s Store in1788. The Church Family sold it tothe Gray Family in 1879 and familymembers have owned it ever since.Note the Church Mansion on the farright.NextOldest Store in U.S.InteriorJonah Waite:Today’s Owner
  18. 18. 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’sancestor, Philip Gray in 1879. The store closedunexpectedly in 2012 when owner GraytonWaite, pictured in this newspaper photo, passedaway after a battle with cancer.Jonah Waite:The Oldest StoreCourtesy of Jonah Waite Next
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. Gray’s Grist Mill – 20th CenturyPreviousHomeThe InteriorCourtesy of Thornton Simmons.In the late-17th century, Gray’sGrist Mill was an importantreason for Adamsville’s founding.At the time the grist mill and anearby saw mill were owned byPhilip Taber. The entire villagewas called Taber’s Mills.NextMiller, John HartMiller, Tim McTagueJonnycakes
  21. 21. Gray’s Grist Mill – InteriorPreviousHomePhoto by Gus Kelley. Color by Tim McTagueJohn Allen Hartand TimothyTaylor McTagueturning therunner stoneover inpreparation tosharpen the millstones, c. 1982.Next
  22. 22. Greene’s Package StorePreviousHomeSheila Greene:My GrandfatherBuilt theLiquor StoreBetty Greene with her brother. c. 1953.Courtesy of Sheila Greene KauffmanGreene’s Package Store wasestablished in the early 1950s byHerman and Elizabeth Greene. Itserved not only Adamsville butthe nearby summer communityat Westport Harbor.Next
  23. 23. Lemunyon-Brayton HousePreviousHomeLCHS CollectionAnne ―Pete‖ Baker was well-known for herexpertise in local historic architecture. Shebelieved the Lemunyon House was one of theoldest remaining structures in the villagedating back to the 17th century. She foundevidence in the basement of a large oven thatmay have served as a commercial oven forthe community. The vertical board on the righthand side of the house indicates where anaddition was added.The house overlooks Adamsville Pond.NextRalph Guild:The Brayton House
  24. 24. Longfield HousePreviousHomeLCHS CollectionOne of the oldest existing houses in thevillage, Longfield’s house (c. 1800) wasknown in the 20th century as the home,workshop and store of a husband and wifeteam of blacksmiths, Mr. and Mrs. GeneLongfield. They did both copper and wroughtiron work and specialized in LongfieldLanterns and Lamps. Mrs. Longfieldcontinued her husband’s work into the 1970s,and her son continues to make the lampstoday. Many homes in Adamsville haveLongfield Lanterns near their front doors.NextRalph Guild:Longfields
  25. 25. Ralph Guild - The Houses on the PondPreviousHomeThe Brayton House[Pete Baker believes] that it could be late-seventeenth-century, and she would look at moldings and things like thatwould give her clues. The base of the chimney, there’s an oven there that she thinks was a part of the small communitybakery, where they would do more than just bake for the home. When I think of a bakery today, I think of display casesand things like that, but it would just be a few things at a time. She would take on a project, there was no deviation fromit being absolutely pure about the restoration. It was going to be exactly as close to what it was as she could possiblymake it. When you face the house, you’ll see a strip that is about seventy percent from left to right, and then there’s theaddition, and she said that was a way that they’re supposed to when they add on to an old house, to indicate what’sthe old part and what’s the new. So of course that’s what we did. Oh, all of the things that we restored, if there was achicken coop, the chicken coop has remained, and if there was an outhouse, the outhouse is still there. So it’s asauthentic as it can be.Longfield’sThe one on the other side, 635 Adamsville Road, the chicken coop is now my office when I’m here. The Longfieldproperty, I think they built it in 1800 because that was the official marker on the building when I bought it. I’m not surethat Longfield was the name but it was the Longfield family. Mr. Longfield was a blacksmith and the barn in the back ofthe property was his blacksmith shop.Next
  26. 26. Manchester’s StorePreviousHomeLCHS CollectionManchester’s Store began itslong history as a general storein 1820 as the Estate ofEbeneezer Church. Churchhired a young Philip Manchesterwho eventually took over thebusiness and renamed thestore.The building to the far left was asail loft. It was moved andattached to the store in the1950s. Eventually it became thebar area at Manchester’sRestaurant.NextPhoto Album
  27. 27. Manchester’s Store - Late 19th CenturyPreviousHomeCourtesy of Constance Shurtleff McGee.A late-19th century photograph ofManchester’s porch.NextPhoto Album - Next
  28. 28. Manchester’s Store - AbrahamPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionIn 1906 Philip Manchester’s sonAbraham was running the store underhis own name.NextPhoto Album - Next
