Thank you all for a very successful summer season.  We had many hundreds of people from all over the world visit Boyd's Wind Grist Mill as well as Paradise and Witherbee Schools.

Off-season (October-May) Paradise School only will be open Wednesdays from 9:30am until 11:00am.  Our other properties may be toured by appointment only.

February 12 - Paradise School - 2:00pm

Mabel Norman and the Cultural Landscape Legacy of Paradise Farm with Tanya Kelley

Mabel Norman Cerio’s life and legacy of natural and cultural stewardship continue to play a role in the shaping of Paradise Farm and the Norman Bird Sanctuary

March 12 - Paradise School - 2:00pm

Farmscapes to Country Estates: A Survey of Middletown's Historic Resources with Kaity Ryan and Alyssa Lozupone

Middletown’s built environment conveys the rich history of this Aquidneck Island community. Through an illustrated lecture, Kaity Ryan and Alyssa Lozupone from The Preservation Society of Newport County will highlight the remaining historic architecture and landscapes that once defined Middletown as a rural, agricultural community and, later, as a summer colony.

April 9 - Paradise School - 2:00pm

From Slaves to Soldiers: The 1st Rhode Island Regiment in the American Revolution with Author Robert Geake

In December 1777, the Continental army was encamped at Valley Forge and faced weeks of cold and hunger, as well as the prospect of many troops leaving as their terms expired in the coming months. Plans were made to enlist more men, but as the states struggled to fill quotas for enlistment, Rhode Island general James Mitchell Varnum proposed the historic plan that a regiment of slaves might be recruited from his own state, the smallest in the union, but holding the largest population of slaves in New England

May 21 - Paradise School - 2:00pm

Closing in on the Endeavour Bark with Dr. Kathy Abbass

RIMAP's historical and archaeological research to locate the 18th-century British transport shipwreck sites in Newport Harbor has determined that the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour was one of five vessels sent to a particular spot off the Point in 1778, RIMAP has located 10 of the 13 ships in that 1778 fleet, and they are all worthy of study, but the first phase of the research to locate the Endeavour in the limited study area is coming to a close. Once the preliminary phase is done, then RIMAP will determine which site is which ship. This presentation will share the latest research and review the international interest in RIMAP's progress to identify that iconic vessel.

The Middletown Historical Society wishes to thank The Rhode Island Foundation for their generous grant that will allow us to continue our Golden Rule Days Program for the 2016-2017 academic year.


Historical Research
Do you have a question about the history of Middletown, RI? Do you ever wonder what became of your third grade teacher?

If so, please contact us at and we’ll be happy to assist you.  Depending on the complexity of your request and the time required for research, a nominal fee may be charged.

Updated January 13th 2017