The “Grant Radish” – 1868

A news article from the Woonsocket Patriot, October 23, 1868.

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Smithfield Union Bank Counterfeit Money – 1854

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The Daily Minnesota Pioneer
September 27, 1854

Smithfield Exchange Bank Advertisement – 1845

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Posted in The New York Tribune
August 22, 1845

Rocky Point Poster – 1872

Possibly the only surviving example of this advertising poster. 

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Smithfield Exchange Bank $1.25 Note

Image courtesy of Katie Law of Smithfield.

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Forgotten Miracles of Saint Patrick

Forgotten Miracles of Saint Patrick

 By Jim Ignasher    

Circa 1910 Post Card of St. Patrick

     It’s been said that everyone’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, celebrated with green beer, green clothing, and corned beef and cabbage.  Everybody knows the day is named for Saint Patrick, a Christian missionary who lived centuries ago and is known for expelling all the snakes from Ireland, but how many know that he had the ability to heal the sick and raise the dead?  Or why he used the Shamrock as a tool to spread Christianity across Ireland?   

     There are numerous miraculous legends attributed to Saint Patrick that were once widely known, but in modern times have fallen into obscurity.  For example, one story relates how a great freshet caused a well in Emptor to overflow with such ferocity that the quickly rising water threatened the lives of those living in the area around it.  Patrick took a piece of bread, and after dipping his finger in the water, made the sign of the cross on it.  Then he uttered a prayer after which the water suddenly stopped gushing forth.   

     Saint Patrick was born in Scotland to Roman parents somewhere around 379 A.D. (Sources vary.) However, Patrick wasn’t his given name, but one he adopted later.  His birth name was Maewyn Succat. 

     One of the earliest miracles to attributed to Patrick occurred at his baptism when a blind man named Gormus arrived after having a dream that Patrick could cure him.  While holding Patrick’s hand, he made the sign of the cross on the ground, and suddenly a spring of fresh water erupted from the earth.  Gormus washed his eyes with the water and his sight was immediately restored. 

     Patrick had been baptized on a large flat rock which came to be used in local disputes as a lie detector.  Anyone who gave false testimony while touching the rock would cause water to trickle forth from it.     

     As a young boy Patrick was charged with watching the family’s flock of sheep.  One day a baby lamb was carried off by a wolf and he was blamed for the loss.  That night he prayed that the lamb be returned, and the following day the wolf brought the lamb back and laid it at Patrick’s feet, unharmed. 

     There was a time when honey was widely used for medicinal purposes, and one instance records that Patrick was able to turn a bowl of water into honey to treat a sick woman.      

     While in his teens Patrick was kidnapped, taken to Ireland, and sold into slavery to a pagan chieftain. After six years in captivity, an angel came to him in a dream and showed him a place where gold was buried.  He retrieved the gold, and some sources say he bought his freedom, others say he escaped, and fled back to Scotland.  In either case, he became a priest and later a bishop, and eventually made his way back to Ireland and began his ministry. 

     While ministering to the pagans, he used the three-leaf Shamrock to illustrate the Christian belief that the Holy Trinity, (The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), are one God in three Devine persons.  Over time he established hundreds of churches and converted thousands to Christianity, and is today one of the three patron saints of Ireland.   

     An ancient relic attributed to Saint Patrick is an iron bell that can be found on display at the National Museum in Dublin, Ireland.  The story behind it relates how Saint Patrick climbed to the top of a mountain now known as Crough Patrick.  There, in imitation of Jesus, he fasted for forty days.  During that time demons came and tormented him, but he stayed true to his faith.  As the evil entities grew more aggressive he prayed to God, and finally drove them off using the bell. 

     It’s recorded that Patrick resurrected the dead at least 33 times. In one case two daughters of the King of Dublin had died, and the King, who’d heard of Patrick’s miraculous abilities, sent for him.  The King promised Patrick that if he could bring the girls back to life he would convert to Christianity.  Patrick took the hands of the girls and appealed to God.  Suddenly the burial chamber was filled with light and the girls rose from death.  The King kept his word and was baptized.      

     Another account speaks of a dying Irish King named Echu who wanted to convert to Christianity.  He sent for Patrick, but died before his arrival.  Patrick brought the king back to life long enough to be baptized and receive Holy Communion, after which the king passed away a second time.      

