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Past Events

Diversions & Entertainments in 19th Century Newport
Now through January 31, 2013
An exhibit featuring broadsides from the Newport Historical Society’s collections.
Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street. 401-84-18770. Open daily at 10am.
Broadside Exhibit at Museum/

December 21, 22 & 29, 2012 at 11am
Discover Colonial Newport in Winter
Hear stories of remarkable entrepreneurship and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. $12 per person, reservations suggested. Departs from Museum & Shop at the Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770

December 24, 2012 at 11am
Discover Colonial Newport in Costume
Follow a guide in colonial costume as she recounts the stories of Newport’s early history. Learn about the city’s founding, its prosperity and its role in the American Revolution. $12 per person, reservations suggested. Departs from Museum & Shop at the Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770

December 26, 2012 at 11am
Rogues & Scoundrels Tour
See where scoundrels lived, pirates profited and criminals were punished. Find out why this colony was known as “Rogue’s Island.” $12 per person, reservations suggested. Departs from Museum & Shop at the Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770

December 27, 2012 at 11am
Holiday History Stroll
Follow a guide in colonial costume and learn about winter holiday traditions during the colonial era. $12 per person, reservations suggested. Departs from Museum & Shop at the Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770

January 3, 2013 at 5:30pm
Rhode Island Broadsides: A Collector’s Perspective
Independent scholar Russell DeSimone presents and discusses examples from his own broadside collection on the topics of murder, rebellion, politics, medicine, entertainment and poetry from 1787 through 1912. Colony House, Washington Square. Presented with the Redwood Library. $5 per person, $1 for NHS and Redwood Library Members.

February 15—February 24, 2013 between 11am and 3pm
Historic Site Tours
Tour the c.1697 Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, the 1699 Great Friends Meeting House, the c.1730 Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House (offered February 19ththrough February 22nd) or the 1739 Colony House. $8 a person, $6 with the Newport Winter Festival button. Reservations suggested. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770.

February 15 and February 19, 2013 at 11am
Discover Colonial Newport Walking Tour
Hear stories of revolution and ruin, struggles for religious liberty and remarkable entrepreneurship among Newport’s diverse people. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770. $12 per person, $10 for NHS member and with a Winter Festival button. Presented with Newport History Tours.

February 21, 2013 at 5:30pm
Undressing History: What Women Wore in the 18th Century
A living history interpreter dresses from her undergarment, known as a shift, into a working class women’s gown, then redresses into an upper-class gown while describing each garment’s material, manufacture, and function. Colony House, Washington Square. General admission costs $5, $4 with Winter Festival button and $1 for NHS members. Please RSVP to 401-841-8770.

February 15 and February 22, 2013 at 4:30pm
Lantern Tour of Colonial Newport
Feel transported through time to the heyday of this thriving colonial metropolis on a lantern-lit stroll through Newport’s Historic Hill. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770. $12 per person, $10 for NHS member and with a Winter Festival button. Presented with Newport History Tours.

February 16 and February 20, 2013 at 11am
Golden to Gilded Walking Tour
From Newport’s colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony, discover the transformation of the city and its people. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770. $12 per person, $10 for NHS member and with a Winter Festival button. Presented with Newport History Tours.

February 17 and February 24, 2013 at 11am
Souls and Stones Walking Tour
Explore the Common Burying Ground. View the remarkable gravestones that make this cemetery a work of art and learn about select colonial-era and 19thcentury residents who helped shape Newport’s history. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770. $12 per person, $10 for NHS member and with a Winter Festival button. Presented with Newport History Tours.

February 18 and February 23, 2013 at 11am
Rogues and Scoundrels Walking Tour
See where scoundrels lived, where pirates profited, and where criminals were punished. Find out why this colony was sometimes known as “Rogue’s Island.” Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770. $12 per person, $10 for NHS member and with a Winter Festival button. Presented with Newport History Tours.

February 21, 2013 at 11am
Road to Independence Walking Tour
Riots and rebellion, enemies and allies! Hear stories from the years surrounding the American Revolution in Newport. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770. $12 per person, $10 for NHS member and with a Winter Festival button. Presented with Newport History Tours.

