The Town Seal Of Approval

     The following article was written by Glenn Laxton and appeared in the former Your Smithfield Magazine in November, 2009.  It concerns the current Smithfield Town Seal.  

THE TOWN SEAL OF APPROVAL

By Glenn Laxton

    Neil Salley loved growing up in Smithfield.  He loved the DeCotis Dairy Farm and its wide open spaces, the blueberries, the apples, the swimming. 

     Smithfield was nearly a wilderness in the 1940’s and ’50’s before the creation of Route 295.  When Neil’s parents, Neil and Helen, moved with their three sons to Stillwater Road in town Neil was five years old.  He’s now 71 and filled with memories  of that wonderful period growing up.   

     “The State of Rhode Island kinda forgot about Smithfield.  Everybody was moving to Cranston, Johnston, and Warwick,” Neil recalled.

     Neil put those thoughts into a letter to Town Manager Russell Marcoux in January, 2000, after finding a proposed town seal drawn in the Providence Journal.  Having spent his adult life in the jewelry industry at well known manufacturers Balfour, Josten’s and the C.W. Bristol Company, he decided to create his own seal using Marcoux’s as a guide.

     It brought back the memory of his Rhode Island Air National guard experience where he trained to be a cook, later landing a job at Brown University cooking and carving ice sculptures.  Told he was basically wasting his time as a cook, Neil was encouraged to find a job creating designs that would eventually be used in rings and other jewelry.  He did find such work, and it was that experience he drew upon to come up with a seal for his beloved town. 

     “I whittles around with wood when I was young and knew I could better the proposed design of a town seal which the town never had.”

     Neil produced a design depicting Smithfield’s history, a mill, the body of water upon which the town was originally built, apples, the town hall, a church, the Smith-Appleby House and a farm.

     There is the sun rising over Wolf Hill and three hammers which depict the town’s coat of arms.  Those blacksmith hammers represent Esmond, Georgiaville, and Greenville. The date  of Smithfield’s incorporation was always controversial…either 1730 or 1731, depending on which calendar was used: so both dates are on the seal.  It is surrounded by a green circle with yellow lettering.

     Feeling he would be able to give back to the town where his life happiness began, Neil presented his work to Marcoux, who took it to the town council which unanimously approved it.  In the winter of 2000 the town of Smithfield had a new and permanent seal.

     Previous attempts at a town seal were unremarkable.  Now the town had a beautiful and informative one widely used on letterheads and other documents as well as some vehicles and, of course, the Internet. 

     “I was very pleased and proud,” that it was accepted, Neil said. 

     Creating a town seal is hardly the only accomplishment of Neil Salley’s to derive from his hobby of carving and creating.  In the rear of his spacious home are tall, multi-colored totem poles spread throughout a wooded area, and in a small shop are the tools he uses to make them. 

     His wife Jean has been a life long supporter of her husband’s work and proudly points to one of his earliest pieces above the fireplace in their living room.  It is a wooden eagle telling folks, “Welcome to Our Hearth.”

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      The original artwork of Mr. Salley’s town seal design is on permanent display in the front lobby of the Smithfield Town Hall.   

     To learn more about Smithfield’s town seal click here: The Death Moon of March and Other Historical Curiosities

Greenville From The Air – 1951

Greenville From The Air – 1951

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Wolf Hill From The Air – 1939

Wolf Hill From The Air – 1939

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Stump Pond From The Air – 1939

Stump Pond From The Air – 1939

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Greenville From The Air – 1939

Photo taken by the State of Rhode Island after the 1938 Hurricane.

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Smithfield Fire Dept. Pictures

More photos will be added to this page as time goes on.

Check out historical photos of the SFD on Flicker.

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December 3, 2006

December 3, 2006

April 10, 2007

April 10, 2007

April 10, 2007

October 24, 2007

October 24, 2007

February 6, 2012

February 6, 2012

March 13, 2012

May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012

June 13, 2012

June 23, 2012

June 16, 2013

June, 2014

June, 2014

August 10, 2015

Chief’s Car, January 30, 2016

June 26, 2016

November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016

June 5, 2017

January 29, 2018

January 29, 2018

January 29, 2018

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

March 26, 2018

March 26, 2018

July 18, 2018

July 18, 2018

November 17, 2018

October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Engine 1 testing the water cannon on Stump Pond – November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

Engine 3 – November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

Carving in front of Station 1 in Greenville, R.I.
February 28, 2020

February 28, 2020

February 28, 2020

February 28, 2020

March 2, 2020

March 2, 2020

March 2, 2020

March 2, 2020

March 2, 2020

March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

August 14, 2020

August 14, 2020

August 14, 2020

August 14, 2020

August 14, 2020

Smithfield Exchange Bank Interior

Smithfield Exchange Bank Interior

Greenville, Rhode Island

Photos courtesy of the Smithfield Historic Preservation Society.  The date of the photos is unknown.

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Greenville Center – October 4, 2019

Greenville Center – October 4, 2019

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Waterman Tavern Painting

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Waterman Tavern – 1906

View of the Waterman Tavern, Greenville, R. I. – 1906

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View of the Waterman Tavern

Greenville, Rhode Island

1906

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