Visit an historic farm in Rhode Island on the beautiful island of Jamestown. Rural and wonderful... you can stop between Wickford and Newport and then over the bridge you go in either direction.
The Watson Farm is owned by Historic New ENgland and operated by Don and HEather Minto, who live at the farm, and raise Red Devon cattle. This heritage breed originally arrived in Plymouth Colony in 1623. The farm was acquired by Hist. N.England in 1979 when they revived raising sheep as well. Their wool produces warm, beautiful blankets.
There is an annual farm day every summer with lots of fun for families, children, and anyone interested in authentic farming in Rhode Island.
This year there is a walking tour titled "Off the Beaten Path" - Sunday, Sept 23 - 2-5pm - Walking Tour $3 (members Historic New England), $8 non members. Registration recommended:
401 423 0005
It's something about the "feel" of these wonderful old 1700's houses that just gets me at the first sight of them. I don't know if I lived a previous life in one of these houses, but they just feel so familiar to me...and always have. I could sit and stare at an old batten door and stone step for half an hour...and sometimes I actually do.
Several weavers were at the farm to show everyone how to operate a loom and sometimes to give the youngsters an opportunity to try their hand at it. They were very patient in explaining...even to adults... the various steps along the way from sheep to sweater.
The Docents have the job of taking the sheep for a walk on a leash. Others were just carrying the babies around and enjoying the companionship. It was nice to see the young teenagers involved in this kind of activity.
This is a very small, simple aquarium located in the Beavertail Lighthouse's old foghorn building. The aquarium's exhibits focus on creatures that live along the Rhode Island coastline, and are fun for small children.
Beavertail State Park is a pleasant little state park that occupies the southern end of Conanicut Island. The park features the historic Beavertail Lighthouse and Museum, a small aquarium, and a rugged coastline that is interesting to walk along.
The Beavertail Lighthouse stands at the southern end of Conanicut Island in Beavertail State Park. Lighthouses have stood on this spot since the 1700s; the current lighthouse was built in 1856. Adjacent to the lighthouse is an excellent little museum which covers the history of Beavertail and the other lightouses in the area. What we found particulalry interesting were the exhibits regarding the lives of the lighthouse keepers and their families.
OSS is the only dive shop on the island and it's a pretty good one. It's a full-service shop, the staff know the area well and there are lots of resources inside on local diving. Their airfills are good and reasonably priced ($5). The fill station is outside, right on the covered deck. If you're a visiting diver they have an apartment up on the 2nd floor that you can rent, it sleeps up to four people. If you'd rather remain above water or maybe like to paddle to your own dive site, away from the masses, then they also sell, service, and rent kayaks.
When diving in Jamestown, stop in at OSS - Ocean State Scuba. It's one of the nicest shops I've seen. They don't have a ton of product, but they've got a great selection of books with local dive info. Their air fills are quick, they don't short you, and you can relax on their great deck while you wait. The best part is, they've got a claw foot tub out back that they'll let you rinse your gear in at the end of the day.
OSS also sells and rents kayaks, and gives both kayak and dive instruction in their indoor pool. Check it out!
they kind of go together, don't they?
the good old sheep dog got a day off...and lots of attention.
Old plows and tractors are scattered around the property and noone seems to care when the kids climb all over them...pretending to plow the fields or haul the hay.
Families love coming out for this day. Watson Farm has sheep to be sheared, weavers who demonstrate on a couple of different types of looms, and general all-natural fun on a sunny day.