  29. 29. Manchester’s Store - 1910PreviousHomePostcard by O.E. Dubois, c. 1910. LCHS Collection.By 1910 the store was equipped witha telephone.NextPhoto Album - Next
  30. 30. Manchester’s Store - 1930sPreviousHomeCourtesy of John M. Bergland, M.D.A busy Manchester’s c. 1930.NextPhoto Album - Next
  31. 31. Manchester’s RestaurantPreviousHomePostcard by Sarah Desjardins.After a fire in 1963, thenstorekeeper, David Morse closedManchester’s Store. The buildingwas repaired and AbrahamManchester’s Tavern opened undernew management, It quickly becamea popular local restaurant andwatering-hole.NextPhoto Album - Next
  32. 32. Manchester’s RestaurantMenuPreviousHomeCourtesy of Dean Simmons.An early, undated Manchester’s menu. A fried scallopdinner with a salad was $2.45.NextPhoto Album - Next
  33. 33. Manchester’s Store - The FirePreviousHomeCourtesy of Oscar Sylvia.In 1991 a fire destroyed AbrahamManchester’s Restaruant & Tavernand the village was devastated. Todayits lot is vacant but people still givedirections based on whereManchesters used to be.NextEnd of Manchester’s Photo AlbumNext Building
  34. 34. The McKinnon HousePreviousHomeJack and Dorothy McKinnonpurchased the family home onOld Harbor Road, right acrossfrom the ball field, 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.Scratchboard by Maureen McKinnon RegoNext
  35. 35. The Mill PondPreviousHomePostcard by O.E. Dubois, c. 1910. Courtesy of Oscar Sylvia.The Mill Pond and the small stream connecting itto the Westport River are in large part responsiblefor the founding and location of Adamsville.Shortly after King Philip’s War (1675-1676), asmall group of Baptists from nearby Dartmouth,MA moved to Adamsville and established Taber’sMills. Mills were often the catalyst for theformation of a village in the 17th century.Grinding corn was essential to survival. At onepoint Little Compton had as many as tenoperating mills, most of them windmills. Water-powered mills were less common and morepowerful. In addition to grinding grains, they werestrong enough to power saw mills. AdamsvillePond powered both a grist mill and a saw mill.They may have shared a water wheel.NextIce Skating
  36. 36. No. 6 SchoolPreviousHomeLCHS CollectionAt the top of Adamsville Hill stood the No. 6School, a one-roomed schoolhouse servingAdamsville children in grades 1-8. Like allthe one-room schools in Little Compton’s19th century school districts (There wereten.), No. 6 School had a winter term and asummer term that did not conflict with thefarm families’ planting and harvestingseasons. Children attended when they couldand received individualized instruction. Thisallowed them to take as long as theyneeded to complete the eight grades.The school was decommissioned in 1929when Little Compton built a centralizedschool on the Commons. The building wassold to a Mr. Bliss for $650 and was movedto Dartmouth, MA to become office spacefor a propane gas company.Next
  37. 37. Old Stone ChurchPreviousHomePostcard by O.E. Dubois, c. 1910. LCHS CollectionThe Old Stone Free Will BaptistChurch was founded in 1684.Members met in private homes. Theybuilt their first church building in 1752and later replaced it with this stonestructure in 1841. The parsonage isto the left. The horse sheds are to theright. They were removed to makeroom for a Fellowship Hall in the late-20th century.Unlike most churches, the pews facethe entrance. Before the FellowshipHall was built, the only way for abride to walk down the aisle to thealter was to climb through a windowin the back of the church.Next
  38. 38. Old Harbor Road - South ViewPreviousHomePostcard by O.E. Dubois, c. 1910. Courtesy of Oscar Sylvia.Looking south on Old Harbor Road.Many of the houses were built by sailingship captains who sailed out of WestportHarbor.Next
  39. 39. First Post OfficePreviousHomeCourtesy of Oscar Sylvia.Because it was situated on direct routesfrom New Bedford and Fall River,Adamsville was selected as the site forLittle Compton’s first post office in 1804.The office was located in the storeestablished by Samuel Gray in 1788, nowknown as Gray’s Store.The Adamsville post office was LittleCompton’s only post office for forty years.Little Compton residents on the westernside of town found it much easier to usethe post office at Tiverton Four Corners.NextSecond Post OfficeThird Post Office
  40. 40. Second Post OfficePreviousHomePostcard by O. E. Dubois, c. 1910. LCHS CollectionThis c. 1910 postcard shows that the Adamsvillepost office had moved from its original locationin Gray’s Store to Manchester’s Store. Localresidents indicated that the post office switchedback and forth between the two stores andattributed it to changing elected officialsemploying different postmasters.The Lemunyon-Brayton House is to the far right.The house in the center of the postcard is nowoffice space for Jacob Talbot, Builder.NextFirst Post OfficeThird Post Office
