Adamsville CheesePreviousHomeJeffery Shurtleff:Expanding CheeseIn the first half of the 20th century Adamsville cheese developed aregional reputation for its delicious sharp flavor. The post officeshipped thousands of pounds of cheese to summer residents andvisitors who wanted it all-year-round. The New York Washed CurdCheddar was delivered to Adamsville and then aged in localbasements for about nine months. Each month it was turned toensure an even flavor.John Kneeland:I Turned the CheeseAdamsville Cheese at Simmon’s Store.Courtesy of Leslie Deschene.NextDick Squire:We Did Not Turn the Cheese
Bake SalesPreviousHomeValerie Crowther Turcotte:Bake Sales on the WallThe stone wall surrounding the ball field wasfrequently used for bake sales in the 1940s and ’50s.It was a prime spot for local organizations to raisefunds because of the high level of traffic in the villageeach Saturday. The three grocery stores and theliquor store drew people from Little Compton, Tivertonand Westport, MA.Saturday Summer, 1945.Painting by Grace Simmmons McKivergan.Next
BaseballPreviousHomeRichard Desjardins:As Fast as You Could Change Your Clothes1950sBaseball was, and is, incredibly popular inAdamsville. Deborah Manchester donated theWheeler Memorial Baseball Field to the children ofAdamsville in honor of two of her nephews. In the1940s, ’50s and ’60s the field was constantly usedfor neighborhood pick-up games, with no adultsupervision or intervention. Today the field is avital part of the town’s Little League program.Turn-of-the-Century BaseballLCHS CollectionNextSusan Peckham:Scrub – 1940s
Clam BakesPreviousHomePhoto AlbumThe Old Stone Church Clambakes began during the Civil War toraise funds for the troops. They continued until World War II oftendrawing 1000 people from the surrounding areas. Localnewspapers reported on them extensively listing the gallons ofchowder ad the bushels of clams consumed. Diners, some wearingwhite gloves, would eat at long tables set up under the trees in backof the church. Servers were assigned a table and would wait on thatspecific table year after year, even passing the assignment down totheir children.Old Stone Church is just over the line in Tiverton, RI but Adamsvillehas always ―claimed‖ it.Courtesy of Alice Wordell Beattie NextFall River photographer, O.E. Dubois frequently photographedAdamsville scenes and captured these clambake images in 1910.
Clambake Image BPreviousHomeBack to AlbumPostcard by O.E. Dubois.LCHS Collection.Next
Clambake Image DPreviousHomeBack to AlbumPostcard by O.E. Dubois.Courtesy of the DescheneFamily.NextNext
Clambake Image E-1PreviousHomeBack to AlbumPostcard by O.E. Dubois.Courtesy of the DescheneFamily.NextNext
Clambake Image E-2PreviousHomeBack to AlbumPostcard by O.E. Dubois.Courtesy of Richard Bixby.NextNext
Clambake Image GPreviousHomeEnd –Back to ClambakesPostcard by O.E. Dubois.Courtesy of Richard Bixby.Next
Dr. White’s SpecialitiesPreviousHomeBottle DiggingThis advertisement wasdisplayed on a trolley inProvidence, RI. Dr. White’sson began manufacturing andmarketing his father’sremedies in 1872 from thefamily’s laboratory inAdamsville. The White’s soldthe business to FrederickBrownell, Carlton Brownell’sfather. Carlton referred to thebusiness as ―not veryprofitable,‖ and the Brownells’stopped making the―Specialities.‖The LaboratoryLCHS CollectionNextDr. White
The Adamsville Fire TruckPreviousHomeTom Deschene:The Adamsville Fire TruckFire was a serious threat to Adamsville’s homes andfarms. In the early 20th century, insurancecompanies in nearby cities refused to insure theserural properties. Little Compton residents establishedtheir own insurance company and volunteers built afire truck in Little Compton and in Adamsville. TheAdamsville truck, built on a 1921 Phaeton, washoused in the Deschene family’s blacksmith shop onOld Harbor Road. It had an excellent track record forextinguishing fires.Everett Deschene in the Adamsville Fire Truck, c. 1930.Courtesy of the Deschene Family.NextTom Deschene:John Burchard’s Sirens and Cisterns
FarmingPreviousHomeJohn Kneeland:Planting Apple Trees with DynamiteThere were many family farms in and around Adamsville during thefirst half of the 20th century. The farms closest to the village tendedto be small, producing just enough for the family. Those farmersoften had day jobs in addition to their farm chores. Farmers randairies, raised poultry, grew flint corn for jonnycake meal, plantedapple orchards, and raised vegetables. Every vacant lot was usedfor hay. What the farm families did not eat themselves, they sold toneighbors or traded at Adamsville’s stores for other products. AfterWWII there were fewer farms. Young men were interested in othercareers, and increased regulations decreased profits. In the late-20th century Adamsville’s biggest crop was most likely Africanviolets.The Stone BarnA Jersey Bullon the Kneeland Farm, Old Harbor Road, 1951.Courtesy of John K. Kneeland.NextElsa Cory:A Quarter-Million Violets
Ice SkatingPreviousHomeConnie Shurtleff McGee:Bon Fire Tires – 1950s & 60sIce skating on the Mill Pond was a winter pastime enjoyed byAdamsville’s children and adults. Since everyone swears the pondwas frozen all winter long in the 1940s, skating was only interruptedwhen John Hart and the other ice men harvested giant blocks of icefrom the pond.Karen Rosina Daniels-Ambrifi:Walking in Your Skates – 1960s & 70sEleanor Gray Rosinha ready to skate onAdamsville Mill Pond, 1941.Courtesy of Karen Rosinha Daniels-Ambrifi.NextFlorence Jean Letourneau:Crack the Whip – 1930s & 40s
Walking With Your Skates OnPreviousHomeKaren Rosinha Daniels-Ambrifi:We ice skated in the winter. I wasn’t a big iceskater, but I would go down to the pond andgo through the motions of putting my skateson. Ed Cook ran the store then, andsometimes he let us go in there and getwarm. You’d put your skates on in there, atleast me because I was the wimp. Then, clickacross the street with your skates on. I meanI didn’t have blade covers, so I put my skateson at Ed’s store and then go down the stepsand across the street and try to get myskates to skate after walking on pavementwith them.Skating in Adamsville in the 1960s.Courtesy of Stephanie von Trapp Derbyshire.Next
JonnycakesPreviousHomeJonnycakes are pancakes made from corn meal. Corn grewwell in New England, while wheat and other grains did not.As a result, corn meal became a staple of New England’sdiet. Many families ate them at three meals a daythroughout the early 20th century. Locals preferred thincakes (skins) topped with thick, unpasteurized cream.The RecipeThe Society for the Propagation of theJonnycake Tradition in Rhode Island was activein the 1980s. Sign by Tim McTague.NextWinston Hart:Sixty-Three JonnycakesWalter Elwell:Jonnycakes and Eels
Jonnycake RecipePreviousHomeShop Gray’s Grist MillNextAdamsville Thin Jonnycakes1 c Jonnycake Meal½ tsp. Salt1 ¾ c MilkMix all ingredients in a bowl.Cook on well-greased, hot griddle.Add extra milk if necessary to keepbatter thin,Courtesy of Gray’s Grist Mill.
