Wickford Black History Walk : October 6th, 10 a.m.

Join Tim Cranston on October 6th at 10AM as he walks the streets and lanes of the village of Wickford and explores the story of the vibrant black community of the 19th century that once walked on these same roadways.
“We will look at the lives of slaves and servants, mariners and merchants, and farmers and fishermen.  This is a group of people tied not only to early African slaves, but also the Native people who were here long before the earliest settlers arrived. Who were they? How did they live their lives? What became of them all? We will examine this and much more on this intriguing journey.”
The walk begins and ends at the Town Dock at the end of Main Street.  Sign up on the NK Free Library website.

 ‘Wicked Week’ October 25th through October 31st

The Wickford Village Association is organizing the following activities in Wickford for ‘Wicked Week’ from October 25th through October 31.  More details in the coming weeks.
Wicked Week
Thursday – Oct 25 – Wicked Bingo by NK Chamber Charitable Foundation starts at 6pm
Friday – Oct 26 – Fall Crawl in Town from 5-8pm. 
Sat – Oct 27 – Pumpkins in the Park.  11am-1pm.  Kids get to paint and decorate a Pumpkin and get their face painted.  Cost $2 per pumpkin (cash only) and rain date is Oct 28 after the parade.
Sun – Oct 28 – Horribles Parade.   The parade starts at 12pm at St. Paul’s Parish Hall and ends at Town Dock behind Rite-Aid.  Trick or treating through the Village is after the Parade.  
Wed – Oct 31 – Halloween.  Trick or Treating in the Village during the day.  

Annual Meeting Tuesday, September 11

Save the date for the HistWick Annual Members Meeting

  • Tuesday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Wickford Yacht Club
  • 165 Pleasant Street

The event will start with a wine and cheese reception and at 7:00 pm will continue with a short business meeting, followed by the first public showing of The Wickford Walk, a HistWick sponsored video produced by North Kingstown native Charlie Weber.

This video celebrates the historic marker project through a tour of HistWick narrated by Tim Cranston and interviews with the artists that provided the marker illustrations.

Plan to attend the September event. You will be greatly impressed by the quality of Charlies’ work.

Historical Marker Unveiling : April 7, 11:00 am, Updike Park

Historical Markers for Wickford, RI

HistWick proudly announces the unveiling of six historical markers in Wickford. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this celebration: April 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Updike Park located at the corner of Brown Street and West Main Street (rain or shine).

The program will be lively but brief. North Kingstown Historian, Tim Cranston, will then lead a “Wickford Walk” to one or more of the markers, explaining some historical highlights at each locale. Light refreshments will be available. A film crew will be on hand to document this exciting event.

HistWick is a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving and protecting historic features in Wickford and environs. Discussions of a marker project began in mid-2015. After a comparative study and research of other RI historic villages by members of the organization, the HistWick Board was approached to support the creation of this project.

Not only was the project endorsed, the Board committed $5,000 and a committee was formed comprised of members and historic enthusiasts including: Sue Moore, Tim Cranston, Peter Galster, Art Hall, Linda Piedra, Larry Ehrhardt, Mike Donohue and Charles Bauer to coordinate the project. Cranston chose items of historical interest and wrote the text for each marker.

The first five markers memorialize: Ship building in Academy Cove, Bush Hill’s early Narragansett settlement, Main Street’s grand houses, Updike house on Pleasant Street, and the rail/steamship era, the “Gateway to Newport” at the end of Main Street. A sixth marker will be located in Updike Park and contains a map and “walk” information, siting the markers.

The Rhode Island Foundation donated an additional $10,000 through the efforts of Tim Cranston. Local artists, including two Narragansett Tribe members, created the illustrations and Debbie Sabo designed the layout for the markers.

March 2018 Newsletter: Lots of News

Wickford Village Design Standards and Guidelines
We value the historic significance of Wickford’s village center and it is hoped that the advent of sewers will open the door for new development opportunities and economic vitality. The town’s goal is for the commercial district to grow and evolve while retaining the character, charm, and identity of the entire village.

In light of the infrastructure upgrades, the town hired a consultant to work with the planning department and a steering committee to prepare a set of Standards and Guidelines for development on Brown Street and a few adjoining properties on Phillips Street. (Commercial properties on Main and West Main Streets already fall under the jurisdiction of the Historic District Commission.) The HistWick Board applauds this effort and has been monitoring its progress closely. Many of our members attended and provided input to the community workshops held last Fall.
The project team has been hard at work on a set of design principals intended to encourage creative solutions that will preserve the unique qualities of Wickford’s village center, while helping businesses meet the challenging economy of the 21st century. They believe thoughtfully designed changes, additions, and new construction will encourage economic growth in the commercial district without negative impact to the adjoining historically -zoned residential neighborhoods.
The work schedule calls for approval of a final draft at the next meeting of the Committee on April 5 after which the document goes to the Planning Commission for review and the Town Council for final approval.