     There was an incident involving of a powerful magician who interrupted Patrick’s teachings in front of a large crowd of people and blasphemed the Lord.  In the next instant the magician was killed by a bolt of lightning, and all in attendance converted.     

     One day a thief stole a goat that belonged to Patrick and ate it.  When accused, the man denied it, until the sound of a bleating goat was heard coming from the man’s stomach.  Then the beard of a goat suddenly grew upon his face, which some say is where the term “goatee” originated.  

     Of course the best known miracle attributed to Saint Patrick involves the banishment of snakes from Ireland.  The legend goes that he climbed to the top of a mountain overlooking the sea and ordered all the serpents in Ireland to assemble at his feet before he drove them into the water by beating a drum.      

    Patrick died on March 17, circa 493, and it’s said that there was no darkness in Ireland for twelve days after his death.  He’s reportedly buried in the graveyard next to Down Cathedral located in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.  

     There are those who claim some of the miracles surrounding Saint Patrick are mythical, yet they can’t deny the immense influence he had on the Christian world, the Catholic Faith, and the Country of Ireland.  Today there are thousands of cemeteries and churches worldwide named after him, as well as a special day on the calendar – March 17th.

      Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to one and all, for everyone can celebrate – Irish or not.     

50 Years Ago – March, 1970

50 Years Ago – March, 1970     


     Sp/4 Steven C. Pechie of Esmond was home for a twenty-day furlough before reporting for duty with the Strategic Air Command in Panama.

     1st Lieutenant Anthony J. Pascitelli of Greenville was serving with the United States Air Force.

     Air Force Sergeant Richard Johnson just completed a one-year tour of duty in Thailand.

     Army Private William Hession completed basic training at Fort Dix. 

     Staff Sergeant George Fitzpatrick of Esmond came home after serving four years in Vietnam.

     USMC Corporal Robert A. Gurney, Jr., of Greenville, was serving with the 1st Marines Air Wing in Vietnam. 

     Tec. Sergeant Kenneth W. Fuller was serving with the U. S. Air Force in Vietnam.

     Air Force Lieutenant Stephen S. Weyden of Esmond was home on leave before reporting for duty in Thailand. 

     Steve Boudreau, a 17-year-old junior at Smithfield High School, was working as a jockey.  On March 2nd  he won the second race at Narragansett while riding a horse named “I’m Sugar Pie”. 

     On March 6 The Beatles released their hit song, “Let It Be”.

     The movie “Airport” premiered in New York City.  The film had an all-star cast and was based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Arthur Hailey.  

     On March 7 there was a total eclipse of the sun, said to be the “eclipse of the century”.  Days before the eclipse, newspapers and magazines printed instructions for making a “sun box” for safely viewing the event.  This hi-tec device was basically a cardboard box with a pin hole in one end and a sheet of white paper at the other.     

     The Greenville Fire Department acquired a “Raysled”.  It was a small fiberglass boat with a square front designed for both ice and water rescues. 

     The Elks Lodge on Farnum Pike held a St. Patrick’s Day dinner dance that was well attended.

     Girl Scouts of the “Yankee Smithfield Neighborhood” celebrated National Girl Scout Week with their first father-daughter dance held at the Smithfield High School.  450 people attended, and it was hoped that the dance would become an annual event. 

     Mrs. Anthony Lancia was in charge of planning the event.

     At the dance, there was a brief ceremony during which Mrs. Thomas Hall was presented an award for her 35 years of service to the Girl Scouts.

     Jane Kaminski, Joanne Daigle, Charlene Winfield, and Deborah Vallee, served as the honor guard.  

Burger King – Smithfield, R.I.

     Burger King located at the southwest corner of Route 44 and Route 5 in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  In February of 2020 it was announced that the building would be torn down to make way for a bank. 

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Drive Thru Entrance



Smith-Appleby Family Genealogy

Click on green link below to view PDF file.

Persons Associated with the Smith-Appleby House ex

An early automobile in front of the barn circa 1915.

An early automobile in front of the Smith-Appleby House barn circa 1915.

Genealogy of the Smith-Appleby Family Line

Click on green link below to view PDF file.

Genealogy of Smith-Appleby line ex

This posed photograph dating to about 1910 shows Maria Appleby with her father in the forefront surrounded by people presumed to be relatives.

This posed photograph dating to about 1910 shows Maria Appleby with her father in the forefront surrounded by people presumed to be relatives.

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