HistWick is bringing ArtVenture to Wickford

Enjoy ArtVenture, “Hiking with the Arts in Mind” from July 18-August 2, 2015. The program’s goal is to celebrate the arts and North Kingstown’s beautiful open and historical spaces, promote local artists, combat “Nature Deficit Disorder” and sharpen that artistic eye!

The art work (or facsimiles of it) will be hidden throughout this two week period in several NK hiking areas, Smith’s Castle and Wickford Village.  When you find a work of art, you get to keep it after logging your find onto the Art Venture blog.  Last year a blogger from Scotland even participated!  The trails include Blue Beach, Bush Hill, Calf Pasture Point, Davisville Middle School trails, Ryan Park (Oak Hill and Lafayette entrances) and the Wilson Park bike path

The North Kingstown Arts Council is sponsoring ArtVenture, with grants from RISCA and RI State Council on the Arts, and Historic Wickford, Inc.

HistWick’s contribution brings the program to the Village for the first time. 

  • The art will be hidden in a public place somewhere along the route of HistWick’s Walking Tour  http://historicwickford.org/walking-tour/
  • A new piece of art work will be added someplace in the Village each day during the event. This feature gives participants opportunity for a new search every time they choose to hunt and enjoy the activities.
  • To follow the tour use your smart phone as you walk and search for the hidden art.
  • Or, print the tour before you leave home (simply click on the words Walking Tour that are in blue italics)
  • Remember, the art will not be hidden on private property, but will be hidden in public places along the route.

Last year’s participants were delighted with how their experience changed their perception. As they walked through the designated areas looking for beautiful artwork hidden among trees and buildings, they saw art in nature and town structures. While seeking to find a stained glass piece or a mini sculpture, they spotted the morning dew glistening on a perfectly formed spider web, an unusual filigree on a building or the birdlike replica shaped by the branches of a tree. When approaching the water, many were awed by the kinetic symmetry formed by gulls diving for prey.

Often it was children who pointed out these phenomena, but parents soon caught their enthusiasm. Whether participants found art work created by a contributing artist or not, their walk became a memorable experience.  Learn more about it by visiting their website. http://www.nkartscouncil.org/#!artventure/c1c9d

“Since I’ve been involved in the Art Venture, I see beauty in everything,” says Nancy Sherman, Chair of the North Kingstown Art Council’s summer project, Art Venture. You too, can share in this fascinating experience while roaming through various locations in this area you call home…or are visiting.

Don’t miss out this year.

Mark your calendar and grab your sneakers to participate in the Council’s second annual Art Venture at least once or twice between July 18 and August 2. Come alone or come with friends and family–either way, it’s fascinating… and you could win a prize!

Annual HistWick General Meeting : Special Tour of The Beechwood House

HistWick is pleased to announce that as part of our Annual General Meeting to be held on Wednesday, April 29th, members and guests will have the opportunity to tour The Beechwood House.


The Beechwood House, formerly the home of the North Kingstown Senior Center, was built in 1873 as the summer home of Elisha Dyer, Jr. who in 1897 became Governor of Rhode Island.  When the new Senior Center was built, the town sold the building to a local resident who moved the home to a property adjacent to the Town Beach and rehabilitated it with particular attention to maintaining the historic exterior appearance.Beechwood House new


The General Meeting will be held at the Wickford Art Association building at 36 Beach St.  starting at 5:30.  We will walk to the Beechwood House for the tour.  At 6:00 pm there will be a reception at the Art Association Building with wine and cheese and the Annual General Meeting will start at 7:00 pm.


As part of the General Meeting, David Caldwell, the contractor who managed the move and renovation will make a presentation on the challenges of the project.  It should be interesting to all members of HistWick and those interested in preservation projects.


We hope that you will be able to attend.

Note:   Pictures are of Beechwood House before and after the move.

Wickford is featured on The Online Review of Rhode Island History

Tim Cranston’s story, “Newport Philips: A North Kingstown Slave Negotiates his Way to Freedom”*

is this week’s feature on The Online Review of Rhode Island History. 

This is just one of many fascinating stories in his new book We Were Here Too: Selected Stories of Black History in North Kingstown . Books are available at the Wickford Package Store, the Grateful Heart, and the Yes Gallery, as well as all online bookstores.





Lots of News This Spring

We hope you find out latest newsletter interesting.

Read about:

·        Hussey Bridge Renovations

·        Planned Walking Trails in nearby Cocumsucussac State Park

·        HistWick’s sponsorship of the North Kingstown Arts Council “ArtVenture” this summer

·        Tim Cranston’s latest book which one of our Board members said he was enjoying so much that he couldn’t put it down

·        Yankee Magazine’s latest story about the prettiest winter villages in New England.  And guess what village made this list?

HistWick Makes a Difference in 2014 – Please renew your Membership for 2015

HistWick continues to fulfil it’s mission “To Preserve, Protect & Celebrate the historic and cultural features of the Village of Wickford, it’s harbor and it’s surrounding environs”.

