Jamestown Philomenian Library

26 North Road | Jamestown RI 02835

Jamestown Historical Society Display Case

Each exhibit in the Jamestown Historical Society display case in the lobby of the Jamestown Philomenian Library tells the story of some aspect of Jamestown’s history using documents and artifacts from the society’s collection. The exhibit is changed every six to eight weeks.

The Sydney L. Wright Room

The library’s Sidney L. Wright Room contains a permanent display of archeological artifacts found on Conanicut Island. These historical treasures are not part of the JHS collection.

Jamestown Philomenian Library

Browse through time


Philomenian Debating Society Starts a Library
The Philomenian Debating Society is organized. The members of the society agree to pay one dollar a year into a fund for a lending library. Books are kept at the Carr homestead on Carr Lane. The Debating Society evidently coined the word “Philomenian.” The Greek root “philo” means “love of,” but no Greek derivation can be found for the “menian” part of the word.


Jamestown Philomenian Library Association Formed
The new library association combines the Philomenian Debating Society library with John J. Watson’s private lending library. The association, while still a private organization, is entitled to financial assistance from the Rhode Island Board of Education.


New Library Building Opens
The library on North Road opens. For the first time, the books are housed in a building designed to be a library. Early libraries were in individuals’ homes, and from 1898 to 1971, the 1885 schoolhouse that is now the Jamestown Museum was the town library.


JHS Installs Display Cabinet in the Library
The JHS begins a series of small exhibits in their display case in the library entryway. Each exhibit focuses on a single facet of Jamestown’s history. The first exhibit displays artifacts and photographs of the old Jamestown Bridge.