  41. 41. Third Post OfficePreviousHomeLCHS CollectionPostmaster George Carr built thissmall building on Crandall Road inthe 1960s near his home andrented the space to the U.S. PostalService. It still serves as theAdamsville Post Office and has thelowest zip code in the state: 02801.NextSecond Post OfficeFirst Post Office
  42. 42. St. Vincent’s CampPreviousHomeCourtesy of Walter Elwell.St. Vincent’s was a summercamp operated on AdamsvilleRoad in Westport, MA by theRoman Catholic Diocese of FallRiver. Many Adamsville residentsremember seeing the boys whowere sometimes brought into thevillage to shop, most likely forpenny candy.Next
  43. 43. The Sheffield HousePreviousHomePaving Old Stone Church Road, c. 1930. Courtesy of Alice Wordell Beattie.The Sheffield’s rather grandhome is pictured on the right.It no longer exists, thoughportions of it’s stone barnremain. The house on the leftwas identified by thephotographer as ―Ed Taber’sHouse.‖The machinery is paving OldStone Church Road. Theworkers would go as far asthey could in a day and thenstay overnight in a nearbyhome.NextThe Stone Barn
  44. 44. The Shurtleff HousePreviousHomeCourtesy of Connie Shurtleff McGeeThe Shurtleff House was the site ofthe short-lived Adamsville WaysideLibrary in the 1920s. A youngNettie Shurtleff ran the library inthe north room of the house beforeshe was married. When she didmarry and leave town, the libraryclosed.The house, located at the bottomof Adamsville Hill is now known asNancy Oliveira’s house.Next
  45. 45. Grace Simmons’ HousePreviousHomeThis postcard is labed as it is because the house is located at the end ofCrandall Road a direct (11 mile) route to Fall River, MA, c. 1910.Postcard by O. E. Dubois. Courtesy of Oscar Sylvia.Identified on an 1895 mapas belonging to NancyHead, this house on thecorner of Crandall Roadand Main Street is bestknown as Grace Simmons’house.Grace ran Simmons’ Storefor the last half of the 20thcentury.Next
  46. 46. Simmons’ StorePreviousHomeLCHS Collection.Simmon’s Store was established byFred Simmons in the 1930s. Hisson Ernest (Happy) Simmons laterran the store and upon his deathhis sister Grace Simmons took overits operation. Simmon’s was well-known for its delivery service andits great selection of penny candy.Next
  47. 47. The Spite TowerPreviousHomePostcard dated 1916. LCHS CollectionNextThis tower was built in 1906 by the Hathaway familyas a well tower. It provided water to their home whichis sometimes referred to as Church’s Mansion. Thetower’s height helped gravity feed water throughoutthe house. The second floor was used as theirchauffer’s bedroom. In later years other owners rangift shops out of the tower.The tower is commonly called the ―Spite Tower‖ dueto a local story that is mostly likely—just a story.According to the story, Dr. Peter Hathaway built thetower out of spite to block the view betweenManchester’s Store and the Manchester home.Lizzie Manchester would hang a white cloth in thewindow to let her brother Abraham know it was timeto come home from the store and eat. The new towerprevented that custom.Why was the tower really placed in that spot? Thatis where the water was.Pat McKinnon Goulart:Sleepovers at the Spite Tower
  48. 48. The Stone BarnAlice BeattieWordell:Playing inthe BarnPhoto of stone barn.Home PreviousLCHS CollectionThe 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.Next
  49. 49. The Clark Taber House is stilllocated on Stone Church Roadin Adamsville. It was the familyfarm of Theodore and BetsyTaber and their threedaughters Lillian, Ruth and Ida,pictured here. The dog in thephoto is Ted.In the 1940s Alice’s WordellBeattie’s parents moved in withher grandmother Ruth Wordelland her great-aunt Ida Sowleto help care for them. Therewere ten people living in thehouse at that time. It was oneof the few remaining familyfarms in Adamsville in the1950s.Photo courtesy of Alice Wordell BeattieHome PreviousThe Clark Taber HouseNext
  50. 50. The von Trapp’s HousePreviousHomeCourtesy of Stephanie von Trapp DerbyshireThis home was originally part of a farmthat supplied raw milk to the villagers ofAdamsville.Early maps show that it belonged to theTompkins family. It was later operated byTom White.Its large barn was disassembled and WinHart used the lumber to build the two―twin‖ Cape Cod-style houses onCrandall Road.This photo shows the construction of Dr.Rupert von Trapp’s office in the 1950s.Next
  51. 51. Dr. White’s LaboratoryPreviousHomeBottle DiggingDr. WhiteDr. White’s Laboratory was located on MainStreet in Adamsville to the west of the OddFellows Hall. The building was moved to SouthShore Road. You can still see the large gap inthe stone wall.Courtesy of Tom and Leslie Deschene Next