ADAMSVILLE – The Rhode Island Red chicken was originally bred here in Adamsville. In 1925 the Rhode Island Red Club of America donated funds for an elegant monument to the Rhode Island Red. It is located on Harbor Road, across the street from what used to be Abraham Manchester's restaurant. The monument is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
BARRINGTON – Actor/writer Spalding Gray was born here in 1941. He killed himself in 2004 by jumping into the Hudson River in N.Y.
BRISTOL – The Bristol estate of actor Anthony Quinn was for sale for $5 million in 2002. Quinn, who died in at 86 in 2001, bought the 11-acre property with 400 feet on the water in 1992. The site includes a 7,300 square-foot Bermuda ranch-style home with two guesthouses. Quinn is buried on an abutting seven-acre site with a remembrance garden. His widow Katherine, was building a smaller home for herself and their two children on another part of the property.
The first torpedo boat (the Stiletto) was built here in 1887.
CHEPACHET – May 25th is solemnly recognized as "Elephant Day" here in Chepachet, for it was on May 25, 1826 that Betty, The Learned Elephant, was shot and killed at the old wooden bridge that spanned Chepachet River. Betty's first appearance in Chepachet was July 31, 1822 and she won the hearts of amazed onlookers with her intelligence and size. People here, as well as those up and down the eastern seaboard, were seeing the elephant from Calcutta, India for the very first time. Betty, or Little Bett as she was affectionately called by her owner, was only the second elephant to walk on the North American continent. On May 25, 1976, Chepachet placed a commemorative plaque on the bridge to mark the spot where Little Bett had fallen. Commemorative ceremonies of one sort or another have been held each year since.
CRANSTON – Astrologer Joyce Jillson was born here in Cranston in 1946.
Nicholas ""Coach" Colasanto is buried here in Saint Annes Cemetery in Section 31, Lot 217. He played the bartender "Coach" on Cheers.
CUMBERLAND – Born here were religious leader Jemima Wilkinson in 1732, and writer/director Peter Farrelly in 1956.
EXETER – In the early 1880s, George and Mary Brown and their five children lived on a small farm near Exeter. On December 8, 1883, Mary died of consumption at age 36. Six months later, a daughter Mary Olive, 20, died on June 6, 1884. In 1991, George's only son, Edwin, 24, contracted the disease. Hoping he might find a cure in the mineral waters of Colorado Springs, Colorado. While he was gone, his sister Mercy Lena, 19, also became sick and died on January 18, 1892. Because it was winter and the ground was frozen, her body was placed inside a crypt near the graves of her mother and sister Mary, here in the Chestnut Hill Cemetery, also known today as Historical Cemetery #22. After Mercy died, towns people approached Mr. Brown and told him of the local superstition that a "vampire" is said to inhabit the heart of a dead consumptive while any blood remains in the heart, it must be cremated and the ashes preserved and administered in some form to his son which would result in a cure. Even tho he did not believe in the vampire theory, he agreed to the procedure. On the 17th of March, the bodies of his wife and daughters were exhumed and examined by Doctor Metcalt of Wickford. The two bodies longest buried were found decayed and bloodless, while the body of Mercy, dead only two months, showed some blood in the heart. Her heart and lungs were then were cut out and cremated on a nearby stone wall and the ashes were saved. When Edwin returned from Colorado, some of the ashes were given to him to ingest in hopes that it would cure him. Edwin died less than two months afterwards, on May 2, 1892. The crypt where Mercy was kept after her heart was cut out is only a few dozen yards from the Brown graves. The stone where Mercy's heart was burned is only a yard or so from her mother's headstone. When Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula in 1897, died, newspaper accounts of Mercy Brown's exhumation were found in his files. Mercy's story is also mentioned in the short story The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft, who lived in Providence. To find Mercy's grave, enter grounds and drive straight back, past a rock wall, the Brown family plot is on the left next to a cedar tree. The crypt where Mercy's body was briefly kept is to your right, at the edge of the Cemetery. GO THERE
LITTLE COMPTON – The first white girl born in America, Elizabeth Peabodie, is buried here in the Old Burying Ground on The Commons. She was the daughter od Pilgrims John and Priscilla Alden, two of the original Mayflower passengers. She was born here in Little Compton in 1624.
