History of the Jamestown Historical Society

Mission to Collect, Preserve, and Share

The Beginning: Saving the Windmill

The Jamestown Windmill, built in 1787, ceased operation in 1896. For several years it stood derelict, subject to weather and vandalism. In 1904, a group of Jamestowners formed the Jamestown Windmill Association and raised the money to buy and repair the mill.  Members of the Windmill Association and others joined together in 1912 to incorporate as the Jamestown Historical Society.  In the years that followed, the Windmill was fully restored and today it is maintained by the society and open to the public on summer weekends and on request.

Finding a Home

The society grew.  Historical artifacts were collected. Occasional exhibits were mounted.  But, because the society had no permanent home, records and collections were passed from place to place.  A few were lost.  In 1971, the society leased the current Jamestown museum from the town to house and display its collections. 

Expanding Horizons

With its mission to collect, preserve, and share the history of Jamestown on firm footing, the society began to expand its horizons.

In 1997, the JHS accepted responsibility for the 1786 Quaker Meetinghouse near the windmill on North Road.

When the Friends of the Conanicut Battery was formed to restore and maintain the Conanicut Battery in 2000, the JHS provided organizational and planning support.

In 2004, the society initiated a project to digitize its records and to make them more accessible.

In 2005, it acquired the prepurchase contract among the potential purchasers of Conanicut Island executed in 1657. The document is now on display in a specially designed case in the Jamestown Town Hall.

In 2006, the JHS developed a long range plan for the future of the society.  Central to the plan was expanding and modernizing its facilities to better care for the collection.

Implementing the Long Range Plan

A Capital Campaign in 2007 and 2008 raised $500,000.  The money was used to improve the interior and exterior of the museum and to build an environmentally controlled vault in the lower level of the new Town Hall.  New 99-year leases were executed for the use of the two town-owned facilities.

In 2011, the catalog of the collection was added to the JHS website.

A history of the JHS was published in 2013 in honor of society 100th anniversary.

Officers & Directors

  • Present
    PRESIDENT
    Mary Heath

    VICE PRESIDENT
    Jim Buttrick

    SECRETARY
    Heidi Keller Moon

    TREASURER
    Delia Klingbeil

    TREASURER ELECT
    Rosemary Enright

    DIRECTORS
    Stephanie Amerigian, Suzi Andrews, Eric Archer, Judy Bell, Jane Bentley, Matthew Clarke, Peter Converse, Bob Flath, Polly Hutcheson, Delia Klingbeil, Dianne Rugh, Bill Salmons, Harry Wright, Dan Wright
  • 2010-2016
    PRESIDENT
    Rosemary Enright, 2015-2016
    Linnea Petersen, 2010-2015

    VICE PRESIDENT
    Heidi Keller Moon, 2015-2016
    Dianne Rugh, 2010-2015

    SECRETARY
    Heidi Keller Moon, 2013-2016
    Rosemary Enright, 2010-2013

    TREASURER
    Delia Klingbeil, 2016
    Rosemary Enright, 2015
    Tricia Evangelista, 2008-2014

    DIRECTORS
    Dick Allphin, 2008-2013; Suzi Andrews, 2015-2016; Judy Bell, 2011-2016 ; Matthew Clarke, 2011-2016 ; Peter Converse, 2014-2016 ; Greg Gasper, 2006-2012; Bob Flath, 2014-2016 ; Caroline Frank, 2008-2012; Erica Gregg, 2009-2012; Mary Heath, 2006-2013, 2016; Polly Hutcheson, 2013-2016 ; Delia Klingbeil, 2013-2015 ; Terry Lanza, 2013-2016 ; Larry McDonald, 2010-2016 ; Betsy Moody, 2012-2014; Heidi Keller Moon, 2012-2013; Arlene Petit, 2013-2015; Bill Salmons, 2015-2016; Sally Schott, 2007-2013; Deb Swistak, 2009-2011; Dennis Webster, 2007-2011; Dan Wright, 2013-2016 ; Harry Wright, 2011-2016 ; James Wright, 2009-2013
  • 2000-2009
    PRESIDENT
    Rosemary Enright, 2005-2010
    Bill Burgin, 2002-2005
    John Howard, 1997-2002

    VICE PRESIDENT
    Harry Wright, 2005-2010
    Rosemary Enright, 2004-2005
    Jane Bentley, 2002-2004
    Bill Burgin, 1997-2002

    SECRETARY
    John Horton, 2007-2010
    Richard Allphin, 2006
    Jane Miner, 2003-2006
    Marcia Glassie, 2000-2003
    Jane H Harris, 1996-2000

    TREASURER
    Tricia Evangelista, 2007-2014
    Richard Allphin, 2007
    Marion Pierce, 2004-2007
    Mary Webster, 2002-2004
    Linnea Petersen, 1988-2002

