March 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Fellow Members:

I hope you will join us on March 14, 2013, at 6:30, for our first membership meeting of the year. If we should have snow forecast for that date, we will meet the following Thursday, March 21.  A message on our voicemail at the museum will confirm a cancellation (401) 231-7363.

Ridge Road, in Smithfield begins where North Providence becomes Smithfield.  It ends after several meanders at Stillwater Road, which passes by the Smith-Appleby House, on to Farnum Pike.  These roads are bordered on both sides with lichen encrusted fieldstone walls.  As each crop of spring rocks appeared in the road bed over the years, they were moved to the road sides – gradually forming walls, and causing the road bed to become lower – in some places as much as five feet.  In my imagination I see oxen drawn conveyances, a small carriage or wagon, or just a lone rider on horseback traveling along the road.  In those long ago days it was a journey wherever you went, perhaps even an adventure.  Adventurous is the word I would use to describe the original Smith family – Elisha and Experience.  They set up their home a good many miles from Providence and their families.  What we call a pioneer spirit, they just considered part of the normal routine of life.

I think it is admirable that young people today follow the call of adventure through scouting and other youth programs.  The Historical Society has made it a practice to open the museum and grounds to these groups for tours and overnight stays on the property.  We are looking forward to sponsoring a Venturing Crew, a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of American for young men and women who are 14 years of age, or 13 years of age who have completed the eighth grade.  In addition to other projects, the crew could assist the museum by performing service projects or service hours for events.  It’s not hard to see this would be a wonderful opportunity for the young people, and the museum.  We will provide additional information as this program develops.

It appears that we have another busy year planned!  The list includes some of the events we do every year, as well as some special events and programs.  In every case, willing hands and volunteers are required to prepare for, and present to our guests, the very best experience we can provide.  You may be the one person we have been waiting for to complete our team of talented volunteers – leave a message at the museum (231-7363) if you would like to join us.

Some of the following open house dates are subject to change, however all of this information will be on our website when the dates are finalized.  Dates for cleaning, set-up, decorating etc., will be sent to our volunteer email distribution list shortly.

  • May 5 – 40th Annual May Breakfast
  • June 1 & 22 – Weddings (school programs throughout for our local schools)
  • June 29 – Open House – Rhody Ramble
  • July 4 – Private party
  • July 27 – Open House Rhody Ramble
  • August 17 – Open House Rhody Ramble
  • September 14 – Wedding
  • September 28 – Open House – Smithsonian Day
  • November 8 & 9 – Colonial Dinner
  • December – Christmas Open House, December 8 (members Christmas party December 14)

As I have said in the past, there is little or nothing accomplished at the museum without the help and support of all our members and volunteers, and that is appreciated! 

Regarding your membership dues, if you have been in arrears for some time, your annual membership this year will return you to good standing.  Membership dollars are a very real part of our finances, and also a sign of your support for the work being accomplished to preserve the Smith-Appleby House.  A red dot on your envelope signals your membership is in arrears.  You must be a member in good standing to vote at the Membership Meeting on March 14, 2013, and we hope to see you there.

Lastly, we are still collecting email addresses (saving a stamp); so if you have not already done so, send me your new email! (smithappleby@aol.com

Warmest wishes,

Maggie Botelho

Ways & Means Chairperson

December 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Fellow Members:

302815_503212639701847_1891711776_nYeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as yeoman’s work.  Thus yeoman became associated with hard toil.

An odd way to start a newsletter!  But you will understand why when I begin to describe the yeoman’s work performed by our volunteers at the museum.  Michele Krakowski has been on a cleaning mission.  Peter Giammarco and June organized and worked during the Colonial Weekend at the museum Oct. 6 & 7th, Don Goncalves publicized our events to bring in record guests, Lonnie Thurber has been chopping down dead trees, Miss Julia Mendonca has been teaching doll making with guests of all ages, Bob Sherman organized and filed our 2011 taxes and Bob Guertin has managed to keep all the grass mowed!  Many thanks to all of our other volunteers as well.

To old business:  On September 13th we held our annual Membership Meeting, and elected several new officers, so please welcome to their new posts, President Deb Cote, Membership Chairperson Michele Krakowski and Treasurer Bob Sherman.

Our Martha Washington Invites You to Dine Colonial dinner was a sold-out event, and our new President, Deb Cote graced us by performing as Martha to the delight of our guests.  Crew members of the Rhode Island Pirate Players provided assistance with the food service, some music and the inspiration for the 2013 Colonial dinner, “A Pirate’s Bounty Colonial Dinner.”

On December 2, we hosted our Christmas at Smith-Appleby event.  Attendance was lighter than last year, but that made for less congestion in the house.  We saw many of our regular visitors, and seeing the same children from years past continuing a family tradition of visiting Santa at the museum made the event more than worthwhile.  Thanks to all the volunteers who assisted with baking, and who assisted during the day. 

Our membership Christmas party will be held on December 15th, at 6:30 this year.  This is a pot luck dinner, with a Yankee Swap to follow.  Leave a message at the museum letting us know if you will attend, and what dish you would like to bring.  Very best holiday wishes to our far-away members who can not attend.  Our new fiscal year began on September 1, so membership dues for the 2013 year are due now, unless you have recently renewed your membership.

Lastly, we are still collecting email addresses (saving a stamp); so if you have not already done so, send me your new email! (smithappleby@aol.com

Warmest wishes,

Maggie Botelho

Ways & Means Chairperson

September 2012 Newsletter

Member NewsletterDear Friends and Fellow Members: 

Please join us for our Annual Membership Meeting on September 13th at 6:30.  Please be advised your dues must be current in order to vote during our Membership Meeting.  Membership status will be available at the meeting, so you may pay your membership dues at that time for the upcoming year. 

Some of the agenda items include: 

  1. Election of Officers
  2. General Smith-Appleby House update
  3. Financial Update
  4. Events Update
  5. Membership Update 

We would like to express our thanks to Bill Pilkington for the new web site.  I have already received numerous compliments regarding the site; take a look if you haven’t seen the web site recently www.smithapplebyhouse.org.  Follow the Smith-Appleby House Museum on social media — on Facebook at facebook.com/SmithApplebyHouse, on Twitter at  twitter.com/SmithAppleby, and on Google+ at gplus.to/SmithApplebyHouse

Many thanks to Greg Williams for his help this year, and please join us in wishing him good luck as he learns the masonry trade in Maine.  Neighbor Bob Guertin has been manning the garden tractor this summer keeping all the lawns mowed, so many thanks to Bob as well. 

We will be discussing upcoming events at the membership meeting, with a request for volunteers.   If you are unable to attend, but would like to help with an event, call (401 231-7363) and leave a message at the museum.  No experience necessary!  One event specifically can use some help; on September 15th from 1-4 we are having an open house, and will be making cornhusk dolls in the barn.  I can use more husks, and corn tassels, just in case you are eating fresh corn these days!  I snip the tassel (just the dark brown part, for doll hair), and remove the very dark green outer husks (usually only one layer).  I use the soft light green husks as they are perfect for the dolls, and dry beautifully when left in the sun.  The day of the event the dry husks are soaked in hot water in order to be pliable to make the dolls, using a Penobscot Indian design. 

Lastly, we are still collecting email addresses (saving a stamp); so if you have not already done so, send me your new email! (smithappleby@aol.com

Again, please join us on September 13th (Thursday evening) at 6:30 at the museum for our Annual Membership Meeting.  Light refreshments will be served. 

Warmest wishes,

Maggie Botelho
Ways & Means Chairperson

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