Defending Our Shores: Military Installations

A Critical Observation Post

Before satellites and air surveillance, the position of Jamestown’s three islands – Conanicut, Dutch, and Gould – in the center of the entrance to Narragansett Bay made Jamestown a critical observation post when an enemy threatened from the sea. Although the importance of Newport as a commercial and later as a military port contributed greatly to Jamestown’s significance, our forts and lighthouses protected all of the bay and its shipping.

From Colonial Earthworks to Modern Radar

From the colonial earthworks to the mid-20th century radar station, these military installations impacted life in Jamestown. The 2015 summer exhibit at the museum tells the history of each of the forts and military camps.


Memorial Day, Monday, May 25
10 am to 2 pm

Museum Schedule

Opening day: Sunday, June 21, 1 to 4 pm

Summer Schedule:
Wednesday through Sunday and holidays, June 25 through September 7, 1 to 4 pm

Weekends and holidays, September 12 through October 12, 1 to 4 pm
and by appointment.

The society welcomes anyone interested in being a docent at the museum and greeting our visitors.

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New Library Exhibit: January, 2019

The Captain Thomas Paine House – Cajacet

The Captain Thomas Paine house, Cajacet. the exhibit just mounted by the JHS in the Jamestown Philomenian Library, tells the story of Captain Thomas Paine – pirate, privateer, friend of Captain Kidd, son-in-law of Governor Caleb Carr, defender of Narragansett Bay – and the history of the house he built in Jamestown about 1690.  Watch for the JHS article about Captain Paine in the Press later this month.