What's New (but old)
A dozen or so artifacts or exhibits
recently received by the Museum
This ox lifter, located between the blacksmith forge and the one-room schoolhouse, is a reproduction made by
George Mumford to replace our old lifter, which had badly deteriorated over the years.
Toy / Mini Sewing Machines
Some charming additions to our collection are these toy or mini sewing machines, generally from the 1890s to
1950s. The collection, mostly donated by retired URI textile lecturer Helen Lundberg, includes both U.S.-made and
pre-WWII German machines. ✦✦✦ New for 2016
This collection of 1950s Vogue dolls is from Vogue Dolls Inc., a Massachusetts company founded in 1945 by
Mrs. Jennie Graves. None of these famous doll sets were more popular than the Ginny dolls, which Mrs. Graves
named after her daughter. Ginny dolls came in many models and styles, including the Active Ginny dolls, several of
which, from 1952 and 1953, are shown below.
The SCM collection is based on the donation by Zella Wright Westcott. It was donated by Wendy
Westcott Woodmansee. ✦✦✦ New for 2016
Bill Smith Exhibit
The late Bill Smith, among other achievements, was the founder of the blacksmithing program at SCM. Some of his
creations are on display in the Metz Exhibit Building. This collection is on loan from his son Dave Smith. ✦✦✦ Ne
Shipwrecks & Sea Coal
A 1940 shipwreck off Green Hill Beach in South Kingstown is the focus in an exhibit of photographs in the new
Schmid Maritime Gallery exhibit, "Shipwrecks and Seacoal." The above photo depicts local people bagging the coal that
had come ashore after the wreck. (Note the Green Hill Coast Guard House at the left.) The exhibit photographs were
donated by David Chappell, of West Kingston. ✦✦✦ New for 2016
Historical Schoolgirl Sampler
At left is one of two schoolgirl samplers recently rediscovered
at the museum byCurator Kathy Bossy. It was created in 1767
by Jerusha Coit (1756-1776) and will be on display later this
year at the museum − perhaps for the first time ever.
The inscription reads, "This Needle Work Of Mine Can Tell
When I Was Yovng. I Learned Well And By My Elders I Was
Tavght Not To Spend My Time For Novght".
It is dated 1767 "in the year of her age 12." Preliminary
research suggests Jerusha died at age 20 after being thrown
from a horse. Jerusha was related − second cousin once
removed − to Lucy Coit (1773-1845), the author of a 1785
sampler that has become very well known. Jerusha and Lucy,
though 17 years apart, had common ancestors: Joseph Coit
(1650-1704) and Martha Harris (1658-1710).
The Jerusha sampler was donated to the museum in 1939 by
A. L. Luther. The other sampler is one of 60 pieces donated in
1999 by Susan Robinson Bowers. It is unfinished but contains
two complete alphabets, three incomplete alphabets and one
set of the numbers 1 to 18. While undated and unsigned, this
sampler does include initials, apparently either HGR or ABR,
and was created around the 1820s.
The Sampler Archive Project , whose director is Dr. Lynn Anderson of Hopkinton, is working with the Rhode Island
Sampler Institute, a collaborative project between URI and Rhode Island cultural institutions, including this museum,
to locate, document and disseminate information about historical schoolgirl samplers and related embroideries
located in the state. Similar projects are being done in other states. As part of the Rhode Island effort, Dr. Blaire
Gagnon, now the museum's associate director, conducted a stateway survey that resulted in the discovery of our
Rev. Andrew C. Strachan Crazy Quilt
These are two of the 16 blocks of the wondrous crazy quilt acquired by the Museum in November, 2015.
The quilt was put together in 1900 as a commemorative gift to the Rev. Andrew C. Strachan upon his
graduation from seminary in California.
Each block includes the name or initials of its creator (note the signature in the upper right corner
of the photo at right). The quilt was donated by Donna Sciola of Narragansett, by way of the
University of Rhode Island. A substantial − and still expanding − website
(www.revandrewcstrachancrazyquilt.wikispaces.com), tells the stories of the quilt and the
people who made it. The quilt will be on display this year in the Metz Exhibit Building.
Attmore ("Att") Smith of Wakefield, 1883-1959, was a fisherman, watchman and craftsman. He created
the display that's now in the Metz Exhibit Building for his family and for his own amusement. Many of his
works feature local imagery, including plow animals and maritime culture.
Fancy Potty (aka Sanitary Portable Water Closet) c. 1885
Indoor models such as this commode produced by the Sanitary Water Closet Company of Westminster
Street in Providence, were not common in American homes until the late 19th century. A model similar to
the one shown here was priced at $7 (about $194 in today's currency) in the 1902 Sears, Roebuck and
Baby Carriage & Day Dress
Above, left, ornate wicker child's stroller, or baby carriage, with gilt-ball decoration. It sits on four 12-inch wooden
wheels and has a lace-covered parasol suspended above the seat. It is from the late Victorian era, and was donated
by Rita DeQuattro of Narragansett. Right, from the Metz family of Kingston, a two-piece cotton day dress from the
1880s, with lace trim and prominent bustle characteristic of the period. It is thought to have been worn by Great
Grandmother Woodard. The dress, one of several Metz family items on display, was donated by SCM curator
Above is part of our railroad exhibit, on loan from the Rhode Island Railroad Museum.
Mill of Coal
The Mill was sculpted by Gary Robichaud from a 50-pound block of hard anthracite coal mined in Cranston. The
first commercial coal mine in Rhode Island opened in 1808. The Cranston mine operated from 1886 to 1959.
© South County Museum 2016
P.O. Box 709, Narragansett, RI 02882