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History Bytes

History Bytes: Elizabeth Pabodie

Little Compton Commons, containing the gravestones of William and Elizabeth (Alden) Pabodie, cut by John Stevens I of Newport. Photo from a genealogy book in the NHS library.

Little Compton Commons, containing the gravestones of William and Elizabeth (Alden) Pabodie, cut by John Stevens I of Newport. Photo from a genealogy book in the NHS library.

According to a monument in the Little Compton Commons Cemetery, Elizabeth Alden is believed to be the first white woman born in New England. Born in Plymouth, MA in 1624 or 1625 to Mayflower passengers John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden, she married William Pabodie in 1644 and settled at Saconnet (later Little Compton) in 1686. She had 13 children and her grandson Benjamin Pabodie served as Deacon of Newport’s Second Congregational Church. On 31 May 1717, at age 93, she died in Little Compton.

History Bytes: Honora Pyne

One of the oldest gravestones in St. Joseph’s Catholic churchyard on Barney Street was made for Honora Pyne (1765-1835), an Irish immigrant from Charleston, SC. The daughter of O’Brien and Margaret Smith, she was born in Tavistock, Ireland. She and her husband John Pyne emigrated to Charleston in 1808 and prospered as plantation owners.

Detail of stone cross found in Barney Street cemetery.

Detail of stone monument in St. Joseph’s cemetery on Barney Street.

As a widow, Honora moved to New York City. She died in Newport in August 1835, probably while visiting such Southern friends as the Middletons, Izards, and Pringles.

History Bytes: Ice Harvesting

As Newport emerges from this year’s ice age, the fresh water ponds will start to thaw. During the coldest years of the last century, the ponds provided ice for Aquidneck Island residents. Cut into 24 x 30 inch blocks, the ice was hauled into large ice houses, packed in straw and piled five layers deep. Trucks and small railcars transported the ice to stores and houses year round, which was sold for ten cents a block.

Above: A c.1900 photo of a Middletown ice house from the NHS collections.