slides: James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Barrington
Saturday, March 09, 2013
This week, Jim visits Barrington--one of Rhode Island's most popular towns for family life--to capture its moods in the middle of winter, as well as to reveal the architecture and natural features that many may have never seen.
To see more of or purchase Sattel's distinctive views, go here.
Entering Barrington on the sleek new bridge draws back on the development of the Barrington area. Prior to the Revolutionary War there were no bridges between Warren and Barrington, and Colonel Nathaniel Martin maintained a ferry at the foot of Ferry Lane.Travel through Rhode Island in these years was largely via stagecoach. Barrington was on the route between Providence and Newport. It became known for its four taverns along this route, which were located in the general area of the Congregational Church.
The Barrington Civic Center Historic District on the east side of County Road includes the Prince's Hill Cemetery established in 1728, the Town Hall (1887-8), the former Leander Peck School (1916-7), and Woods Pond. In 1887, $17,000 was appropriated to build the present town hall. It was completed in 1888. It originally contained the high school, library and town offices.
In the 1600's Barrington was known as the "garden of the colony" (Plymouth) because of its fertile soil and scenic location. As one enters into Barrington, the first sight one will see is this beautiful little Pond, Wood Pond, which can give cause to remember the description the Pilgrims gave to the area.
The Jennys Lane Historic District is a riverfront district of 33 houses that documents the legacy of Allen C. Mathewson, who built two hotels and five Victorian houses from 1862 to 1873 to promote Barrington as an ideal summer colony. Later examples include Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts and Modern Colonial homes; deep front yards and the ever-present river unify this neighborhood.
Speaking of clubs... this is the Rhode Island Country Club on Nayatt Road. With the golf course designed by Donald Ross in 1911, and the grounds landscaped by the Olmstead Brothers between 1911 and 1923, the Rhode Island Country Club is
significant as the work of nationally recognized masters of golf course design and landscape architecture. The Country Club also represents the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
efforts of town residents, such as William Hoffman, to establish Barrington as a desirable suburban
In the 1880's many Italians migrated to the US. A few hundred came to Barrington to work in the brickyard and settled near there along Maple Avenue. By the early 1900's the Italian population was large enough to merit its own church and in 1913 Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church was founded on Maple Avenue. The land for the church was donated by the brick company in hopes that parishioners would purchase house lots near the church (which they did).
Nature and bricks
Italian immigrants came for the brickmaking, and the clay was deposited in the channels and ponds of Barrington. Three centuries ago Barrington had extensive clay deposits. Some bricks were made from the clay in the 17th century. From 1847 to 1943, bricks were made commercially in Barrington at the location of the present Brickyard Pond (south of Maple Avenue); a canal was dug from the clay pits to Narragansett Bay to permit easy shipment of the finished bricks via barge.
The first lighthouse at Nayatt Point was built in 1828 to mark the narrow channel between Nayatt Point and the reef off Conimicut Point at the entrance to the Providence River. Though greatly expanded, the original brick house still stands today, and is the oldest keeper’s dwelling still standing in Rhode Island. The stone tower originally attached to the house has since been rebuilt. Atop the old tower, a typical beacon of that time consisting of multiple lamps set in reflectors produced a fixed white light for mariners.
The Mathew Watson Historical Cemetery on Middle Highway reminds us of the history here in Barrington. Of the 30 burials, one is of particular note: "the dust of Matthew Watson, who was born in the seventeenth, living through the eighteenth, and died in nineteenth century, at the remarkable age of 107 years".
Who knew this was in Barrington? Belton Court, a historic estate on Middle Highway, was built as the country home for Frederick Stanhope Peck, a businessman and Rhode Island political figure. Barrington College, a Christian school, owned the building for many years as part of its campus before merging with Gordon College in Massachusetts. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. In 1985 Belton Court became home to the Zion Bible College which bought the campus for over $5 million. In 2007, it was listed for sale at $13 million, and Zion Bible College moved to Bradford, Massachusetts in 2008.
Founded as St. Andrew's Industrial School in 1893, thismschool complex on Federal Road includes a variety of architectural types on its campus, including the Colonial style Joshua Bicknell House (c. 1787), the Victorian Reverend Horton House (c. 1870), and the Tudor style McVicker Hall and Hardy Memorial Building (c. 1900).
This “family” church dates to 1869, when a local Methodist Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed to avoid winter travel to Warren or Providence. By 1872, a church was organized and meeting took place in Drownville. In 1875, Thomas Bicknell donated three lots on the corner of Washington Road and Bradford Street for construction of a simple, shingled church with a gable roof and hip-roof belfry.
Color! The Alfred Drown Road Historic District presents a unified character with 39 residences primarily dating from the 1850s to the 1920s. One half of the houses were built between 1870 and 1920. It documents the transformation of Barrington from a farming community to an early railroad suburb to a thriving middle class neighborhood noted for its high quality of stewardship.
No better way to say farewell to Barrington that at its most well-known spot--the Barrington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ - affectionately known as “The White Church." This buildling has been a landmark on this site for almost two centuries. However, the congregation dates back even further. In the 1660’s, John Miles, a fugitive from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, gathered a congregation of Baptists and Congregationalists north of One Hundred Acre Cove (just north of the present church). The congregation was later scattered by King Philip’s War but came together again about 1678 and built a meeting house on Tyler Point. Following the death of John Miles, the congregation split under its new leader, and the Baptist contingent moved (together with their meeting house!) to North Swansea, and the Congregationalists remained.
- James Clayton Sattel’s RI Summer: Favorite Photo Spots
- James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Bridges + Lighthouses
- James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Estuaries + Coves
- James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Narragansett In Winter
- James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Wickford
- James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Winter Landscapes
- James Clayton Sattel’s RI Views: Providence