Local traditions and culture in Rhode Island

  • Local Customs
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  • Local Customs
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  • Local Customs
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Rhode Island

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo

    Valentine Whitman House c.1694

    by Pawtuxet Updated Aug 3, 2009

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    Few 1600's houses have survived in New England... very few stone enders left in Rhode Island. This treasure of the Blackstone Valley located on The Lime Rock "Great Road" Historic District in LINCOLN, RI has some dedicated volunteers who are trying to keep it vital and teach visitors about the house's history.
    Owned by the town, but looked after by the Friends of the Valentine Whitman, Jr. House , you are welcomed by a costumed guide who explains the way the house has been used throughout several owners and centuries. Rather than make the house authentic to its origins, they have chosen to show all the alterations and various furnishings which have found their way to the old house.

    THE ATTIC IS PROBABLY THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF THE HOUSE FOR AN ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN. The chimney is created to allow smoking of meats. There was a fire built in an iron pot (there is a flue above) and a canvas was used to cover the opening so that the hanging meat would get the full benefit of the smoke.
    There is also an intrigueing chute (partially hidden by a hinged floor board) which would allow tenants to lower themselves inside...all the way to the basement, in the event of robber highwaymen or other attackers.
    It's a little known treat to explore.

    Valentine Whitman House ~ 1147 Great Road, Lincoln, RI 02865

    stone ender Someone has restored the privvy! attic smoking chimney in the attic
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    • Museum Visits
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    • Architecture

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    Preserving a CAROUSEL

    by Pawtuxet Updated Oct 5, 2008

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    Across the upper bay from Pawtuxet village is Crescent Park where my father used to take me in his boat. We would enjoy some clam cakes and chowder at the beach side amusement park and sometimes I would ride the wonderful carousel there.
    I imported the info about the CAROUSEL which is worth seeking out if you are ever around the East Providence/Riverside part of the state.
    ______
    "Crescent Park was the largest and most spectacular of all of Rhode Island's Victorian-era amusement parks. Amusement parks in those days included boating, games, picnics, music, tunnels of love, and, noteably, carousels. Crescent Park featured a grand carousel with 62 hand-carved figures and four chariots -- a masterpiece of carousels designed as a showcase of the talents of Charles I.D. Looff.


    Loof, one of the earliest and foremost carousel designers, built the Crescent Park Carousel in 1895. Looff's trademark was the overall richness of effect and the Crescent Park Carousel gives full interpretation to that spirit. Elaborate embelishments of decorative panels, beveled mirrors, faceted glass jewels, electric lights, colored sandwich glass windows, and its orginal band organ music surround the flying steeds to create Looff's "Total Carousel Experience".

    The Crescent Park Carousel, nationally recognized as a true masterpiece of wood sculpture, was rescued in the 1970's by a handful of East Providence residents. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites and Places in 1976. In 1985 the Rhode Island General Assembly proclaimed the carousel as the "State Jewel of American Folk Art". In 1987, the Department of the Interior's National Park Service designated the carousel as a National Historic Landmark."

    Crescent Park Carousel
    Related to:
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    • Arts and Culture

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    A RHODE ISLAND CLAM BAKE

    by Pawtuxet Updated Nov 9, 2006

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    A Rhode Island Clam Bake is a very old tradition. Unfortunately most people simply buy the "bake" pre-packaged nowadays because of all the work involved. But in years past the men would work for days to prepare the feast. This series of pictures will tell the story of our clam bake with an old friend, Henry Brown as the Bake Master. Henry is wearing the red shirt.
    Before the bake, you need the space to dig a big hole in the ground. Then you gather good round stones, firewood, and pounds of sea weed. We were fortunate to have our bake on Henry's property at the waterfront. He instructs helpers about building large trays or wooden pallets for all the layers to be piled high in the hole.
    The bake begins at dawn with the building of a fire in the hole and piling all the stones. Takes a while to get the whole thing going good. Then you layer on the shellfish (clams, quohaugs, little necks), wrapped white fish (schrod), potatoes, onions, corn on the cob, sausages, lobsters....the whole works. Everything is covered with layers of canvas while the fire and canvas are continuously watered down to cause lots of smoke and heat. This goes on for hours. Henry in the red shirt...my husband with the water hose.
    Finally the moment we've all been waiting for! Off comes the canvas and all the lobsters are red and delicious looking. The first course is the shellfish...followed by the fish, sausage, and vegatables...then lobster with melted butter dripping off your chin. Absolutely scrumptious!! Of course some good cold beer is usually plentiful. Cold slices of watermelon is the classic desert. Oh, my. There is absolutely nothing quite so wonderful.
    Here we all are enjoying the bake. What a beautiful spot...a very special day. Rhode Island salt air and all the fruits of the ocean. Good friends, sunshine...a well remembered summer afternoon.