NEWPORT – Born here in Newport, were: Admiral Matthew C. Perry in 1794, film producer Thomas H. Ince in 1882, actor Van Johnson in 1916, singer Billy Cowsill in 1948, and actor Harry Anderson in 1950 (he starred in TVs Night Court).
Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, attended the Channng Memorial Church here.
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married here in the St. Mary’s Cathedral Memorial Church.
The first circus in the United States was in Newport in 1774.
The first traffic law was created here in 1678, when authorities banned galloping horses on local streets in Newport.
In 1904, The first speeding ticket in America was given here in 1904.
The first circus in America was here in 1774.
Pelham Street here was the first street in America to use gas-illuminated street lights.
The first jail sentence for speeding in an automobile was issued here on August 28, 1904.
Polo was played for the first time in the United States near here in 1876.
The first British troops sent from England to squash the revolution landed here in Newport.
Admiral Oliver Perry, naval hero is buried here in Island Cemetery.
PAWTUCKETT – Born here in Pawtuckett were: dare devil jumper Sam Patch in 1807 (he was first to jump over the Niagara Falls), newsman Irving R. Levine in 1922, TV newscaster David Hartman in 1935, and musician Wendy Carlos in 1939.
Jockey Red Pollard is buried here in the Notre Dame Cemetery in Section 8, Grave 953. He was Seabiscuit's jockey.
QUONSET POINT – The Quonset hut was invented here in 1941.
PORTSMOUTH – The oldest schoolhouse in the United States is here in Portsmouth. It was built in 1716.
Composer Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic died here in her home "Oak Glen" in 1910.
PROVIDENCE – Born here in Providence were: silversmith Jabez Gorham in 1792, composer/actor George M. Cohan in 1878, author H. P. Lovecraft in 1890, singer Nelson Eddy in 1901, labor leader Leonard Woodcock in 1911, musician Bobby Hackett in 1915, actress Ruth Hussey in 1915, poet Galway Kinnell in 1927, and novelist Cormac McCarthy in 1933,
The World’s largest termite statue is located here at 161 O'Connell St., It is 58-feet long.
Roger Williams, founder of the colony of Rhode Island, and the city of Providence, died in 1636, and was buried here on his own property. Some time later in the nineteenth century his remains were moved to the tomb of a descendant in the North Burial Ground. Finally, in 1936, they were placed within a bronze container and put into the base of a monument on Prospect Terrace Park in Providence. When his remains were discovered for reburial, they were under an apple tree. The roots of the tree had grown into the spot where Williams' skull rested and followed the path of his decomposing bones and grew roughly in the shape of his skeleton. Only a small amount of bone was found to be reburied. The "Williams Root" is now part of the collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society, where it is mounted on a board in the basement of the John Brown House Museum.
According to her wishes, Rose Martin, 84, a former police matron, was buried here in the Pocasset Hill Cemetery in 1998 inside her beloved 1962 Corvair automobile which she drove around town for 36 years. Six police officers acting as pallbearers, slid the inlaid wood coffin into an opening into the rear of the Corvair, which had been altered to accommodate the casket. The car was then lowered into the ground with a crane. It took up four burial plots. She was laid to rest next to her husband with a headstone showing a picture of her and the car.
Buried here in the North Burial Ground are:
– Horace Mann, educator.
– Sarah Helen Whitman, poet. Once engaged to Edgar Allen Poe, she was the subject of his second poem To Helen. Also Annabel Lee was a message to her.
SAUNDERSTOWN – Artist Gilbert Stuart was born here in 1755. He painted the George Washington that appears on the dollar bill.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Naval Commander Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry was born here in 1785.
TIVERTON – Sea captain Robert Gray was born here in 1755.
WESTERLY – Inventor Stephen Wilcox was born here in 1830.
A nursing cap that once belonged to Florence Nightingale is on display at the Westerly Hospital. The cap is believed to have come from her great-grandfather Cyrus Hamlin, a missionary who befriended Nightingale.
WOONSOCKET – Born here in Nonsmoker, were: musician/actor Eddie Dowling in 1894, and baseball player Napoleon Lajoie in 1874.
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