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! (

Warmest wishes,

Maggie Botelho

Ways & Means Chairperson

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