    Covering the Bake Smoke billows out from the canvas Henry monitors, while my husband sprays the water Uncovering the red beauties A waterfront lawn filled with very happy people
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    "G' day!" Historic Walking Tour of Pawtuxet

    by Pawtuxet Updated Nov 9, 2006

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    "G'day!" say the kids while this young one tipped his hat. He was one of my favorites at the children's walking tour. Altho I know the houses and their stories...I never tire of seeing these kids enact the village history. What a great learning tool this event has become. For the kids,for residents of the town, and visitors from out of town.
    Pic #2 The Christopher Rhodes house is on the National Register of Historic Homes. The Rhodes family was instrumental in developing our historic coastal village. These school children portray the family and tell us stories of life in the village during the 1800's.
    The next pic is one of my favorites. Caught at a moment of contemplation, he could very well be an authentic boy of our early town. Three cornered hats, lace trimmed ascots, vests and knickers are the fashion of the day.
    Grade school children learn the history of our historic village over the course of several weeks...speakers visit the school to instruct them in local history...the kids compose their commentary, and the parents create their colonial costumes.
    Visitors gather in the local waterfront park, buy a ticket to the walking tour, and are escorted throughout the village to enjoy viniettes of history as the children portray the ancestors of the village in front of each of the 18th century houses...and tell the story of how people lived here 200 years ago. Building pride in these young students gives them such a sense of place...instructive for many of the adults in town as well. The event takes place at the end of May each year in Pawtuxet Village. If you would like to investigate other local events...there is a web site to give you updated info...pics from past years...and the schedule of events for each summer.
    http://gaspee.com

    Costumed guide Costumes are all home made. Pensive Pawtuxet Patriot
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    Local cafe...my Polish photo exhibit

    by Pawtuxet Written Sep 29, 2004

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    There is a little cafe in my village...we all meet for coffee and catch the news of the day. Various artists exhibit their work from time to time. Jeff, the owner, allows us to take turns exhibiting our art work. I took the opportunity to exhibit my pics of Poland when Gosia was coming to visit me in the spring.We did a little mini opening where folks got to meet her and see the photos of my various trips to Poland. I think it went rather well.

    Related to:
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  • RI beverages

    by rklobstr Written Mar 24, 2004

    Del's lemonade is wonderfully refreshng frozen lemonade found all over the state in warm weather. Del's stores, roadside Del's wagons and some restaurants have it.
    Coffee milk is the other big one. Instead of putting chocolate syrup in your milk, you use coffee-flavored syrup. The syrup is in most grocery stores.

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    For Oct 31st

    by safardreams Written Sep 2, 2003

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    Most people start a good month before
    HALLOWEEN doing up the house. Might as well. You do all that work, have to leave it.
    I try to do something different every yr. in the BOW-WINDOW. Never seems to be enough
    room,lol!

    Need A Bigger Window!

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    Halloween Time

    by safardreams Written Sep 2, 2003

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    Being born on FRIDAY, OCT 13TH. Must have done something to me. Halloween is my favorite time. The sky is the limit with what you can do. But, you also need the time.
    Also hope the kids don't come by and take some stuff.

    Faces Of Glass

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  • If you are asked if you want...

    by Momercize Written Aug 26, 2002

    If you are asked if you want your coffee 'Regulah', say yes, ONLY if you want cream and LOTS of sugar...otherwise, specify what you want in your coffee! Dunkin'Donuts is the major landmark used for giving directions! This is a beautiful, quirky little state.

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    The one big mistake made by a...

    by paulapes Written Aug 24, 2002

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    The one big mistake made by a lot of people is thinking that Rhode Island is an island! Of course, if you haven't been here, you might not know one way or the other. But, Rhode Island is not an island -- the name comes from the original name given our state by its founders, and that is: Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. As far as I know, the name is officially the same, but everyone just calls it Rhode Island (it's the smallest state, we can't have the longest name!)
    Here is a satellite picture of the East coast of the USA....I have an arrow pointing to Rhode Island, which is the itty bitty little square just above the arrow---as you can see, Rhode Island is VERY SMALL! You can click on the picture to enlarge it--also, see my MAP & FLAG TRAVELOGUE for another version.

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    How could I possibly overlook...

    by paulapes Written Aug 24, 2002

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    How could I possibly overlook this information?! If you can handle the pressure, when in Rhode Island, leave your 'r' at home---except if it is at the beginning of a word. For example, car is not 'car', it is 'cah'. Party is not 'party', it is 'potty'..got it? So, if you rent a cah, you'll have to pock ya cah in legal spots only :-)

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    Valentine Whitman House Interiors

    by Pawtuxet Written Aug 3, 2009

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    The costumed guide was very enthusiastic in explaining the donations to the house and how the families used it over the course of many decades.

    costumed guide explains pottery Rope tied bed delightful little pantry
    Related to:
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    • Road Trip
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    The Kids Love This!

    by safardreams Updated May 26, 2003

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    Myself and another neighbor do this thing every HALLOWEEN. We get done-up.
    Scare the heck out of the kids! They love being scared! Something different every year!

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    Do up your HOUSE!!

    by safardreams Written May 25, 2003

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    Halloween is big here! Some people really go ALL OUT! This mild compared to some houses! I love HALOWEEN. I guess being born on FRIDAY THE 13TH OCT!! HA-HA!!

    Halloween Time

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    Maybe it's because it's such a...

    by frankcanfly Written Sep 12, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Maybe it's because it's such a small state, but I've noticed people here fret about driving anywhere more than 15 minutes away.

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Rhode Island Hotels

  • Hotel Viking

    The Hotel Viking opened in May 1926, and the two wings of rooms were added in the 1960s and 1970s....

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    58 Weybosset Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 02903, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

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    146 Boston Neck Road, Wickford, Rhode Island, 02852, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

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Rhode Island Local Customs

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