Jamestown Historical Society

Share this Page

Jamestown Museum

Hours, Directions & Details

92 Narragansett Avenue | Jamestown, RI 02835

The Jamestown Museum will be open from 1 pm to 4 pm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from May 24 through October 14, 2024, or by appointment. Send special visit requests to info@jamestownhistoricalsociety.org. The museum is handicapped accessible. 

Members-only event: Museum Opening Reception each spring. Click here for date/hours/reservations.

History of the Jamestown Museum

The Jamestown Historical Society Museum at 92 Narragansett Avenue occupies what was once a one-room primary school built in 1885 on Southwest Avenue. The building served as the town library from 1898 to 1971. In 1971, when the current library was built, the Jamestown Historical Society signed a long-term lease with the town to use the old library as a museum.

In 2008, the JHS refurbished the interior of the building, restored elements of the original schoolhouse, and installed insulation, heating, and air conditioning. The building received a new entry, handicapped access, and new landscaping. Further exterior renovations were completed in 2023 with the help of a grant from the 1772 Foundation in cooperation with Preserve Rhode Island. Rinaldi Brothers Roofing donated a new roof, and the Palmieri Trust funded an extensive landscaping redesign.

Each spring, JHS presents a new exhibit in the museum. Click here for details.

Museum Store

The Jamestown Museum Store sells Jamestown history books for adults and children, pamphlets, notecards, photos, windmill earrings, and other items. Pick up a special gift for someone who loves Jamestown. Open when the museum is open. Click here to purchase items online.

Exhibits at the Jamestown Museum

Each year a new exhibit is created and displayed in the Jamestown Historical Society Museum. The 2023 exhibit, Celebrating Jamestown Ferries: 150th Anniversary of Jamestown’s First Steam Ferry, celebrates the anniversary of the first steam ferry going into service in Jamestown.

1885
1898
1971
Primary School Opens
A new schoolhouse for the lower grades opens on the west side of Southwest Avenue, not far from the Four Corners. The schoolhouse stands 50 feet back from the road on a half-acre lot. A fence encloses the rear yard. The boys and girls have separate entry doors and separate playgrounds.
From Schoolhouse to Library
The primary school building is moved to the Artillery Lot. The Jamestown Philomenian Library Association moves the library books, formerly kept in various places around town, into the building.
From Library to History Museum
The new library on North Road opens. The Jamestown Historical Society leases the old library to use as a museum. The museum opens the following year with an exhibit of memorabilia from the ferryboat era.

Become a JHS Member

Help preserve & share the history of Jamestown, RI. Maintain the Museum, the Windmill, the Meetinghouse and the Conanicut Battery. Preserve the Society’s collection of documents, photographs and artifacts.