Special Town Election, April 24, 2018
The Town Council is seeking voter approval to sell the Old Library building on Brown Street, and two other properties. A buyer has been located for the Old Library and your HistWick Board has endorsed her plans to use the building for a restaurant/gallery/theater facility while carefully preserving the exterior.

The election will be held on April 24. New voters must register by March 25. To vote by mail, your ballot must be requested by April 3.

Smith’s Castle Clean-up March 24 9:00am – noon
Our sister organization, Smith’s Castle, is looking for volunteers to help clean-up their grounds. In addition to cleaning the trails in preparation for the bridges and signs, they will be trimming bushes, moving the wood pile by the Annex, and raking leaves/litter.
The Castle is also looking for Docents (who give tours) and Greeters to help throughout the season. Training classes start Tuesday, April 3, 2018, meet once a week, and run for five weeks, the last class is on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.
Please contact the Office for more information: smithscastle55@gmail.com or 294-3521.

An Update on Sewer Work on West Main, Brown and Phillips Streets
Sewer construction is about to resume in the village. The week beginning 3/19 will see some disruption on Brown, West Main and Phillips as D’Ambra does minor excavation and repaving of the lateral trenches. They have settled so full depth paving can be installed. This work will go quickly and won’t require total road closures.

The week beginning 3/25 will see predominantly night work. Brown, Phillips and West Main will get planed and resurfaced with final paving curb to curb. April will see the sewers get extended up West Main above Cranston’s. The road will be closed during construction hours only for approximately one week while they work on the narrowest section of the road.

Village Merchants Host Daffodil Days
The weekend of April 7 & 8, 2018, Wickford Village Merchants will host its Daffodil Days. The weekend is more than the flowers. It is about the joy of spring and renewal. The theme this year is “Maker Days” which will include guest artists, designers, authors & crafting activities at many local shops.
Highlights of events include: horse drawn carriage tours narrated by Town Historian Tim Cranston, a Roaming Railroad for kids & adults, a Daffy Dog Parade on Sunday, local jewelry designers at both Sprigs and Green River Silver Co., baby goats from Reynolds Farm will be at Beauty and the Bath, Whilden Fisheries will host multiple processing a whole fish demonstrations at Fishing Boat Lucy Rose. And on Sunday, April 8 we are pleased to have Indiecycle recycling again!
“Last year’s Daffodil Days were amazing! The Wickford Village Merchants came together to put on a great fun-filled weekend for everyone,” says Carrie P. Mitchell, Daffodil Days Event Coordinator. “We put a lot into two -days and it is worth it because people come back year after year.”

NK Land Conservancey Mill Cove Bridge Project
The Land Conservancy of North Kingstown is restoring a historic walking path in Wickford Village for all to use and enjoy. Traversing one of Mill Cove’s saltmarshes is a town-owned earthen causeway that used to connect Wickford Village, town open space and LCNK’s Bush Hill Preserve to Wilson Park., the boat launch, bike and hiking trails, and several housing areas on the west. Many years ago, a pipe under the causeway collapsed, destroying the walking path. LCNK is going to install a footbridge to connect our community.

The first phase of the restoration project is the engineering and permitting. With support from the Town Council, Planning, Engineering, Recreation and Harbor Management, LCNK applied for and received a $ 10,000 RI Foundation Centennial Community Grant. These funds will support the initial scientific studies, engineering and CRMC permitting
The second phase of the project is to stabilize the banks and install the footbridge, as well as improve the trails for everyone’s enjoyment. LCNK has received a small DEM trails grant to clear the existing trails and add directional signage, but fundraising continues for full implementation of the second phase and to bring the project to complete success.
Please visit www.lcnk.org for more information on how to support this project.

Playground Project : Old Town Hall
The Town of North Kingstown and the Cranston family are pleased to announce that, utilizing a RI State grant and a generous donation from an anonymous donor channeled to the project through the RI Foundation, we have selected playground equipment to be purchased and installed at the site of the future Wickford Heritage Center, as the first phase of the Margret Cranston Playground. This appropriately themed play equipment includes pieces that reflect Wickford’s history as both a busy maritime port and a regional transportation hub moving people from RI urban areas and beyond to both Newport and the Narragansett Pier. These new pieces of playground equipment, along with the existing slides will be installed this spring and this wonderful playground will be available to delight.



