John Robert Caswell

John Robert Caswell

Jamestown has had many inventive and colorful residents over the years, among them John Robert Caswell.  Caswell, who was known as JR, was born in Somerset, MA, in 1875.  He was only 22 and his bride, Isabella Collins, was 18 when they married.  Soon after, the young...
Women in Our Post Office

Women in Our Post Office

The first post office in Jamestown was established in 1847.  At the time, women were less than 1 percent of federal Postmasters, and the Postmaster’s salary was a percentage of the stamps sold.  Mail was not delivered door-to-door; it was held by the Postmaster for...
Black Inventor Stakes Claim with Toy Bird, Blinds

Black Inventor Stakes Claim with Toy Bird, Blinds

Jamestown’s Gilded Age, like Newport’s, reached its pinnacle with the hotel boom, and a vast workforce of manual laborers propelled the growing town into the 20th century. Hundreds of them were African Americans: butlers, cooks, washerwomen, coachmen and expressmen....
Camp Meade

Camp Meade

Soon after Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter, SC, in April 1861, Rhode Island was called on to supply troops to suppress the rebellion.  Training the raw recruits was of prime importance, and Jamestown was the site of two training camps: Camp Bailey on Dutch...
The Jamestown Holiday Season over the Years

The Jamestown Holiday Season over the Years

During the holiday season in the 21st century Christians of many faiths celebrate the birthday of Jesus with Christmas parties and presents.  Jews gather for Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Americans of African heritage express their unity at Kwanzaa. The early...
Jamestown Inherited Two Thanksgiving Traditions

Jamestown Inherited Two Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is a time to gather and feast with family and friends while pondering past blessings, and archives of the Jamestown Historical Society reveal many of these such good fortunes. A worn document titled “Thanksgiving at the Homestead” chronicles the holiday...