Jamestown Historical Society

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Town Library

Hours, Directions & Details

26 North Road | Jamestown, RI 02835

Go to www.jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org for days and hours of operation. The building is handicapped accessible.

Jamestown Philomenian Library

When the Jamestown Philomenian Library reopened in 2024 after a year of major construction, it dedicated an area for local history to the left of the entrance. It contains books, a computer, a workspace, and other materials for research. Here, the public can access the JHS database of Jamestown historical records and materials.

1828
1874
1971
2006
2024
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.
Library Completes $5 Million Expansion
The library completes a $5 million dollar expansion. It includes an area for local history. JHS display cabinet is moved to Town Hall.

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.