The Society has approximately 430 Members and an all-volunter no paid staff of 35 Committee and Program Workers, 18 Officers & Directors, and about 150 volunteers.
The Society maintains a museum at 92 Narragansett Avenue, a vault in the basement of Town Hall at 93 Narragansett Avenue, the Old Jamestown Windmill on North Road, and the Quaker Meetinghouse at North Road and Weeden Lane. The Society supports the conservation of the historic 1776 battlements in the Town’s Conanicut Battery Historic Park off Beavertail Road.
JHS has in excess of 47,000 photographs, letters, documents and memorabilia catalogued. Much of the Collection is about the ferry service and Jamestown Bridge. Most of the photograph collection has been digitized, and the objects have been photographed.
Our Images can be used in accordance with our Image Use Policy, which can be examined here.
JHS has an environmentally controlled vault, located in the basement of the Town Hall, to house valuable collectibles. It has storage space and work stations and has all the latest water and fire protection systems as well as the latest temperature and humidity control systems.
Programs and Exhibits
The Society creates summer exhibits for its Museum and maintains display cases and exhibits in the Jamestown Philomenian Library, the Jamestown town hall and the Lawn Avenue middle school.
A newsletter is published bi-annually and research papers are published from time to time. History articles appear monthly in the Jamestown Press.
Funding for the Society’s operations is from member dues, event revenue, publication and souviner sales, donations from individuals and foundation grants.
2021 – Stories in Stone. A cemetery tour through Cedar Cemetery and the adjoining Hazard and Friends graveyards took place on October 2. The tour, two years in the making, provided 80 attendees with a tour of eight different ancient grave sites and the histories of those individuals. Gravestones of 16th-century founders, ferrymen, teachers, and newly manumitted African Americans provided re-enactors the settings for riveting stories. Sue Maden led the project. In addition to the eight interpreters, more than 20 members volunteered to research and write the scripts, and as docents, videographers, archivists staging artifacts, and servers providing refreshments.
2020 – Extraordinary Women of the East Bay. A traveling exhibition celebrating women who have made a difference in East Bay communities. JHS was one of the 16 organizations that contributed to the exhibit and 6 Jamestown Women were included in the 60 featured women. Elizabeth Clark, Marguerite Eddy, Mary Stearns McGaughan, Mary Robinson Miner, Mary Rosengarten and Catharine Morris Wright each had a banner with their picture and an explanation of their accomplishments displayed in the exhibit.
2019 – Sue Maden Postcard Collection goes online. Sue Maden began collecting postcards of Jamestown in the 1970s and when she donated her collection to JHS in 2013 the cards numbered just over 1000. Both sides of the postcards are shown allowing online viewers to enjoy the beautiful images, read the messages and see the postage stamps.
2018 – JHS teams up with the RI Council for the Humanities and other institutions to participate in Rhode Tour, a smartphone app and website that uses text, sound, and images to bring Rhode Island stories to the palm of your hand. Our contribution Jamestown Forts: Rhode Island’s First Line of Defense took a look at the history of military installations in Jamestown beginning with Civil War Camp Bailey on Dutch Island and ending with WWII Camp Burnside on Beavertail.
2008 – The JHS completed all its Museum restorations and finished the vault in the basement of Jamestown town Hall.
2007 – The JHS implemented a Capital Campaign and raised over $500,000 to repair / restore the Museum , build an environmentally controlled vault for valuables in its collection, and to add to its endowment to help pay for operations and programs.
2006 – The JHS developed and adopted a Long Range Plan to restore the 1886 Museum building, build an environmentally controlled vault, open a museum workshop in the Town’s school.
2005 – The JHS purchased at auction the Town’s first land title: a 1657 document dividing the island among the first 100 owners.
Peter Fay, Leo Orsi, Dianne Rugh, Joyce Hooley-Bartlett, Bill Burgin, Christine Clarke, Alma Davenport, Sandra Good, Lisa Harris, Abigail Campbell-King, Nikki Gladding, Karen Montoya, Elizabeth Reid, Patricia Sheehan
Past Officers & Directors
Fred Brown, Peter Fay, Judy Knight, Marcie Lindsay, Larry McDonald, Leo Orsi, Dianne Rugh, Debby Swistak, Ross Williams