Summer 2015 Newsletter


Dear Friends and Fellow Members:

Greetings to all! 

As you may be aware, the membership meeting scheduled for March 12th was cancelled due to the impassible driveway.  Remind me next time to choose a “rain” date, and include that in the newsletter!  Unless we form a calling tree, mailings are a bit cumbersome! 

The Annual Membership Meeting is being held at the Smith-Appleby House on September 10th at 6:30 pm.  We hope you will be able to attend.  As a gentle reminder, your membership dues must be current in order to vote.  Our new fiscal year begins September 1, so if you have not paid your dues in advance (check your membership card please) then most likely your “dues are due.”  When making out your check, please make sure to make it out to: The Historical Society of Smithfield, as that is the official account name.  This will make things easier for our Membership Chairperson, Teresa Ignasher. On more than one occasion I have wished for some special reward, prize, gift or acknowledgement for our steadfast members.  Instead I offer gratitude, for those that appreciate the behind the scenes work done on, around, and for the property – to keep it safe and enjoyed for today, and tomorrow.  Your membership dollars are a real, and important part of that. 

For the faithful few that spend many hours at the museum you understand how busy the days are with cleanup, preparation, and recovery for the many events we hold.  Perhaps that is why the days slip by so fast, and not everything is accomplished to a schedule! 

We have been rather blessed with the participation of a group of young people from Smithfield High School, under the direction of Mr. Vincent Zibelli, Social Studies, who have helped with yard work, the May Breakfast and the following school programs. 

During the period of June 10 – 18 we hosted field trips for the young people of Anna M. McCabe Elementary, Raymond C. LaPerche Elementary, & William Winsor Elementary.  I think these schools shared with us a total of over 275 children who toured the museum, learned about Rhode Island with Ranger John McNiff, participated in 18th Century “chore related” relay races – as well as candle dipping, stenciling, having a silhouette done, weaving, doll making, scroll making, writing with a quill pen, tin punch and paper making.  I believe I am forgetting something, but for any of you who have ever spent even one day with grandchildren, or any children, will perhaps join me in saying, “whew!”  As ever, when working with these groups of children, Deb Cote is the driving force, and organizer.  

We have hosted two Rhody Ramble events this summer, on July 12th a Rain gutter Regatta, and on August 9th, a Weaving class.  Deb Cote was again instrumental in signing up volunteers and running the event, with assistance from David Brooks, Julia Mendonca, and Michael Korba. 

Thanks also being in order for the gardens, and grass – thank you to Pete and June Giammarco, and to Bob Guertin for keeping the property looking so beautiful. 

We will be hosting another Antique Show on October 4th, hoping the weather will be a little warmer than last year.  We had a lot of fun with the Historical Society table (your donated items), so if you have any “bane or blessing” items you would like to donate, we can arrange for drop-offs! 

On November 14, our Colonial Dinner will also be themed “A Colonial Dinner in New England.” As ever, I will be looking for brave souls to help with cleaning, table set up, food preparation, etc., etc., etc. 

Our Christmas Open house is scheduled for December 6th, and a call for cookies around that time would be appreciated!  Following our tradition, the members Christmas party will be on December 12th.  Not meaning to distress anyone, but it seems that interest in the party has dwindled in the past few years, so perhaps we can make that a topic for discussion at the next meeting. 

Again, the Membership Meeting is scheduled for September 10th, at 6:30.  Looking forward to seeing you! 

Warmest wishes, 

Maggie Botelho
Program Director


December 2014/March 2015 Newsletter

SAH-header-02-1024x281Dear Friends and Fellow Members:

Well, I think this is a first for me, a combination newsletter!  A consequence of “busy-ness” but maybe a real time saver! 

Please note on your calendar the membership meeting scheduled for March 12, at 6:30.  In the event of inclement weather, severe cold, or impassable driveway, we will leave a voicemail message on the answering machine with notice of cancellation.  Please call the museum before venturing out!

For those of you who read the quarterly newsletter (I know there are at least two of you!) you will know how I try to re-cap the previous month’s events and activities.  This will be the case with this newsletter as well, but for a change I would like to project forward to the calendar in 2016.  The Smith-Appleby House will be celebrating its 320th birthday, and looking quite well for a lady her age.  I would like to see this as a year with special events to celebrate the occasion.  I’ve been allowing my imagination to run wild; a picnic on the grounds for the Town of Smithfield, dedicating a time capsule, having special “A day in the life of an 18th Century girl” for girl scouts, and brownies.  Open houses that feature clothing through the generations, photographs etc.  For any of you that have experience with large birthday celebrations, I would love to learn from you.  If you have an idea that would help to illustrate and celebrate the house, I would love to hear from you.  A year to plan seems like a lot, but perhaps you too have noticed how the time flies by?  Hands are always needed for all we do at the museum, is this the year we hear from you?

Looking back to our September Membership Meeting, the following were elected to the Executive Board Positions:

  • President, Deb Cote
  • Vice-President, Vacant
  • Treasurer, Vacant – but filled kindly by Don Goncalves
  • Publicity – Don Goncalves
  • Membership – Teresa Ignasher
  • Grounds – Don Burns
  • Buildings – Glenn Graham
  • Recording Secretary – Sal Capirchio
  • Program Director – Maggie Botelho

Again, for those of you actively interested in the organization of the board, you will note the same names appearing year-after-year.  This is as a result of the small number of people who are active in the Society, who live close enough to help, and who have the time to dedicate to the task. 

I believe any one of us would be glad to step down, to make room for whatever position you would like to take on.  This is not an exclusive club, we want all of our members to be involved!  Please let us know how you would like to be more actively involved in the society!

We are still seeking funding for the beehive oven; send a check (specify “oven”), payable to the Historical Society of Smithfield, to the address in our letterhead.  Your donation is tax deductible.

Now to our past events; On October 19, the Antique Show organized and run by Deb Cote was very successful, with more vendors than the previous year.  I think that this will continue to be part of our calendar as it grows in size and popularity.

On November 15, our Colonial Dinner themed “A Colonial Dinner in New England,” was again a sold out event.  Reducing the dinner to just one evening made things a lot easier, and the decorations, boughs and branches, made for such a nice transition to the Christmas Open House, I think we will do it again in 2015!

On December 7, our Christmas Open House was a delight to a great many children, and we were very grateful to Mary Ann and Barry Lowe, who braved the unknown, and donned the scarlet (and tartan) robes of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

We are in the process of putting the events calendar together for the upcoming season, and should have that for you at the meeting.

Again, the Membership Meeting is scheduled for March 12, at 6:30. 

Warmest wishes,

Maggie Botelho
Program Director

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