February 22, 2013 at 11am
Rum Merchants & Rum Runners Walking Tour
From thriving colonial rum trade through the temperance movement and Prohibition era smuggling, learn about the changing role of alcohol in Newport. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-841-8770. $12 per person, $10 for NHS member and with a Winter Festival button. Presented with Newport History Tours.

February 16, and 23, 2013 at 2:00pm
A reading of the Scrimshaw Ring
In 1710 a Newport boy spies pirates rowing ashore near the family farm. Learn what happens during this story based on local family lore. At the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. Free, donations welcome.

Thursday October 18, 2012 at 7pm
Rhode Island and America’s Moral Charter. Lecture, James Carroll
Author James Carroll will offer the first public program of the Newport Historical Society’s Spectacle of Toleration project. Bazarsky Auditorium, Salve Regina University.

October 27, 2012 at 11am
Kay/Catherine’s Patronesses: A Walking Tour of Women and Newport Architecture
In the mid-nineteenth century, women took advantage of Newport’s resort culture to build interesting, fanciful houses. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in the Kay/Catherine neighborhood, which is home to more than 50 buildings built by women. This tour visits some of the most notable and significant of these houses, including the Wormeley House, the Porter House, and the Mason Sisters House. Presented with Newport History Tours, Reservations required; departure information will be given when reservations are made. $15 per person, reservations recommended. 401-841-8770

November 1, 2012 at 5:30pm
Marlborough: Solider and Diplomat
Naval War College professor John Hattendorf will talk about his latest book entitled Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat. Hattendorf organized this richly illustrated volume of essays about the great British general, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), who led the British Army in the War of The Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War). The famous ancestor of Sir Winston Churchill, Marlborough is remembered in Newport in Marlborough Street and by a number of connections to his descendants in Newport. A book signing will follow the talk. $5 admission, $1 NHS members. Colony House, Washington Square. RSVP to 401-841-8770.

November 3, 2012 at 11am
Point Neighborhood Tour
Home to craftsmen, merchants, religious dissenters and more, the Point neighborhood has a rich colonial history. Explore the men and women who worked and lived there as well as the recent preservation initiatives that saved the neighborhood. Presented with Newport History Tours, departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. $15 per person, reservations recommended. 401-841-8770

November 15, 2012 at 5:30pm
‘For I Knew A Ship From Stem to Stern…And Could Talk Sailor Like Any Old Salt’: Rhode Island’s Black Seafaring Men
LaShonda Barnett will analyze the contributions and experiences of African-American and Cape Verdean seamen and whalemen and the shape of racial thinking in late 18th-century RI’s maritime culture. $5 admission, $1 NHS members. Colony House, Washington Square. RSVP to 401-841-8770.

November 16 – December 1, 2012 at 4:30pm on Fridays & Saturdays
December 6 – December 29, 2012 at 4:30pm on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
Holiday Lantern Tour
Learn the history of 18th century winter holiday traditions on a lantern-lit stroll through Newport’s streets. Hear how people did or didn’t celebrate the holidays. $12 per person, $10 NHS members; reservations strongly encouraged as this tour sells out. Departs from Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770

December 1, 2012 & December 8, 2012 at 11am
Winter at the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House: 1795
Tour the c.1697 Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House; hear about the house’s history and learn how 18th century residents made their way through the winter. At the tour’s conclusion, meet a historical interpreter portraying Polly Wanton Lyman who will discuss winter life in 1795. $15 per person, $10 NHS members, reservations required. Departs from Museum & Shop at the Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770

December 1, 2012 from 3-5pm
Holiday Open House
As part of the debut of Christmas in Newport, visit the 1739 Colony House. Enjoy 18th century chamber music performed by musicians in period attire from Ministers of Apollo. Colony House, Washington Square. Free, donations welcome.

Thursday October 11, 2012 at 5:30pm
Rhode Island Civil War Hospital
Author Frank L. Grzyb will offer a slide presentation about a little known Civil War army general hospital formerly located at the northwestern tip of Aquidneck Island in an area called Portsmouth Grove. With the aid of numerous illustrations, engravings and rare photographs, attendees will learn about the establishment of the hospital, its inner workings and its staff. A book signing will follow the talk. $5 admission, $1 NHS members. Colony House, Washington Square. RSVP to 401-841-8770.