HistWick supports project for The Town Hall Annex and other news

January 25, 2018
NEW BOARD MEMBER HistWick’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Cynthia Waxman has joined the Board.
     The Town Council has accepted an offer to purchase the empty building from a group whose “plan would be to keep the integrity of the original building, both on the exterior and interior,…..”.  Council President Richard Welch has stated that the council “will make certain that the property is protected ad infinitum.” see story 
     Based on those representations, the Board has written to the Council that it endorses the proposal as keeping within the style and tone, and potentially enhancing the vitality of our historic village.
     A town-wide election will be required to approve a sale.
Last November the Planning Department held a pair of well-advertised public workshops to obtain community input regarding the creation of guidelines for Brown and Phillips Streets. Straw polls conducted at the end of each session showed strong support for creating such guidelines and placing Brown Street under HDC protection to preserve the historic character of our village while allowing for economic growth.
At its meeting of December 4, the Wickford Design Guidelines Steering Committee, appointed by the town, voted by a margin of 6 to 1 to instruct the project consultant to develop a set of guidelines to be administered within the structure of the existing Historic District Commission. The Board of HistWick supports that vote. 
first draft of the proposed guidelines has been posted on the town website.
The next meeting of the Steering Committee will be held on January 30 at 6:30 pm in the town offices on Fairway Drive. agenda
Since opportunity for public comment during the meeting may be limited, you are encouraged to convey your comments beforehand to any of the Steering Committee members listed on the agenda.
Larry Ehrhardt
On behalf of the HistWick Board of Directors

Wickford Design Guidelines Workshop – November 15-16

The Wickford Design Guidelines Steering Committee, project consultant and town staff will be hosting two workshops with the public on Wednesday, November 15 and Thursday, November 16. Both workshops will be held in the Parish Hall at St. Paul’s Church located at 76 Main Street. The times for these two meetings are as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 15 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • Thursday, November 16 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM

Public notices and an agenda will be prepared by staff and posted in advance of these meetings.

Workshop flyer

HistWick’s Annual Pot Luck Dinner: Sunday Dec. 3rd

When: Sunday December 3rd at 5:30PMIMG_1382

Where: St. Paul’s Parish Hall 56 Main Street

Who: All members of HistWick and the Wickford Community

What: A time to gather for wonderful food and good company

Why: To meet new people, catch with old friends and celebrate the holidays

Please bring your favorite dish to serve 10 people.

HistWick will provide cold drinks and dessert.

A – L Salad or Side Dish

M – Z Main Dish or Side Dish

HistWick Annual Meeting : September 14, 2017

Friends and Fellow HistWick Members, Please join us for the HistWick annual meeting:

Thursday, September 14th

6:00 PM 

Wickford Yacht Club, 165 Pleasant St., Wickford, R.I.

The event will start with a wine and cheese reception.

At 7:00 pm we will continue with a short business meeting and several presentations: 

*  Tim Cranston speaking on plans for the restoration of the OldeTown House

* A preview of the soon to be unveiled HistWick Historical Markers

* A recap of the successful HistWick programs of the past year promoting historic preservation

We look forward to seeing you on the 14th.

***Wickford in Bloom*** Saturday, June 24th, 2017


Wickford in Bloom

Garden Tour of Wickford Village Gardens

June 24, 2017 WICKFORD, RI: Historic Wickford presents Wickford in Bloom, on Saturday, June 24th, 2017 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (rain or shine). This captivating self-guided garden tour of private and public gardens begins in the center of charming Wickford Village at Updike Park and will enable participants to experience and explore and exemplary selection of 12 enchanting gardens. Designs of the gardens vary from cottage-inspired treasures to small hidden spaces that will inspire and engage the viewers to appreciate the variations of plant materials and architectural symmetry. As well, the tour will pass by historic properties that flourish with natural beauty.

The 2017 garden tour will feature gardens on properties of 18th and 19th-century homes and buildings — some on the picturesque harbor and others on the tree-lined village streets. On each property a local artist will be capturing the garden showcased.Artist on Location Painting in Garden

Tickets may be purchased for $25 at the following locations throughout the Village prior to the event: The Book Garden, Beauty and the Bath, Wickford Collections, Green Ink, My Paris Apartment, or at the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets may also be purchased for $30 on the day of the tour, Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at Updike Park, where the tour begins.

Wickford in Bloom is sponsored by Historic Wickford, Inc. (HistWick), an all-volunteer community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the historic and cultural features of Wickford Village.

For images and interviews for feature interest story contact: Ellen Dacey at (401) 294-2420 or HistWick1@verizon.net

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