Schoolhouse to Library to Museum
The Jamestown Historical Society’s museum building was originally built in 1885 as a one-room primary school. From 1898 to 1971, the building was the town’s library. In 1971 when the current library was built, the Jamestown Historical Society leased the old library for use as a museum.
In 2008 the interior of the building was refurbished, elements of the original schoolhouse were restored, and insulation, heating, and air conditioning were installed. A new entry, handicapped access, and new landscaping were completed.
Each year a new exhibit is created and displayed in the Jamestown Historical Society Musuem. The Summer 2022 exhibit in the museum at
92 Narragansett Avenue was titled: The Jamestown Museum at Fifty: A Retrospective.
The museum is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from 1 pm to 4 pm during the summer. The 2023 exhibit, The Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company, 1873-1969, opens Monday, May 28, 2023. The museum closes for the winter on Monday, October 9.
The society welcomes anyone interested in being a docent at the museum and greeting our visitors.
Browse through time
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.
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.
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.