Thursday October 11, 2012 at 6pm
Community Meeting with the City of Newport.
Great Friends Meeting House. More details to follow.

Thursday September 27, 2012 at 5pm
Chamber of Commerce After Hours Event
The NHS web app Explore Historic Newport will be discussed during this networking reception. Colony House, Washington Square. 401-846-0813

Saturday September 29, 2012
Smithsonian Museum Day
Visit the Museum of Newport History and discover three centuries of Newport history. 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770

October 9, 2012 at 8pm
PBS History Detectives
Join the Newport Historical Society staff at the Jane Pickens Theater for the debut of a special episode the debut of PBS’s History Detectives that focuses on an item from the Society’s collections. 401-846-0813

August 31, 2012 at 4:30pm
Rum and Revolution Tour
Hear stories of taverns, distillers, rum runners and more as we uncover 300 years of drinking in Newport. From the thriving colonial rum trade through the temperance movement and Prohibition era smuggling, learn about the changing role of alcohol in the community. Presented with Newport History Tours, departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. $15 per person, reservations recommended. 401-841-8770

Thursday September 20, 2012 at 4:30pm
Newport Historical Society Annual Meeting
The public is invited to the Newport Historical Society’s annual meeting at the Colony House on Washington Square. Special guest speaker Marian Mathison Desrosiers, Ph.D. will present Private Lives, Public Spaces: Rhode Island’s Colonial Consumers; presentation sponsored by RICH. 401-846-0813

Friday September 21, 2012 at 9am
Explore Historic Newport Launch Party
During this free event, attendees will learn about the new web app Explore Historic Newport through a demonstration, hear about select points of interest, and receive a preview of the upcoming phases to expand the content. Breakfast refreshments will be served. Colony House, Washington Square. RSVP 401-841-8770.

Thursday, July 26, 2012: Gala Preview Party
July 27, 28 and 29, 2012: Show open

The Newport Antiques Show. Celebrating its sixth year, the Newport Antiques Show is a seminal event for antique lovers in New England and abroad. Over forty of the industry’s finest dealers showcase the best antiques world has to offer to over 2,500 visitors at the Stephen P. Cabot and Archer Harman Ice Center at St. George’s School in Middletown, RI. General admission costs $12 per person.

Saturday August 11, 2012 at 1pm
French in Newport Tour. Explore the heart of 18th century Newport and discuss the yearlong period in which roughly 12,000 French soldiers and sailors cohabited with the Newport citizens during the American Revolution. Learn how the French contribution to the Revolutionary War was vital to the success of American Independence—and it began in Newport. Presented with Newport History Tours.

Wednesday July 4, 2012
Community Celebration in Washington Square. 10am – 1pm. Hear the Sons of the Revolution read the Declaration of Independence and watch the Newport Artillery Company fire muskets and cannon. This year, we will also celebrate the completion of work on the historic Colony House will a ribbon cutting and bell ringing.
Rum & Revolution Tour, 11am. Hear stories of taverns, distillers, rum runners and more as we uncover 300 years of drinking in Newport. From the thriving colonial rum trade through the temperance movement and Prohibition era smuggling, learn about the changing role of alcohol in the community. Presented with Newport History Tours, leaves from the Brick Market Museum & Shop.

Saturdays through June 16, 2012 at 11:30am
Special Tour; Public & Private Spaces. Tour the 1739 Colony House, built to house RI government meetings, and the c.1697 Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, Newport’s oldest house museum. $12 per person, departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770.

Sundays in May at 11am & Memorial Day, May 28th at 11am
Souls & Stones Tour. Explore the Common Burying Ground, view the remarkable gravestones that make this cemetery a work of art and learn about select colonial-era residents who helped shape Newport’s history. Departs from Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. $12 per person, $10 NHS members. Reservations suggested, 401-841-8770.

May 7th, May 14th & May 21st at 11am
From Golden to Gilded Tour. From Newport’s Colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony, discover the transformation of the city and its people. Departs from Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. $12 per person, $10 NHS members. Reservations suggested, 401-841-8770.