    DIRECTORS
    Richard Allphin, 2005-2006, 2008-2013; Quentin Anthony, 2000-2001; Jane Bentley, 2002-2004; Greg diGasper, 2006-2012; Rosemary Enright, 2002-2004; Tricia Evangelista, 2007-2008; Deborah Foppert, 2006-2009 ; Caroline Frank, 2008-2012; Erica Gregg, 2009-2012; Jane H Harris, 2001-2004; Mary Heath, 2006-2013; Richard Hines, 2002-2007; John Horton, 2004-2007; Joe Logan, 1998-2006; Maureen McGuirl, 2005-2006; Sue Maden, 1998-2001, 2005-2011; Shawn Mayers, 2007-2009; William Mullins, 2007-2010; John A. Murphy, 2004-2005; Mary Jane Murphy, 2005-2006; Ken Newman, 2004-2008; Linnea Petersen, 2002-2008, 2009-2010; Sally Schott, 2007-2013; Walter K Schroder, 1998-2001; Deb Swistak, 2009-2011; Dennis Webster, 2007-2011; Mary Webster, 2001-2002; Linda Warner, 2001-2005; Harry Wright,1997-2003, 2004-2005.
  • 1990-1999
    PRESIDENT
    John Howard, 1997-2002
    Jane Miner, 1992-1997
    Pat Sheehan, 1988-1990

    VICE PRESIDENT
    Bill Burgin, 1999-2002
    Jane Bentley, 1994-1999
    Elizabeth Connelly, 1992-1994
    Martha Milot, 1991-1992
    Sue Maden, 1988-1991

    SECRETARY
    Jane H Harris, 1996-2000
    Sue Brayman, 1994-1996
    Brookie Harding, 1992 -1994
    Jane Miner, 1988-1992

    TREASURER
    Linnea Petersen, 1988-2002

    DIRECTORS
    Quentin Anthony, 1994-1999; Stepnanie Amerigan, 1993-1994; Don Armington, 1990-1993; Jane Bentley, 1984-1990, 1992-1993, 1999-2002, Bill Burgin, 1993-1999; Elizabeth Connelly, 1991-1992; Ed Connelly, 1989-1992; Peter Ellis, 1996-1998; Joe Farnham, 1994-1996; Brookie Harding, 1989-1990; Pieter Hinkamp, 1987-1990; John Howard, 1994-1997; Dr. Robert Kinder, 1992-1998; Joe Logan, 1998-2006; Sue Maden, 1998-2001; Martha Milot, 1989-1991; Bill Munger, 1990-1999; Walter K Schroder, 1998-2001; Ned Smith, 1988-1991; Carol Todd, 1991-1998; Larry Walsh, 1990-1993; Harry Wright, 1997-2003
  • 1978-1989
    PRESIDENT
    Pat Sheehan, 1988-1989
    Brookie Harding, 1985-1988, 1978-1982
    Wilbur Holmes, 1982-1985

    VICE PRESIDENT
    Sue Maden, 1988-1989
    Pat Sheehan, 1985-1988
    Brookie Harding, 1984-1985, 1982-1983
    Walter K Schroder, 1983-1984
    James McFarland Jr, 1978-1982

    SECRETARY
    Jane Miner, 1988-1989
    Linnea Petersen, 1984-1988
    Edith McMaster, 1986-1987
    Isabel Z. Clement, 1982-1984
    Ruth Newman, 1978-1982

    TREASURER
    Linnea Petersen, 1988-1989
    Neale Murphy, 1984-1988
    Jeanne Chappel, 1985-1986
    Maggie Potter, 1984-1988
    Bill Purdum, 1986-1988
    Edith McMaster, 1978-1979

    DIRECTORS
    Richard Berry, 1978-1979; Jane Bentley, 1984-1989; John Biddle, 1982-1985; Leonor Brown, 1981-1984; Bill Burgin,1984-1987; Isabel Z. Clement, 1980-1982; Ed Connelly, 1989; Jim Dodge, 1983-1989; Brookie Harding, 1988-1989; Peter Hinkamp, 1978-1979, 1982-1985, 1987-1989; Patrick Hodgkin, 1986-1989; Cliff Largess, Jr, 1985-1986; Bertram Lippincott III, 1978-1980; James McFarland Jr, 1983-1986; Sue Maden, 1985-1988; Edith McMasters, 1980-1985; Martha Milot, 1989; Neale Murphy, 1979-1982; Edgar Newman, 1980-1981; Edgar Olsen, 1978-1979; Linnea Petersen, 1981-1984; Maggie Potter, 1979-1982; Joel Rawson, 1978 Walter K Schroder, 1980-1983, 1984-1985; Ned Smith, 1988-1989 Pat Sheehan, 1982-1985
2015-2016
2013-2014
2012-2013
2011-2012