The Battle of Rhode Island Association

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Dr. Roderick Terry Centennial Celebration at Butts Hill Fort

August 19, 2023 @ 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Portsmouth Historical Society Logo


On Saturday, August 19th at 10:00 am, the Battle of Rhode Island Association (BoRIA) in partnership with the Portsmouth Historical Society (PHS) will mark 100 years since Dr. Roderick Terry, then President of the Newport Historical Society, bought the land on which Butts Hill Fort sits, saving it from being developed. BoRIA and PHS invite the public to join us at BHF to commemorate this event. Paul Revere cannons will be demonstrated by the Artillery Company of Newport who participated in the inaugural event in 1923. The Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums will be on hand to provide the sounds of the event. The 54th Regiment of Foot and the Kingston Reds will give musket demonstrations and colors presentations will be made by the Henry Knox Color Guard from the Massachusetts Sons of the American Revolution.

Speakers include historian Michael J. Simpson who researched Dr. Terry’s life and conservation efforts via funding from the BoRIA and the Redwood Library and Atheneum; Portsmouth’s Town Historian Jim Garman will discuss the Battle of RI and BHF; R.I. Senator Linda L. Ujifusa and Portsmouth’s Town Council Member Charles J. Levesque will speak and lead the rededication. Tours of the fort will be given after the speeches and demonstrations are complete. For a complete schedule of the day’s events go to Parking will be available at Portsmouth High School’s tennis courts. From there it is a short walk to the Fort’s entrance. No parking is allowed on Butts Street or in the Fort. For those with physical or mobility challenges, please use Butts Hill St and check in at the top with a volunteer. We will assist with access to the event area, contact

10:00 AM Opening Ceremonies

• Fife and Drum and Cannon Salute: The Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums & Artillery Company of Newport
• National Anthem: Henry Knox Color Guard (Mass SAR)
• Welcome: BoRIA Master of Ceremonies
• BoRI and BHF: Mr. Jim Garman, Portsmouth Town Historian
• Privilege & Preservation: The Reverend Doctor Roderick Terry, Michael J. Simpson
• Roderick Terry Commemorative Coin Presentation
• Rededication of BHF: Senator Linda L. Ujifusa and Portsmouth Town Council Member Charles J. Levesque
• Cake cutting ceremony
• Conclude speaking program.

11:00 AM – Noon: Cannon & Musket Demonstrations, then afterwards, tours of the Fort

The Portsmouth Historical Society is a volunteer nonprofit organization founded in 1938 dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Portsmouth’s history. Their vision is to protect and promote Portsmouth’s cultural heritage by maintaining a secure and sustainable facility, where, in conjunction with other local organizations, they can store, maintain, and display their collection of historic artifacts, offer lectures and research assistance to the public, and stimulate the study of their town’s history. They strongly believe that the uniqueness of Portsmouth today is defined by their past.

The Battle of Rhode Island Association is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to raising awareness of Rhode Island’s role in the War for Independence. This is accomplished by research, talks, living history events, publications, and our website ( Donations may be made payable to “BoRIA” at PO Box 626, Portsmouth, RI 02871 or by visiting:


August 19, 2023
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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Butts Hill Fort
35 Dyer St
Portsmouth, RI 02871 United States
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