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

A Society member and librarian, Johanna Wolke sums it all up:

Johanna Wolke


Now is 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)

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

Carriage Building Options

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………


What is in your closet, attic, basement or yard?????

According to Pat and Dick Millar,  these arrowheads were found while plowing an alfalfa field.   The land, on Hillsdale Road and Route 138 was purchased by the House family in 1912, when they moved from Chatham, Connecticut.   Pat’s mother. Eleanor House, grew up on that farm and later married Earl Smith, whose family moved  from Providence in 1911, to a farm further up on Hillsdale.

According to James Turak, chairman on the Richmond Conservation Commission, an archeologist,  from viewing the photo, has provided a preliminary description of the arrowheads:

The top left point is a quartzite Squibnocket Triangle-Late Archaic- 5,000- 3,000 years old.
Top middle is a quartz Squibnocket stemmed point.  Also Late Archaic- 5,000-3,000 years.
Top right is possibly a quartzite  Wading River point.  Late Archaic to Woodland- 4,000- 2,500 years.
Bottom left is a rhyolite Otter Creek style scraping tool/ knife.  Late Archaic- 6,000-5,000 years.
Bottom middle is a rhyolite Lamoka point.  Late Archaic – 5,000-3,000 years. Relatively scarce in this area- many more in New York.
Bottom right is  rhyolite Otter Creek projectile point.  Late Archaic -6,000- 5,000 years.

The Conservation Commission is presently working on information plaques to be placed along the Richmond Heritage Trail and are considering including photos of these arrowheads.

We welcome sharing items such as this, and other things in our collection, along with their story.

Pat Millar at Chariho Career Day

Pat Millar at Chariho Career Day

Pat and Betty agreed to represent the Historical Society by participating in Career Day at the Chariho Middle School on May 29. The theme of our exhibit was what school was like in the past.