Go to Top

History Bytes

History Bytes: Cornerstone Ceremony

As the Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center Renovation project progresses, we reflect on the 1915 cornerstone that was laid 100 years ago on 25 May 1915. On that day, the NHS held its annual meeting in the Senate Chamber of the Colony House and adjourned to the Touro Street headquarters to officially set in place the new cornerstone, which was filled with local mementos. President Daniel B. Fearing, Vice President Rev. Roderick Terry and Librarian (Executive Director) Edith May Tilley presided over the festivities.

Above: A photograph taken during the cornerstone ceremony on 25 May 1915 with Newport Historical Society officers. Librarian Edith May Tilley, standing to the right of the cornerstone, holds the Society’s feline mascot William Ellery. The Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House can be seen in the background.

History Bytes: Brewing in Newport

Giles Hosier (1724-1806), a Quaker merchant and brewer from Dorsetshire, England, married into the Mitchell and Hadwin families of Newport. In 1770 Hosier joined another Quaker merchant, Thomas Robinson, to operate a brewery in Hosier’s home. Because the brewery was producing more barrels, hogsheads and bottles of beer than they could store on their property, on 5 May 1770 Hosier and Robinson petitioned the General Assembly to lease the basement of the Colony House for beer storage for 14 years. The Hosier – Robinson partnership ended in 1774 and the brewery was closed soon afterwards. However by June of 1795 Hosier was back in business, once more petitioning the General Assembly for space in the Colony House.

Today the Hosier House continues its association with beer. Located at Broadway and Hosier Street, the same corner where it stood in the 18th century, it is now the home of the Fastnet Pub.

Above: A March 1795 ad from The Newport Mercury promoting the sale of Giles Hosier’s beer.

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.