About Us

Founded in 1912 primarily to ensure the preservation of the Jamestown Windmill


The Society has approximately 430 Members and an all-volunter no paid staff of 35 Committee and Program Workers, 15 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 30,000 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.

Special Projects

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.



Current: 2021-2022

Gabe Highstein

Betsy Baldwin

Delia Klingbeil

Rosemary Enright

Stephanie Amerigian, Fred Brown, Elizabeth DiCenso, Peter D’Orsi, Peter Fay,  Judy Knight, Marcie Lindsay, Larry McDonald, Dianne Rugh, Debby Swistak

Past Officers & Directors

Mary Heath

Jim Buttrick

Delia Klingbeil

Rosemary Enright

Stephanie Amerigian, Suzi Andrews, Eric Archer, Fred Brown, Bob Flath, Gabe Highstein, Polly Hutcheson, Delia Klingbeil, Marcia Lindsay, Larry McDonald, Dianne Rugh, Bill Salmons, Linda Warner, Dan Wright