History of the Jamestown Historical Society

Mission to Collect, Preserve, and Share

The Beginning: Saving the Windmill

The Jamestown Windmill, built in 1787, ceased operation in 1896. For several years it stood derelict, subject to weather and vandalism. In 1904, a group of Jamestowners formed the Jamestown Windmill Association and raised the money to buy and repair the mill. Members of the Windmill Association and others joined together in 1912 to incorporate as the Jamestown Historical Society. In the years that followed, the Windmill was fully restored and today it is maintained by the society and open to the public on summer weekends and on request.

Finding a Home

The society grew. Historical artifacts were collected. Occasional exhibits were mounted. But, because the society had no permanent home, records and collections were passed from place to place. A few were lost. In 1971, the society leased the current Jamestown museum from the town to house and display its collections.

Expanding Horizons

With its mission to collect, preserve, and share the history of Jamestown on firm footing, the society began to expand its horizons.

In 1997, the JHS accepted responsibility for the 1786 Quaker Meetinghouse near the windmill on North Road.

When the Friends of the Conanicut Battery was formed to restore and maintain the Conanicut Battery in 2000, the JHS provided organizational and planning support.

In 2004, the society initiated a project to digitize its records and to make them more accessible.

In 2005, it acquired the prepurchase contract among the potential purchasers of Conanicut Island executed in 1657. The document is now on display in a specially designed case in the Jamestown Town Hall.

In 2006, the JHS developed a long range plan for the future of the society. Central to the plan was expanding and modernizing its facilities to better care for the collection.

Implementing the Long Range Plan

A Capital Campaign in 2007 and 2008 raised $500,000. The money was used to improve the interior and exterior of the museum and to build an environmentally controlled vault in the lower level of the new Town Hall. New 99-year leases were executed for the use of the two town-owned facilities.

In 2011, the catalog of the collection was added to the JHS website.

A history of the JHS was published in 2013 in honor of society 100th anniversary.

Current: 2019-2020

PRESIDENT
Gabe Highstein

VICE PRESIDENT
James Buttrick

SECRETARY
Delia Klingbeil

TREASURER
Rosemary Enright

DIRECTORS
Stephanie Amerigian, Suzi Andrews, Fred Brown, Beth DiCenso, Bob Flath, Madeline Gromada, Marcia Lindsay, Sue Maden, Larry McDonald, Devi Ross, Dianne Rugh, Bill Salmons, Linda Warner

2018-2019
PRESIDENT
Mary Heath

VICE PRESIDENT
Gabe Highstein

SECRETARY
Delia Klingbeil

TREASURER
Rosemary Enright

DIRECTORS
Stephanie Amerigian, Suzi Andrews, Fred Brown, Jim Buttrick, Bob Flath, Madeleine Gromada, Polly Hutcheson, Marcia Lindsay, Larry McDonald, Dianne Rugh, Bill Salmons, Linda Warner, Dan Wright

2017-2018
PRESIDENT
Mary Heath

VICE PRESIDENT
Jim Buttrick

SECRETARY
Heidi Keller Moon

TREASURER
Rosemary Enright

DIRECTORS
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

2010-2016
PRESIDENT
Rosemary Enright, 2015-2016
Linnea Petersen, 2010-2015

VICE PRESIDENT
Heidi Keller Moon, 2015-2016
Dianne Rugh, 2010-2015

SECRETARY
Heidi Keller Moon, 2013-2016
Rosemary Enright, 2010-2013

TREASURER
Delia Klingbeil, 2016
Rosemary Enright, 2015
Tricia Evangelista, 2008-2014

DIRECTORS
Dick Allphin, 2008-2013; Suzi Andrews, 2015-2016; Judy Bell, 2011-2016 ; Matthew Clarke, 2011-2016 ; Peter Converse, 2014-2016 ; Greg Gasper, 2006-2012; Bob Flath, 2014-2016 ; Caroline Frank, 2008-2012; Erica Gregg, 2009-2012; Mary Heath, 2006-2013, 2016; Polly Hutcheson, 2013-2016 ; Delia Klingbeil, 2013-2015 ; Terry Lanza, 2013-2016 ; Larry McDonald, 2010-2016 ; Betsy Moody, 2012-2014; Heidi Keller Moon, 2012-2013; Arlene Petit, 2013-2015; Bill Salmons, 2015-2016; Sally Schott, 2007-2013; Deb Swistak, 2009-2011; Dennis Webster, 2007-2011; Dan Wright, 2013-2016 ; Harry Wright, 2011-2016 ; James Wright, 2009-2013

2000-2009
PRESIDENT
Rosemary Enright, 2005-2010
Bill Burgin, 2002-2005
John Howard, 1997-2002

VICE PRESIDENT
Harry Wright, 2005-2010
Rosemary Enright, 2004-2005
Jane Bentley, 2002-2004
Bill Burgin, 1997-2002

