The Battle of Rhode Island Association

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North Kingstown 350th Celebration Speaker Series, Broke the Ice: Richard Smith’s Blockhouse and the Origins of North Kingstown

February 29 @ 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Follow the story of Smith’s Castle, from Richard Smith’s Blockhouse, described as “the first English house” in Narragansett Country, to the platting of Wickford by Smith descendent Lodowick Updike. Public historian and President of the Cocumscussoc Association/Smith’s Castle, John Dower, will share the tale of how Richard Smith “broke the ice” in building the first permanent dwelling in North Kingstown. The history of the early years of North Kingstown begins with Roger William’s arrival at Cocumscussoc around 1637, and ends with Updike’s Newtown in 1709. During those formative years, Smith’s Castle was not only the center of much of the activity of Kingstown, but also the most recognized residence in Southern Rhode Island where public officials and dignitaries often met. While the early history of Smith’s Castle is at times an unfortunate history, much of what took place there contributed to forming the beginning of the 350-year history of the Town of North Kingstown.


February 29
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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North Kingstown Free Library
100 Boone Street
North Kingstown, RI 02852 United States
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