Penny CandyPreviousHomeSarah Desjardins:Penny Candy PostcardSo many Adamsvillians told us about penny-candy, we knew it deserved its own page.Tom and Leslie Deschene:We Tried it AllCandy Counter Simmon’s Store.Courtesy of the Deschene Family.NextJonah Waite:Five-Cent CandyTom Deschene:As Soon As I was Done Working
Candy at Simmons StorePreviousHomeHeather Bixby FitzgeraldOne thing I remember as a kid—penny candy was huge! I thinkSimmons’ Store had a betterselection but Gracie didn’t reallyhave a lot of patience when youwere picking out candy. But if youwent to Gray’s Store, you couldstand there all day long if youwanted to, and Leonard would take ahalf an hour if that’s what it tookyou—one of these, one of these, oneof these! He didn’t have as good aselection, but he wouldn’t scare youthe way Gracie did. I’m sure a lot ofmy friends would say the same thing.Postcard by Sarah Desjardins.Next
The RI Red MonumentPreviousHomeBordon TrippOral History 1990In Dr. von Trapp’s housewas Harold Tompkins and hisbrother, Lester. They werewhat was called ―poultry-fanciers‖ and they bred showbirds. They were veryinfluential in Massachusettsbecause at that time they werelivingin Concord, MA. They hadmoved away from here andTom White had moved inthere. So they prevailed onDeborah and LizzieManchester to get thismonument erected here inAdamsville. Well it was abig furor. Everybodydowntown Little Compton wasterribly against it, they thoughtthat was no placefor the monument, and theywere probably right too.But Deborah and Lizzieprevailed and the monumentwas dedicated in 1926. Myfather and I walked up fromour place on Mullin Hill Road.Professor Bill Monahan wasthe Commissioner ofAgriculture in the state ofMassachusetts and he gavethe address which lasted anhour, which most of them didin those days, or more. Butvery interesting, and of courseit wasn’t me, but my fatherwho was in the poultrybusiness.. I was only 10 yearsold or so. I didn’tthink much of walking the walkback. I was thinking aboutthat. But anyway,the monument was dedicatedand it’s there today.NextDeborah Manchesterand her nephew RogerDennett Jr. at themonument unveiling,1926. Courtesy of AliceTripp Hopkins.Other Monument
Rhode Island RedPreviousHomeThe Adamsville MonumentBordon TrippOral History 1990William Tripp was a whaling captain. He brought back some fowl that hebought in, actually in Bangladesh. You heard him speak of chitty-cockbefore, the chitty-cock fowl? He picked up Mediterranean fowl along theway and brought them home, and he bred these birds, until hedeveloped a straight breed. He lived down at the corner of WilliamSisson Road and Long Highway. And of course, he was the originator ofthe Rhode Island Red.LCHS Note:William Tripp was a farmer who sold goods to sea captains in NewBedford. He did get an exotic chicken from the ships and bred it withlocal birds to develop the first RI Red. Issac C. Wilbour furtherdeveloped and named the breed.The ―Other‖ MonumentPostcard, 1901. Courtesy of Walter Elwell.Next
The Other MonumentPreviousHomeBordon TrippOral History 1990In 1954 I happened to be working up at thestate house and we decided to have a 100thanniversary of the Rhode Island Red. Sowe had a bill pass through the legislaturethat gave us the funds. In those days,Johnny Rego, he was the director of theDepartment of Agriculture and he sent hisforestry crew down here and we had a bigcelebration, a barbeque, and fed 2,500people. We dedicated a monument over onthe corner of William Sisson Road andLong Highway, the first place that a RhodeIsland Red was in being. So, that’s thehistory of the Rhode Island Red, and at thesame time we influenced the legislature toname the state bird, Rhode Island Red, andwhen they did it I happened to get this littlebutton here…See it on MapQuestLCHS CollectionNextRI Red Monument
Longfield LanternPreviousHomeThis is the ―classic‖ Longfield Lantern. It is copper and glass.There were many variations on this design and the Longfieldstook custom orders.Longfield Lantern owned by Alice Wordell Beattie. LCHS Collection Next
Adamsville Word CloudPreviousHome NextWhat Did We Remember?