Jamestown Historical Society Exhibits in Town Hall
The Town of Jamestown is very proud of its history, and Jamestown Historical Society exhibits are used throughout the Town Hall building to explain the town's past.
Jamestown in the Resort Era: 1875-1930
In the mid-1870s, steam ferries between Conanicut Island and Newport ushered in Jamestown's era as a summer vacation destination. At the height of the era, Jamestown’s year-round population of 1,000 hosted 2,500 summer vacationers every season. The town grew and prospered as a playground for summer visitors until the 1930s when the depression, the automobile, and the impending war in Europe changed the way people spent their free time.
A permanent exhibit in the back stairwell of the Town Hall celebrates this era of Jamestown's history. The photographs in the exhibit show many of the hotels of the era and provide a panoramic view of the East Ferry waterfront as it looked 100 years ago.
History of Jamestown's Town Hall
For over 200 years, Jamestown lacked both a formal Town Hall and a Town Clerk’s Office. A Town Hall was built in 1883. By 1914, town business overflowed the orginal building and a Town Clerk's office was built on the front. Over the years, other town services were moved to other buildings. Finally, in 2006, the town built a new Town Hall and renovated the original building to become the Council Chamber.
The story of Jamestown's evolving seat of government is told through a series of pictures and documents
on the front stairwell that leads to the Town Administrator's office.
Art from the Jamestown Historical Society Collection
Throughout the second floor of the Jamestown Town Hall are pictures, maps, and charts of Jamestown from the society's collection. Of specicial interest is the design drawing for the stone water trough and fountain that stood at Narragansett and Conanicus avenues at the turn of the 19th century.