Hi Everyone, it's Aoife! Today we will be exploring Glocester. Our first place we had planned to stop at was Lightning Ridge Farm, but unfortunately when we got there there was a sign on the door saying that they were closed. We had checked their website and Facebook page before heading out, and according to the hours they listed, it should have been open. Oh well. Hope the owners and staff at Lightning Ridge are ok. It would probably be best to call ahead if you would like to visit this place.
We continued on our way to the next place on our trip to Glocester: The Town Pound. Now, if you don’t know what a Town Pound is, it is a tall stone enclosure where stray animals would be kept. They are not used anymore and are part of New England’s history as many towns have them. My mother loves visiting places like this, but I personally didn’t like the Town Pound because it looked like the animals would be crowded into it and would not be comfortable in that cage of rocks on the side of the road. Another reason that I didn’t like the Town Pound was that my mom was trying to get through the gate even though it was very clear that it wouldn’t open. It was very embarrassing because we were getting strange looks from the people driving by. She told my sister and I after we had gotten back in the car that there used to be a geocache in there and the gate used to be open for people to go in. However, the rocks seem to have settled and now the gate doesn’t open.
After the Town Pound we went to this cute little one room schoolhouse. This schoolhouse was called the Evans Schoolhouse and was built in 1867. It has two doors - one for girls and one for boys, which I think is kind of funny and I don’t understand why girls and boys needed separate doors. We left a painted rock at this one room schoolhouse.
After we went to the one room schoolhouse we tried to go to the Brown & Hopkins Store which is one of the oldest continuously operating general stores in the country, but sadly we hadn’t checked the website for this store and we learned that it is closed on Wednesdays. We will go back to visit this store when we tour the neighboring town of Burrillville.
We walked across a bridge to the other side of the street to read a plaque. The plaque is in memory of an elephant named Little Betty who was part of a show that traveled from the Carolinas to Maine in the 1800’s. Sadly, she was shot and killed by some men in the Glocester village of Chepachet on May 15, 1826.
After walking around downtown Chepachet we went to Pulaski State Park. At Pulaski State Park there was a lake that you could swim in, but that day we didn’t feel like going for a swim. We walked along the water to find a geocache near the end of the lake. We have gone on hikes at Pulaski Park in the past, and there are some really nice trails there.
On our way home from visiting Glocester we made two more stops. First, we drove down Tourtellot Hill Road to go to a farm stand that is called “The Farm”. They had fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers for sale. We bought a zucchini and some cherry tomatoes, and Tarynn ate all of the tomatoes in the car before we even got home!
Next we rode by the Oreo Cookie Cows at Harmony Meadows Farm on Cooper Hill Road. The actual name of these cows is the Belted Galloway Cows, but because of their coloring they look like Oreos.
We went home for awhile and ate dinner at home, but then got in the car and drove back to Glocester to go to an Atwater-Donnelly Concert on the lawn of the Chepachet Union Church as part of the Glocester Summer Concert Series. Atwater-Donnelly is a folk music duo who specializes in American and Celtic folk music, and both Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly sing and play many instruments. The Atwater Donnellys have been our good friends for a long time and hearing them perform was a very nice ending to our trip to Glocester.
Other places we've enjoyed in Glocester:
Rhode Island has 39 cities and towns. We have now visited 20 of them, so we are officially over the half way point. Whoohooo!!!!!!
Looking forward to continuing our journeys!
Brian here. Coming from Vermont, this whole “Rhode Island Villages thing” has always perplexed me. The town of Richmond (according to Wikipedia) “contains the villages of Alton, Arcadia, Barberville, Carolina, Hillsdale, Kenyon, Shannock, Tug Hollow, Usquepaug, Wood River Junction, Woodville, and Wyoming”. Every place in Rhode Island seems to have at least 2 or 3 different names, and I can never tell where it’s referring to. Someone can live in the village of Wyoming, the town Richmond, and be in the Chariho school district. Wow! What this all doesn’t tell you is that Richmond, and the neighboring town of Charlestown, have some very nice hikes and historical areas.
We started our day pausing at the Wyoming Dam, with a beautiful waterfall and a pond. Tarynn loves to find the fish and frogs in any pond we visit, and she was not disappointed here. There were tons of fish and frogs, and she even spotted a crayfish!! We followed this with a short hike along to see the waterfall at the Barberville Dam.
We then drove through the historic parts of Wyoming Village, the village of Carolina, and the Shannock Historic District looking at old houses, mills, and churches. There’s the octagonal Albert Potter House built in 1867, the Free Baptist Church built in 1845, and others. The Shannock Historic District is an old historic mill village with interesting old construction. There is even a “horseshoe” waterfall with a fish ladder, although we didn’t see any fish on it. Tarynn found another crayfish here and we also found a well hidden geocache.
