Learn to search for your ancestors!

Clarke Library is hosting a free workshop to teach you how to use the Internet to search for your ancestors.


Flags for Veteran’s Graves and Cemetery Hikes

Dory Wagner,  who oversees the Historical Cemeteries in Richmond, has been busy putting together a brochure to handout when she conducts her first Richmond Historical Cemetery hike:

Richmond Historic Cemetery hike # 1.

  • April 14, 11:00AM, meet at Carolina Trout Pond off of switch road. In Carolina Management area.
  • Moderately difficult walk on woodland trails for one hour.
  • You will see 2 Historic cemeteries to explore, ponds, streams, ancient farm sites, a stone lined well and many stone wall structures.
  • This hike will be on the same day as the annual RI Historic Cemetery Preservation and Awareness Day.  
  • All 39 towns in RI will be cleaning a cemetery on that day so we will spend a short time cleaning in each of the 2 cemeteries on our hike.
  • Total time for hike is 1 and 1/2 hours.

Dory is also trying to coordinate the placement of flags on the graves of veterans.  “For some time now the veteran cemetery administrator in Exeter and RI H CC (RI Historical Commission) have tried to come up with a plan to prevent duplication, save money and get each veteran grave a respectable flag. In the past Boy Scouts have done some, veterans do some and families do some. And some people get the flags from the veteran cemetery office in Exeter to line their driveways.”

She is interested in finding out if there are any organized group that flags veteran graves in our Richmond historic cemeteries?   Who might be doing it every year currently and where do they put the flags, if anywhere.

She will be listing which of our 98 cemeteries need flags and where she needs help in getting the job done.

She also noted there will be February organizational meetings for volunteers. No longer will flags be given out to people not in this program.


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.

In 1979 funds were raised for the “new” building, which presently houses both the library and our archives.  The past twenty nine years has taken its toll on the building.   Things begin to wear out.  As a result there have been a number of challenges to the staff in its maintenance.

New Clark Library

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.  She is pictured here in 1987 commemorating a special anniversary at the library.

Clark Library 100th Anniversary

In 1990 we have a captioned news photo of volunteers getting ready for a book sale.   These continue to be part of Clark’s fund raising.

Clark Library Book Sale

During one of those quieter days when there was time for “the clippings”.  To my amazement, one  was  a youthful picture of one of our archivists doing a project at the library in 1992.

Kate Desrochiers


As we begin 2018, it seems like a good time to both recognize and thank our benefactor, Clark Library, and to share part of our genealogy.



The holidays are all about cooking!

Or so it was in 1995, when the Richmond Historical Society published its’ one and only cookbook titled “Down Country Cookin”.


The news article is accurate in the fact that this book contains a lot of additional historical information.  I believe there are still a few faded copies available for sale at the Bell School House and Archives located at Clark Library.


Teacher’s Bell Acquisition

We recently acquired a teacher’s bell we were told, by the donor, was used at the Bell School.  According to the donor, her grandmother, who was an avid antique collector, always represented this as being used at the School.  She further stated her grandmother kept meticulous records and she feels the authenticity is true.

The bell now resides, along with other similar objects, in Bell School.

Teacher Bell Oct. 2017 (2)


Richmond Cemetery Book

The new Richmond historic cemetery book is getting nearer completion.   Orders are now being taken, as a limited number will be printed.

According to Dory Wagner, member of the Historic Cemetery Commission,” Lorraine Arruda’s  research and  headstone recordings are flawless perfection. Laurie also is including some genealogy in the book.


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…”

In 1993 the fate of the carriage shed was in question as there was an order to raze the building.

Carriage Shed 001

Michael Feraco, the new building and zoning official abolished the order and a needs assessment committee was formed.

Carriage Shed 002

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………