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Welcome to the
Pettaquamscutt Historical Society
Museum & Library
Founded in 1958, the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society encourages the study and appreciation of the history of the Pettaquamscutt region (which includes all or portions of South Kingstown, Narragansett, Exeter and North Kingstown). The distinctive character of the area has been marked by its proximity to the sea, a temperate climate and highly fertile soil, the flourishing plantation economy of the 18th century, and its present popularity as a destination for summer visitors and others seeking a relaxed lifestyle.
The PHS collections document the perception and understanding of the domestic, social, business and cultural life in the region from the late 17th to the mid-20th centuries, with the strength of the collections residing in the materials that date from the mid-19th to mid-20th century. The collections include furniture and other man-made artifacts and decorative arts, manuscripts, books, photographs, slides and negatives, maps, newsprint, models, prints and drawings, costumes, fabrics and other textiles, Native American artifacts, dolls, toys and games, tools, currency, industrial equipment, and institutional archives. Topics represented in the collections include architecture, commerce and industry, domestic life, military history, agriculture and land use, politics and religion.
The Society maintains a research library consisting of printed materials relating to Washington County and Rhode Island, local histories, maps, ephemera, family genealogies, and varied manuscript holdings. The Society maintains genealogical files on local families. The library is open free of charge to members and students, and can be used for a small daily fee by the public.
Find history and art books, works by local authors, art cards, stationary, wooden historic replica toys, historic replica documents, souvenirs, vintage jewelry, local-themed tees, jail tees, and many other unique items and gifts in our shop.
Museum & Library Hours
Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.Group tours by appointment.
Recommended donation for admission:
$5.00 adults / $3.00 seniors and students / 12 and under free.
PHS members enjoy unlimited free admission to the museum.
$5 donation for independent research
Copies: 25 cents 8.5 x 11 and 8.5 x 14; 50 cents 11x17
Staff assisted research
PHS encourages independent use of our library for research.
If staff-assisted research is required, PHS will provide this
service at the following hourly rates:
PHS Members: $20 per hour
Non-Members: $35 for the 1st hour; $20 per hour therafter
Pettaquamscutt Historical Society
Located in the Old Washington County Jail
2636 Kingstown Road
(Rt 138 - Across from URI/Upper College Road)
Kingston, RI 02881
PHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in Rhode Island.
PHS is a member of the South County Culture Coalition
The mission of the Culture Coalition is to draw on southern Rhode Island's
rich and diverse cultureal assets, to create a strong identity, and to establish
the arts and history as highly visible elements of the region's identity.
Our Culture Coalition collaborators are:
Gilbert Stuart Birthplace & Museum
Kinney Bungalow at Sunset Farm
Museum of Primitive Art & Culture
Smith's Castle at Cocumscussoc
South County Museum