Everything has a story………

So the story begins:

On June 26, 1850 Thankful Lillibridge and Deborah Lillibridge “for an inconsideration of Six Dollars….Said Lot of Land Being Purchased by the Inhabitants of Said Town (of Richmond) for the Purpose of Building a Publick Town house on the Same to hold Town Meetings Town Councils and Courts of Probate in the same forever………”

(This land was part of a farm owned by the Lillibridge family.   Meadowburg is still a working farm and presently owned by the Kenyon Family.)

At this point in time, Richmond had been a Town for a little over 100 years.  A town house was built on the property and used for the purposes as laid out in the original deed. 

In 1883 the Town House needed repairs.  John L. Kenyon, Halsey P. Clarke, and N. K. Church were appointed to form a committee to “ascertain the practibility and probable cost of a new building…….”  They reported that “the gable ends are gradualy working in & that a part of the North side & Northwest Corner we belive to be unsafe….”  They provided an estimate of $1200 for a new building, 40’ x 28’ to be placed upon a stone foundation.

So the story continues:

At a Town Meeting held November 4, 1884, it was voted to build a shed on the Town Hall Lot.

On December 1, 1885, Nelson K. Church,  “Quitclaim…the Town of Richmond…a certain tract or parcel of land…conveyed for the use of the public for the purpose of having placed thereon that part of the Town shed…”

If “…said portion of said shed…should be removed therefrom then this Deed shall become null and void…and the above conveyed land shall immediately revert to the said grantor his heirs and assignes forever…”

The rest of the story….

The Richmond Town Hall is still located on the land deeded to the Town in 1850.  The carriage shed just a memory………

 

Newly Acquired Documents

In 2015 the Richmond Historical Society received a treasure in a varied collection of documents from the Town of Richmond.  The accessioning process has been slow, but we are comfortable that the majority of the work is complete.  These papers and ledgers not only provide a perspective as to what was going on in the area, but also serve as a vast resource for those seeking genealogical information.

Documents Acquired from the Town of Richmond 2015

 

Can you help and other stuff!

Two things!  First, we have an ongoing request for any information, circa 1850-1855, concerning Benjamin Franklin Greene.   He  had  leases to operate both the Knowles Mill and Clark Mill, both located in Shannock, during this time period.   Any tidbit would be appreciated.

Additionally we wanted to share an anecdote about one of the items we recently received from the Town of Richmond.   Slowly we are accessioning (cataloging) these items and adding them to our collection.  We are then posting them in the Current News section of our website under Additions to Our Archives.  This week our addition is a book titled: Annual Report of the Adjutant General (1865).  This was one of a two-volume series.  What’s amazing is that we are now in possession of both volumes!  They actually cover 1861-1865, which is the Civil War Period.   As we were trying to figure out where to store the newest acquisition, we spotted it’s mate, sitting on a shelf.  That addition was acquired and accessioned in 1970.  Amazing!

New “old” Documents

The Society recently received,from the Town of Richmond, a large number of documents dating back to 1755.  These include colony rate, or tax bills, voting lists, deeds, mortgages,  court documents, and teacher’s registers for eight of our school districts.  We are excited to have this wealth of information about the individuals who resided in Richmond. The records are temporarily located in the Clerk’s Office.  Now we begin the enormous task of sorting through, preserving, and storing them.

P1260802 (480x640) P1260805 (640x472) P1260809 (640x480)    P1260810 (640x480)

Alton Volunteer Fire Department

At a meeting held April 11, 1943, the Alton Volunteer Fire Department was created.  As a result of the tenacity of residents of that community, it grew to eventually be included as part of the existing Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire District.

The first officers were: Oscar Pratt, William Noyes, Charles Moen, Reginald Beers, Joseph Vigue, and Walter Collins.  Drivers were:  Joseph Bruseau, Robert Anderson, and George Baton.

 There was no budget, as there was no taxable income.  Money was raised through the gathering and selling of scrap metal, rags, and anything else of value.  A piece of land was donated and raffled off to raise funds.  Remember, at this time most of the goods we take for granted were earmarked to the War effort.  As part of the documents, there are waivers  from the Federal Government allowing the Fire Department to purchase certain materials (such as foam) necessary in fighting fires.

The original “fire station” was a two car garage and the addition used for a kitchen, was a building that had been damaged during a hurricane.   A Ladies Auxiliary was formed and suppers were held to raise money.

It is through the dedication of members of the small community of Alton that allowed fire coverage for the hazards located nearby.  In addition to a textile plant, a radioactive recovery plant, a chemical plant, railroad, large farms, and fuel storage facility, the Chariho Regional High School was also located within the boundaries of the Alton District.

In 1978,  the Alton Fire District boasted the youngest Fire Chief in Rhode Island.  Timothy Brusseau, an Assistant Fire Chief at age 19, assumed that position on the death of former chief, Francis Fleck.

We are very fortunate to have the donation of these records and thank Richard Heines, former Alton Fire Chief and “the last active member of the Alton Volunteer Fire Company before its induction into HVWFD” for his preservation of these records and  their donation to us.

Clark Library

We are fortunate for the generosity of Clark Library in allowing us to use some of their space for our archives.  It has proven to be an asset for us both.

Eleanor Smith, one of the  founders of the Richmond Historical Society (and mother of our archivist), left us a mountain of newspaper clippings.  It is an ongoing project to sort through these.  Today  was one of those quieter days where there was time for “the clippings”.  To my amazement, one of the first was  a youthful picture of one of our archivists doing a project at the library.

As we look forward to 2015, it seems like a good time to both recognize and thank our benefactor, Clark Library, and to share part of our genealogy.

Kate Desrochiers