Saturday June 16, 2012 at 11am
African American History Tour. Join Professor Akeia Benart as she explores Newport’s colonial African American history. Visit “God’s Little Acre”, a section of the Common Burying Ground where African Americans were buried, learn about the lives of these individuals—enslaved and free. Visit the residential Point neighborhood, once a bustling seaport filled with shops, distilleries and market, where many early African Americans lived, worked, and owned property. Presented with Newport History Tours.

Saturdays in April through June 16, 2012 at 11:30am
Special Tour; Public & Private Spaces. Tour the 1739 Colony House, built to house RI government meetings, and the c.1697 Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, Newport’s oldest house museum. $12 per person, departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770.

March 22, 2012 at 5:30pm
From Tree to Floorboard: Building Colonial Houses. Gain a new appreciation for how tools and technology affect how our homes look and feel. Tom Paske will share some “nuts and bolts” of old houses, specifically how building materials and technological methods changed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Colony House, Washington Square. $5 per person, $1 NHS members. RSVP to 401-841-8770

April 26, 2012 at 5:30pm
Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted. Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Justin Martin, author of the new book about Olmsted, will share highlights from Olmsted’s career and discuss the timeless intent that stands behind Olmsted’s influential landscape designs. Colony House, Washington Square. $5 per person, $1 NHS members. RSVP to 401-841-8770

Saturday March 24, 2012 at 11am; Monday April 16, 2012 at 11am; Friday April 20, 2012 at 11am
Special Tour; Rogues & Scoundrels. See where scoundrels lived, where pirates profited and where criminals were punished. Find out why this colony was known as “Rogue’s Island.” Tours cost $12 per person, departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770.

Sunday March 25, 2012 at 11am
Special Tour; From Golden to Gilded. From Newport’s colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony, discover the transformation of the city and its people. $12 per person, departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770.

Saturday March 31, 2012 at 11am
Special Tour; Road to Independence. Riots and rebellion, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s role in the American Revolution. $12 per person, departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770.

Saturday April 7, 2012 at 11am
Special Tour; Women in Colonial Newport. In colonial Newport, women outnumbered the men. Follow a guide in colonial costume through Newport’s Old Quarter as she retraces the lives of the female shopkeepers, tavern owners, teachers and even a printer. $15 per person, presented with Newport History Tours. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street. 401-841-8770.

Through February 24th, 10-2 weekdays
Their Manners Pleasing and their Education Complete: Newport Samplers. Exhibit in the Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House, 82 Touro Street.

February 17 -26, 2012
Newport’s Winterfest. Tour schedule can be found here. General information about Winterfest can be found here.

February 2, 2012 at 5:30pm
Catholics in Antebellum Newport. New England was inhospitable territory for Catholics from the colonial era until the Civil War. Dr. John Quinn will explore the history of Catholicism in Newport, RI, specifically focusing on the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Colony House, Washington Square. $5 per person, $1 NHS members. RSVP to 401-841-8770

January 19, 2012 at 5:30pm
Value of the Book. During this interactive program, Ray Rickman will discuss what makes a book valuable. Using an Antiques Road Show-format with books brought by audience members, Rickman will provide information and insights about what types of books have the highest retail value and he will offer complimentary estimates of the books’ value. Guests can bring up to three books. $5 general admission, $1 NHS members. RSVP to 401-841-8770

January 26, 2012 and February 23, 2012, 1pm to 2pm
Library Workshop. Winter is the perfect time of year to research the Newport history questions that have been on your mind. Learn how to research the history of your house, family, neighborhood, or a period of Newport’s history from the expert staff at the Newport Historical Society. NHS headquarters, 82 Touro Street. $10 per person, free for NHS members. Reservations suggested as space is limited. 401-846-0813

Fridays & Saturdays from November 18, 2011 – December 23, 2011
Holiday Lantern Tour. Celebrate the authentic history of winter holiday traditions. $12 per person, $10 for NHS members, $5 for children ages 12 and under. Departs from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI. Reservations encouraged as space is very limited. 401-841-8770.