SECRETARY
John Horton, 2007-2010
Richard Allphin, 2006
Jane Miner, 2003-2006
Marcia Glassie, 2000-2003
Jane H Harris, 1996-2000

TREASURER
Tricia Evangelista, 2007-2014
Richard Allphin, 2007
Marion Pierce, 2004-2007
Mary Webster, 2002-2004
Linnea Petersen, 1988-2002

DIRECTORS
Richard Allphin, 2005-2006, 2008-2013; Quentin Anthony, 2000-2001; Jane Bentley, 2002-2004; Greg diGasper, 2006-2012; Rosemary Enright, 2002-2004; Tricia Evangelista, 2007-2008; Deborah Foppert, 2006-2009 ; Caroline Frank, 2008-2012; Erica Gregg, 2009-2012; Jane H Harris, 2001-2004; Mary Heath, 2006-2013; Richard Hines, 2002-2007; John Horton, 2004-2007; Joe Logan, 1998-2006; Maureen McGuirl, 2005-2006; Sue Maden, 1998-2001, 2005-2011; Shawn Mayers, 2007-2009; William Mullins, 2007-2010; John A. Murphy, 2004-2005; Mary Jane Murphy, 2005-2006; Ken Newman, 2004-2008; Linnea Petersen, 2002-2008, 2009-2010; Sally Schott, 2007-2013; Walter K Schroder, 1998-2001; Deb Swistak, 2009-2011; Dennis Webster, 2007-2011; Mary Webster, 2001-2002; Linda Warner, 2001-2005; Harry Wright,1997-2003, 2004-2005.

1990-1999
PRESIDENT
John Howard, 1997-2002
Jane Miner, 1992-1997
Pat Sheehan, 1988-1990

VICE PRESIDENT
Bill Burgin, 1999-2002
Jane Bentley, 1994-1999
Elizabeth Connelly, 1992-1994
Martha Milot, 1991-1992
Sue Maden, 1988-1991

SECRETARY
Jane H Harris, 1996-2000
Sue Brayman, 1994-1996
Brookie Harding, 1992 -1994
Jane Miner, 1988-1992

TREASURER
Linnea Petersen, 1988-2002

DIRECTORS
Quentin Anthony, 1994-1999; Stepnanie Amerigan, 1993-1994; Don Armington, 1990-1993; Jane Bentley, 1984-1990, 1992-1993, 1999-2002, Bill Burgin, 1993-1999; Elizabeth Connelly, 1991-1992; Ed Connelly, 1989-1992; Peter Ellis, 1996-1998; Joe Farnham, 1994-1996; Brookie Harding, 1989-1990; Pieter Hinkamp, 1987-1990; John Howard, 1994-1997; Dr. Robert Kinder, 1992-1998; Joe Logan, 1998-2006; Sue Maden, 1998-2001; Martha Milot, 1989-1991; Bill Munger, 1990-1999; Walter K Schroder, 1998-2001; Ned Smith, 1988-1991; Carol Todd, 1991-1998; Larry Walsh, 1990-1993; Harry Wright, 1997-2003

1978-1989
PRESIDENT
Pat Sheehan, 1988-1989
Brookie Harding, 1985-1988, 1978-1982
Wilbur Holmes, 1982-1985

VICE PRESIDENT
Sue Maden, 1988-1989
Pat Sheehan, 1985-1988
Brookie Harding, 1984-1985, 1982-1983
Walter K Schroder, 1983-1984
James McFarland Jr, 1978-1982

SECRETARY
Jane Miner, 1988-1989
Linnea Petersen, 1984-1988
Edith McMaster, 1986-1987
Isabel Z. Clement, 1982-1984
Ruth Newman, 1978-1982

TREASURER
Linnea Petersen, 1988-1989
Neale Murphy, 1984-1988
Jeanne Chappel, 1985-1986
Maggie Potter, 1984-1988
Bill Purdum, 1986-1988
Edith McMaster, 1978-1979

DIRECTORS
Richard Berry, 1978-1979; Jane Bentley, 1984-1989; John Biddle, 1982-1985; Leonor Brown, 1981-1984; Bill Burgin,1984-1987; Isabel Z. Clement, 1980-1982; Ed Connelly, 1989; Jim Dodge, 1983-1989; Brookie Harding, 1988-1989; Peter Hinkamp, 1978-1979, 1982-1985, 1987-1989; Patrick Hodgkin, 1986-1989; Cliff Largess, Jr, 1985-1986; Bertram Lippincott III, 1978-1980; James McFarland Jr, 1983-1986; Sue Maden, 1985-1988; Edith McMasters, 1980-1985; Martha Milot, 1989; Neale Murphy, 1979-1982; Edgar Newman, 1980-1981; Edgar Olsen, 1978-1979; Linnea Petersen, 1981-1984; Maggie Potter, 1979-1982; Joel Rawson, 1978 Walter K Schroder, 1980-1983, 1984-1985; Ned Smith, 1988-1989 Pat Sheehan, 1982-1985