Highlighting the year was a very successful “Wickford in Bloom” Garden Tour in June which featured 12 beautiful gardens, several of which were on the water.  Our thanks, again, to the hard-working committee that pulled the tour together.

We continue to speak out on behalf of our members on issues and informing them of actions under discussion.

  • At our Annual Meeting in March, Tim Cranston filled us in on the plans for the Old Town Hall which has been moved to a site on Boone Street, and Sara Tallarico of The Wickford Art Association told us about association’s plans for expansion.
  • We shared information on the sewer options being considered, surveyed our members about what they wanted to have done and shared that information with the Town Council.
  • We also spoke out in support of the West Main Street improvements recommended by the Wickford Plan Committee and expressed our hope that decisions made by the Historic District Commission (HDC) be supported by the Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Council.

We re-launched the “Plaques for Historic Homes” program.  If you need a plaque, visit our website www.historicwickford.com.

We continued to upgrade the website where you will find the latest news about HistWick and a wealth of information about owning a historic home. The site also includes a Walking Tour you can take using your “smart phone” or print out ahead of time.

We sponsored free and open to all Walking Tours by Tim Cranston.

We continually support the efforts of others who care about our village such as Preserve Rhode Island and The North Kingstown Food Pantry.

Finally, we have a big year planned for 2015 as we continue implementation of the Strategic Plan developed in 2011.

Please renew your membership for 2015.

Annual Potluck Supper – Sunday, December 7th, 2017

5:30 – 8;30 pm

St. Paul’s Parish Hall

Bring your favorite dish for 8 people

A-L Main Dish

M-Z Salad or Side Dish

Dessert, Coffee, Tea, and Cold Drinks provided

Upcoming Walking Tours & Other Items of Interest

HistWick  announced two fall Walking Tours for members and their friends, along with other news.  Read the latest HistWick Herald – September 2014.

Key dates to remember:

October 4th –“ Worshipping in Wickford” Walking Tour  –   Meet at the Greenway at 10am

October 11th – “We were here as well!”  –  Meet at the town dock at the end of Main Street at 10AM

December 7th – Annual Potluck Supper

HistWick Supports West Main Street Improvements

HistWick has written to the Town Council in support of the efforts of the Wickford Plan Committee as they address the issues on West Main Street.

“We strongly believe resolving these problems, subject to the guidelines of the Wickford Village Plan and The Historic District Commission, will greatly improve the quality of life for the residents and businesses in the village as well as the entire town. HistWick and its seventy member families look forward to partnering with other interested organizations to advance this badly-needed project.”

Wickford Plan Committee Addressing Town Council Monday, October 6

Wickford In Bloom a Success

This summer HistWick hosted Wickford in Bloom, a tour of 12 gardens throughout Wickford. Approximately 300 people toured the gardens, and all were delighted by the beauty and wide range of flowers and settings offered in the tour.  In fact a few attendees declared Wickford in Bloom as The Best Garden Tour in New England.

Visitors enjoyed watching the artists at work, as they captured the beauty of each garden and all remarked on the high quality of organization the friendliness of everyone involved with the tour.

Credit goes to a terrific committee who worked tirelessly to create the perfect garden experience. We even got our request for perfect weather! Committee members are Sia Bauer, Judy Bitting, Barbara Carroll, Kate Church, Ellen Dacey, Nancy Gauthier, Nora Hall, Brenda Johnston, Mary Padbury, Kathy Romeo, Michelle Sammartino and Carol Thomas.  The Committee members are delighted to have raised $2000 for the North Kingstown Food Bank and contributed to the ongoing support for historic preservation from the profits of the tour.

2014 Wickford In Bloom – Saturday, June 28th

Historic Wickford will present Wickford in Bloom, a garden tour of twelve private and public gardensin Wickford on Saturday, June 28, 2014, rain or shine, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This is a self-guided tour through the village that allows everyone to explore a unique collection of gardens.  Designs of the gardens vary—from cottage-inspired gardens, to small hidden gardens, to a Japanese inspired garden.

The 2014 garden tour will feature gardens on the properties of eighteenth and nineteenth century homes and buildings—some on the picturesque harbor and others on the tree-lined village streets, with each garden featuring a local artist on location painting.  

A renowned Rhode Island Landscape Architect will be on hand to answer questions.  A raffle will also be held featuring items including  a $1,200 gift certificate for a complete Master Garden plan donated by Wickford Collections, and a beautiful hand-made quilt by Mary Padbury.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 at fine stores throughout the village, including:  The Book Garden, Blue Hydrangea, Beauty and the Bath,  Wickford Collections, all located in Wickford Village, and at the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce.  Tickets may also be purchased for $30 on the day of the tour, Saturday, June 28, 2014, at Wickford Collections, located in Wickford Village at Brown and West Main Street.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 28th.  It will be a time to view beautiful gardens, visit with neighbors and friends, talk with talented artists and perhaps learn about new flowers for your own garden in this historic seaside village.

Best of all, your ticket purchase will help support community needs and historic preservation efforts of Historic Wickford and North Kingstown.

Don’t miss it.  The last garden tour was wonderful. Check it out.


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