Moving on to Charleston, we found a historic Native American Burial Ground tucked away in the woods. This is believed to be the cemetery for the leaders of the Narragansett and Niantic tribes. It was somewhat overgrown, but prominent headstones were clearly seen. The path up to the burial ground had lots of wild blueberry bushes which Tarynn grazed on all the way back to the car.
One of the most interesting places we visited on our trip to Charlestown was the “Fantastic Umbrella Factory”. It’s a self-described “nineteenth-century farmyard shopper’s paradise and international bazaar” and this description encompasses the umbrella factory nicely . It’s an old converted dairy farm that is now used to house local craftspeople. There are gardens of flowers and of bamboo, as well as a number of animals. Much to Tarynn’s delight -- the lover of all animals -- there were chickens and guinea hens wandering around, a couple of emu, and even a cute little toad in a birdhouse. Tarynn was in her element exploring the grounds of the umbrella factory,and she was very excited when we gave her $2.00 to pick out something in one of the shops. She spent a lot of time choosing the perfect purple and white sea urchin shell, which I’m sure she’ll treasure for years to come.
We rounded out the day on the beach at the Charlestown Breachway. This was a new beach to us, and it is beautiful. The waves were big and yet not overwhelming, and it was pretty uncrowded. This is one of the most scenic beaches we’ve visited in this part of the state, and although we’ve heard that the parking lot fills up quickly in the morning, we had no trouble getting in at 3:00 in the afternoon.
We finished up our visit with a quick stop at the Historic Bell Schoolhouse (where we left a rock) and a longer stop at the Charlestown Rathskeller for a casual socially-distanced outdoor dinner of appetizers & drinks to wind down the day. The Rathskeller had such an enjoyable environment - lots of families were happily eating and laughing, and if it was a regular year, we imagine that people would have been using the bocce courts, cornhole games, and would be playing horseshoes as well. We had visited the Rathskeller in the winter and had enjoyed it, but this is definitely a great place to be on a summer evening and was the perfect place to end our visits to Charlestown and Richmond.
Other places we've enjoyed in Charlestown and Richmond:
I love these rocks that Aemilia just finished painting. Looking forward to leaving them around the state as we continue our travels!
Barrington was our target for today. We started our visit at Four Town Farm, a place that gets its name from extending into four towns - Barrington, Seekonk, Reboboth, and Swansea. Four Town Farm has an amazing farm store which features not only their own fresh vegetables and fruits, but also includes foods from other parts of RI. Browsing throughout the store, we found cider and lemonade from Jaswell’s Farm in Smithfield, Milk from Wright’s Dairy Farm in North Smithfield, Nettie’s Kettle Corn from North Providence, Warwick Ice cream, Narragansett Creamery cheeses and many other local treats. We bought fresh raspberries, which were quickly devoured in the car, corn on the cob, and some cut sunflowers to bring to Gammie in Bristol later in the day.
Next was a visit to the Prince's Hill Cemetery where we visited the slave memorial. The wording on the plaque reads “In memory of the Slaves and their Descendants who faithfully served Barrington Families” which we found a little peculiar and anachronistic. The monument was erected in 1903, so that probably accounts for the strange wording on the plaque. The cemetery is located next to the town hall overlooking the Barrington River, and includes many beautiful memorials to those who have passed on.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Barrington without a stop at the Vienna Bakery for delectibles. There, we each chose a sweet treat to go. Tough decisions had to be made as everything looked so delicious.
Our next stop was the Barrington Library and Town Hall, where you can walk down to a pond with a Gazebo. In the back, behind the library, is a small area on the Barrington River that was perfect for eating our Vienna Bakery treats! It was also the perfect place to find fiddler crabs (tiny crabs with one big arm). They were all over the place on the beach, in small holes that they had made. They’d scurry around and when we came near, they would duck into their holes, but Heidi was swift enough to catch one.
Moving on, we visited Police Cove Park, near the bike path and the bridges, and enjoyed the views and the weather. There is also a new splashground at Police Cove Park and it was fun to see the little kids and families playing in the water.
We then drove on to Bristol to visit Papa & Gammie, but returned to Barrington later in the afternoon and stopped in to visit family members who live near Barrington Beach. Aemilia and Aoife didn’t feel like swimming, so they opted to read books in the backyard, and the rest of us walked down to the beach to swim. The water was perfect, and we were amazed to see kitesurfers gliding across the water, and even flying up into the air!
