School Tours - Smith's Castle
Since it has been over 32 years since our family went to Smith's Castle, I just have a few slides to jog my memory of what we saw there. Somewhere I have a picture of my two girls next to a lifesized doll dressed as a colonial child.
In order to give some idea of what it is possible to see on the docent led tours, I've copied three of the Lesson Plans that Smith's Castle has published for various age children.
Everyday life and the colonial kitchen
Colonial cooking and food preservation. Compare and contrast old and new kitchen utensils. Role play carrying water and wash day. Hear a story or play a game.
Craft/snack Options: Make butter or string apples for drying. 45 minutes to one hour. Three Lesson Plans for Grades 3–8 Depth of program varies by grade level. 1-1/2 to 2 hours
A) 17th Century Rhode Island Trading Post
The Narragansett Tribe.
Roger Williams' and Richard Smith's trade and interactions with the Native people.
King Philip's War and the Great Swamp Fight.
Activity: make a Native American bead pouch craft,
Video available for loan.
B) What Was It Like to Live in Colonial Days?
Lifestyles, rooms and their uses, furnishings and equipment.
Food preparation and preservation.
Activity: Children's education with quill pen writing.
C) Plantation Life in Rhode Island
How did a plantation differ from a farm?
What was life like for owners and slaves?
Activity for grades 3 and 4: Design a quilt block to make a class quilt.
Activity for grades 5–8: Make a runaway slave poster.
Plum Beach Lighthouse
To make the passange to Providence along the west side of Narragansett Bay safer, this 54 foot tall cast-iron lighthouse was built using the pnuematic caisson method There are only 11 lighthouses built by this way. The fourth order Fresnel lens was illuminated on July 1, 1899.
Some visitors came by boat (and this is the best way to see the lighthouse today), but others swam. The Lighthouse Swim became an annual event in the 20s.
On September 21, 1938, it was becoming obvious that a major storm was on the way. When the keepers looked out a window, they saw a yacht passing by "at 60 miles per hour."
The keepers took refuge in the fourth level of the lighthouse, only to see .. wrecked boats and buildings .. sweeping past them. The 30-foot waves broke open a door in the tower, washing away furniture and the station's boats. The two men went as high as they could, to the fog bell room. There they lashed themselves, back to back, to the pipe that contained the weights for the clockwork mechanism that rotated the lens. They felt a gigantic wave,.. strike the lighthouse.. but they survived..Seven people at lighthouses in the general area were killed in the Hurricane of '38, and several lighthouses were destroyed or irrevocably damaged.
The bridge built in 1941 from North Kingston to Jamestown Island made the lighthouse obsolete and it was abandoned. It got rusty and the birds took over. The Coast Guard tried to give it to the state, but the state refused to take it.
In 1973, after this picture was taken, someone was hired to paint the lighthouse, but he became ill from the guano.
Eventually, the lighthouse was restored by the Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse. After the exterior was restored, 52 tons of pigeon guano was removed from inside the tower.
The interior has not yet been restored, but the Bay Queen Cruises, 461 Water Street , Gate #4, Warren, RI has several lighthouse cruises a year. The lighthouse has been put back in service as an active aid to navigation.
Many men remember Quonset/Davisville~No.Kingstown
" Quonset Air Museum"
Quonset - Davisville were two enormous military bases developed during WWII. The Seabees were at Davisville...next door to Quonset where the Navy housed air craft carriers, picket ships, and an airfield. Thousands of men went through this military facility for training or prior to deployment...including my husband who came to RI prior to being ordered to Antarctica. This is the reason we met and how so many men met RI women....often marrying them and eventually settling in RI. The facility was closed years ago and many civilian companies have moved in, but there are still remnants of the military left there. There is a Seabee museum as well as a Navy Air Museum. These military museums struggle to save those many memories of the Navy & Seabees' involvement in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam conflicts.
At the Navy Air Museum, volunteers are there daily trying to restore old aircraft which eventually were taken out of service, but have long histories of service. There are Skyawks, Corsair II, Grumman Intruder, the Bell Cobra helicopter, Anti Submarine Sakorsky Sea King helicopter and many more. For a full explanation of their mission and the planes with their individual stories...you can visit their web site, or better yet..go to see these veterans who try so hard to hold the planes and museum together.
Quonset Air Museum