Jamestown Historical Society

Ceramic Pot

Click on the images below to see them in our online catalog.

This small ceramic pot with its lid is believed to have come across the bay in the house that became the Bay Voyage hotel.

The Bay Voyage Hotel was built in 1860 in Middletown, Rhode Island as a private residence for James A. Brown. The home fell into disuse, so in 1890 Mr. Brown cut his home into two pieces, moved it over hill and dale to the shores of Narragansett Bay, and then floated it across the bay to Jamestown. To take advantage of the thriving tourist industry on Jamestown, he added thirty rooms to make it an inn.

At the time ceramic containers were widely used to store food, drink, and other goods. Ceramic is less fragile than glass. Of course, plastic had not yet been invented. Because ceramics were so common, perhaps its owner didn’t notice when the pot disappeared.

The small ceramic pot with lid apparently made the voyage with the house, stashed in a wall partition. The small crock, with its wide sides would have kept cold food colder and warm food warmer. Could it have held a meal for a carpenter who built the home? Or was it where Mr. Brown stashed money?

We don’t know. We do know it was found by plumbers after Mr. Brown’s home floated across the bay. Later the pot was given to Dorothy Richardson Blythe by Frank Hall who was a plumber.

For more on the Bay Voyage and photos, objects & archives associated with the building , click here.

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