Finishing up our day, we went to the Daily Scoop for ice cream to put a sweet end to our visit to Barrington. Daily Scoop features their own homemade ice cream and is open for window service only during COVID-19. The ice cream is good, but it is expensive and the amount of ice cream does not equal the high price per cone. Our 5 ice creams cost over $30!!!!! However, it was National Ice Cream Day and it seemed fitting to celebrate with a local treat. We enjoyed the ice cream as we drove, and our final stop was the colorful and inclusive doors at the well known Barrington landmark, the White Church.
On another visit, we will explore the trails at the Osamequin Preserve and Bird Sanctuary, but we all agreed that we had done enough for one day and our day in Barrington was complete and fun.
Other places we've enjoyed in Barrington:
Hey Everybody, this is Tarynn! Welcome back! We are going on another journey in RI. This time we are going to North Providence and a quick stop in Johnston. We left home at 5:30 at night and went to visit some fun places.
We had made a reservation for Camp Nowhere at 5:45 pm, which was the only time slot available before 10:45 pm at this popular North Providence restaurant, so we had to leave the house at 5:30 to get there on time. When we arrived we got a table in the shade outside. It was very nice and we had distance from everyone there including the waitress. Camp Nowhere is different from other restaurants in that everything on the menu is $3.50. For example, you can get two sliders for $3.50, mozzarella sticks for $3.50, chicken tenders for $3.50, and cheese fries for $3.50. Drinks are $3.50 as well. I ordered orange juice and sliders. We also ordered loaded waffle fries and mozzarella sticks. Everything was really good and I would like to go back to this restaurant. When we left we walked down the street a little to get ice cream at the ice cream place down the road, Cool Licks. There I got maple walnut ice cream. It was really good.
After ice cream we got back in the car and drove to Captain Stephen Olney Memorial Park. We went and visited the small historic graveyard at the park. There and saw the stone of Stephen Olney, who was a soldier during the American Revolution. Then we walked along a path and on the side of the path, we noticed a weird looking tree. It went straight up for a little while then it turned off to the side and then went straight up again. It looked like a good climbing tree, so with a little help I was able to sit on top of it. We also found some geocaches as we explored the park. We also saw the historic Joseph Smith House on Smithfield Road. This house was built around 1705 and is the only stone ender left in North Providence.
After visiting Stephen Olney Park, we went to see the Greystone Mill, which was a textile mill that was built over 100 years ago. We looked at the outside of the mill and then we crossed over the Woonasquatucket River to to see a park and cricket field in Johnston. We went and saw the cricket field and explored around. There was a very nice little free library in the park as well. When we were leaving I saw four little rabbits grazing in the grass. Unfortunately, they hopped away before I could get a picture. 😟
Next we went to Governor John Notte Park. We got out of the car and walked to the beach over the bridge. This beach and the area around the beach looked really nice for swimming. Then we walked over to a gazebo that was covered with sparkling white lights and took some pictures there. We went and walked around the baseball field and headed home. Our evening in North Providence was fun and delicious!
Ah, Cranston…… Having grown up on the other side of the Bay in Bristol, the only times I ever visited Cranston as a child were to see my great Aunt Helen in her home on Belmont Road. Cranston seemed so far away. Who would ever have thought that I’d grow up to love this city of diverse people, delicious foods, and thriving traditions? It was with great excitement that I brought the girls on a tour of some of the highlights of Cranston and the neighboring town of West Warwick.
Due to some morning commitments, our journey started after lunch. Our first stop was the DeLuise Bakery on Oaklawn Avenue, because a tour of Cranston *needs* to include a stop at an Italian Bakery. Cranston has so many delicious bakeries to choose from, but since Deluise is celebrating its 80th year, it seemed like the right choice for the day, and the pastries did not disappoint. We had a very difficult time making decisions, and ended up with a variety of tasty sweets, which were devoured in record breaking time.
Feeling satisfied, we crossed over the town line into West Warwick to visit some mills. The girls know that my love of New England mills is similar to my love of castle and monastery ruins in Ireland, and they were very polite in accompanying me and not rolling their eyes too frequently. We parked at Riverpoint Park and walked along the Washington Secondary Trail bike path to see the Bradford Soap Works, which is a functioning mill along the Blackstone River. Bradford Soap Works has been in operation since 1876 and their customers include big names such as Aveeno, Biore, Clinique, Mrs. Myers, and Dove.
The Bradford Soap mill is quite an impressive building, and is one of the only working mills we’ve seen in our travels. We could smell the soap in the air from behind the factory and could see steam rising from the towers and see and hear the operations of the factory taking place. I could have stood there for a while, but it was time to move on, so we checked out the Royal Mills which has been turned into gorgeous living spaces and is located across the street from Bradford Soap Works, and then after pausing to take a picture at the New Haven Caboose that is on display in the area, we headed back to our car. We learned that West Warwick was on the main railroad corridor for New England, making it a very desirable place for mills and factories back in the day.
Our next stop was the West Warwick Riverwalk. I had been eyeing this area for a while as we had some solved-but-not-yet-found geocache puzzles along the Riverwalk. We parked at the Youth Center on Factory Street, and Tarynn & I headed down the trail while Aemilia & Aoife opted to sit outdoors and wait for us to return. I had low expectations for the Riverwalk, as I had read that it was overgrown and filled with litter. However, it turned out to be a beautiful trail along the Blackstone, and the plentiful blackberries along the way greatly delighted Tarynn. We ended up at a rushing waterfall behind the Royal Mills complex, and then returned along the path to our car, snacking on more berries as we walked.
Our final destination in West Warwick was Station Fire Memorial Park. This park was created in memory of the 100 people who died in a fire while attending a concert by the Band Great White on February 20, 2003. It feels like nearly everyone in Rhode Island knew someone who lost their life in that fire, and it was sobering to see the individual plaques in honor of each of the 100 concert goers who lost their lives that night. The park and memorial are beautiful, and while we were there, other people came to quietly and respectfully honor the victims as well.
Now it was time to head back to Cranston for dinner. Cranston is a food Mecca, and given the ethnic diversity of the population, there are all types of restaurants. We were looking for a place with outdoor seating, and we decided to head to La Casa on Laurel Hill Avenue for Guatemalan food. La Casa is the winner of the 2019 RI Food Fight’s People’s Choice Award for Best Tacos, and it is owned by a student I knew when he was at the middle school in which I taught. The food at La Casa is some of the most amazing Latin American food we’ve ever tasted, and we were all looking forward to dinner. Brian joined us for dinner and we ordered an assortment of tacos, nachos, fried yucca, and pupusa. The service was excellent, the restaurant was clean and we enjoyed our dinner immensely.
After dinner, Brian and Tarynn headed back home, while Aoife, Aemilia & I continued exploring Cranston. We drove down Webster Ave and turned on to Bailey Street to see the house that Papa grew up in, and then we headed over to Cranston Street to see the Governor Sprague Mansion and the Cranston Print Works, which printed fabric in Cranston until 2009.
Further down Cranston Street, we stopped at Itri Square which is dedicated to the immigrants from Itri, Italy who settled in Cranston. This area is also home to many outstanding Italian restaurants.
Across the street is the West Cranston World War II Memorial which honors those from West Cranston who lost their lives, including my grandfather, Arthur J. Schattle,who was killed in the Second Battle of the Bulge.
Next, we drove over to Meshanticut Lake for an after dinner walk. We saw a family of ducks and a cute little free library on our evening lakeside stroll.
Passing by Hugh B. Bain Middle School, Cranston High School East, and City Hall, we then headed over to Edgewood to take in the beautiful view at Stillhouse Cove Park.
Finally we visited the village of Pawtuxet, starting on the Cranston side and then crossing the bridge into Warwick. We found some historical markers relating to the events surrounding the burning of the Gaspee, and we also found another creatively decorated little free library in Pawtuxet Park. Heading back to our car, we heard music and laughter coming from the many Pawtuxet cafes and dining establishments, and we enjoyed the sparkle of the lights and the relaxed atmosphere of the village. Aside from our face coverings, it felt like a normal summer night…..almost.
Other places we've enjoyed in Cranston & West Warwick:
This morning we were so excited to have a visit from Channel 10 reporter Kelly O'Neill and videographer Christian Ramirez.
Kelly and Christian were both super nice and they interviewed us about our RI summer travels.
You can watch the segment that aired on the 6:00 news here...
Thanks to Kelly, Christian, and WJAR 10 for sharing our story!
Hi Everyone, it's Aoife! Today we are going to be exploring Lincoln.
The first thing we did when we were driving through Lincoln was stop at Butterfly Pond where there is a waterfall with a bridge going across it. We stopped there because it was a pretty place that we had gone by before and my mom decided that today was a good time to stop there. While we were there my parents decided to go look for a geocache that was close by. While they were looking for the geocache we received some very weird looks from the people driving by because my parents were down by the water searching near the bridge for the geocache. They found it and we continued on our way.
The next thing we did was drive along Great Road, which is Rhode Island's oldest highway. It was built in 1683 and there are many historic sites along this road. We stopped at a historic house called Hearthside House which was built by Stephen Hopkins Smith in 1810 because he was in love with a lady from Providence who wanted to live in a fine house. However, when she saw the house, she thought it was beautiful but she didn't want to live so far out in the country. Mr. Smith was heartbroken and he never married and never lived in the house.
We also stopped at another historic house called the Arnold House and we also stopped at Gateway Park.
After we finished taking pictures at the historic sites along Great Road we continued our journey to Lincoln Woods State Park. At Lincoln Woods we saw giant glacier rocks on the side of the road. After seeing the glacier rocks we went to Olney Pond where people weren’t wearing masks or social distancing at the swimming or picnic areas! We didn't stay there, and went to find another part of the pond that was less crowded. My parents went down a trail to find another geocache while my sisters and I were watching the water to see if we could spot any fish.
Once my parents came back after finding the geocache, we went to my favorite stop on our trip to Lincoln, Lincoln Creamery. At Lincoln Creamery they had made several lines in the parking lot that you would wear your mask in and be six feet apart from the other customers. I felt very comfortable there as everyone was following social distancing guidelines. As for what to order at Lincoln Creamery, I was originally going to get chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone, but when I got to the window I changed my mind quickly because I saw that I could get a coffee shake with sprinkles and a donut on top. I was so excited because I have loved donuts since I was little and seeing the shake and donut come out made me so excited. My sisters Aemilia and Tarynn, and my Dad all got a layered ice cream with sprinkles. My mom got a waffle cone with almond joy ice cream. Our trip to Lincoln was really fun and full of delicious ice cream.
Other places we've enjoyed in Lincoln:
Hello, hello, hello and welcome to you all. Ladies, Gentlemen, and everyone, welcome to Warwick! My name is Aemila and I will be your tour guide today as we take on the city of Warwick!
I see you all have chosen the classic Rhode Island tour… excellent selection. Well, if we’re all set to begin, right this way folks. Watch your step, and we’ll be starting at Oakland Beach, so I’ll see you all there.
ALL RIGHT. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you made it. Hopefully you didn’t get stuck in any Rhode Island traffic. My (grumpy) mother says that you can’t get anywhere in Warwick without getting stuck in traffic. Isn’t she a joy to have around? Sounds like someone didn’t eat enough clam cakes.
Speaking of clam cakes, on your right, you can see the lovely little restaurant of Iggy’s at Oakland Beach, Warwick. What would Rhode Island be without Iggy’s? Probably sad, miserable, and full of bad vibes. We wouldn’t want that, would we? Feel free to eat as many clamcakes as you like. Or doughboys, if that’s more your thing. You can’t go wrong with either, and you might want to try the chowder too. While you wait for your food, you can check out the beach. You can swim, or go over to the rocky section to look for crabs. Take your food over to a nice grassy spot on the bike path to practice social distancing. When you’re done, I’ll meet you at Rocky Point....
I see you’ve all arrived at Rocky Poi--YOU SIR, PUT ON YOUR MASK! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
My apologies, here we are at Rocky Point State Park, site of a former amusement park also called Rocky Point. Quite the coincidence. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been an amusement park for a while, so I don’t have any stories about it. But if you go up to LITERALLY any Rhode Islander on the street, they will tell you a story about when they went to Rocky Point. They will probably point out where a lot of things used to be, which you can also do on your own if you know how to read a sign. The signs here are actually quite interesting - they include old photos of different sites around the park along with some of the history of the area.
That concludes our tour for today, unless you’ve added on the bonus stop of Ruby’s Candy Store and Gelato in the Grotto…
After our “official” Warwick Tour, we stopped by the house of some friends for a socially distanced visit. We were able to “purchase” sweets from 10 year old Ruby’s candy store on the porch, and marvel at a campfire with colorful flames alongside the brook in their backyard. We also had fun watching their dog’s antics playing in the brook and their garden and pet chicken were also very fun to see. Aside from the pleasure of getting to catch up with friends who we hadn’t seen in awhile, the other highlight of the visit was that Ruby’s family has transformed their root cellar into a grotto, and we were invited to partake of “gelato in the grotto”. It was such an enchanting visit, and we had a magical time chatting with friends and eating delicious gelato. :)
That’s it for now, see you soon!
Other places we've enjoyed in Warwick:
We are a family who loves to travel and explore. Covid-19 has changed our plans for summer 2020, but we are making the best out of the situation by exploring our beautiful home state of Rhode Island. During the summer of 2020, we are hoping to visit every town in Rhode Island. Thank you for joining us on our journey!