Dry weather rained on our parade

The region’s long dry spell makes for less than ideal planting conditions; therefore, the upcoming work days this Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be postponed until the grounds are more agreeable for the new natives plants that will put the finishing touches on the Friends of Canonchet Trails’ landscaping project at the South County Museum.
Basically, the dry weather rained on our parade….for now.

NEW DATES:
October 5, 6, & 7th
9:00 AM – Noon

We do hope you consider digging in with us then! Send us an email at southcountymuseum@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer.

This project won’t be possible without the generous support from the South County Garden Club, Grandscapes, and Narragansett Rubbish.

Garden Rejuvenation Project in full swing

A hardy group of volunteers from the Friends of Canonchet (FOC) load up the tool trailer most Saturday winter mornings to work clearing invasive plants, like knotweed, privet, bittersweet, porcelain berry, Japanese barberry, and burning bush along a 1.3 mile Nature Trail that connects the Narragansett Elementary School and the auxiliary Narragansett Beach parking lot. The crew has removed many invasives from the Nature Trail over the past four winters.

FOC members are now tackling more than 25 burning-bush (Euonymus Alatus) and Japanese Barberry (Berberis Thunbergii) on the grounds around the South County Museum thanks to a donation from the South County Garden Club. Both plant species are highly invasive in Southern Rhode Island. “We have been fortunate enough to have a strong relationship with the Friends of Canonchet. The time and talent their volunteers donate have been priceless,” explained Jim Crothers, Executive Director of the museum.

The month of September the invasive shrubs and plants will be removed by volunteers from the Friends of Canonchet, URI Master Gardeners, and South County Museum volunteers. New colorful, pollinator-friendly native plants and flower plantings will replace the invasives and rejuvenate the Circle and Half Moon gardens. Blueberry shrubs will be one of the main attractions that will serve as a functional border known for attracting birds. Finally, plant signs will be added to complete the project which will serve as an educational exhibit for the museum’s many visitors as well as a beautiful backdrop for couples using the grounds for their wedding.

Volunteers interested in getting their hands dirty are encouraged to join in to help. Thomas Hoagland, a ten-year University of Rhode Island Master Gardener and Vice President of the Friends of Canonchet will presented an overview of the project via Zoom.

For more information to be a volunteer on one day October 5-7, 2020 from 9:00 AM – Noon, email southcountymuseum@gmail.com .

 


Booktalk: Revolutionary Spies

Christian presentation will include highlights from his Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island book. He will talk about American spies who operated within British lines when the British occupied Newport from 1776 to 1779. He will also reveal the work of a talented female spy, Ann Bates, who passed to the British information relative to the Battle of Rhode Island in August 1778.  He will discuss the famous Culper Spy ring and its effort to convey to the Count de Rochambeau in Newport intelligence of a planned invasion of Newport by British forces against the newly-arrived French army in July 1781.

 

Christian McBurney is an independent historian who has written eight books, including four on the American Revolutionary War and four on Rhode Island (see www.christianmcburney.com). Christian is also the founder and publisher of Rhode Island’s leading state history blog, the Online Review of Rhode Island History at www.smallstatebighistory.com.  He resides in the Washington, D.C. area and has a second home in West Kingston, Rhode Island.


What to get Lucky?

You might just get LUCKY! What would you do if you won this handmade quilt “Spring’s Revival” for $1.00? Mary Loftes outdid herself this year this year’s donation that is bursting with color.

Not feeling really lucky, for $5.00 you get six! This quilt will bring new life to any bedroom and draw countless compliments from house guests.  All proceeds support the South County Museum, where we offer free admission during COVID to give everyone a chance to step into the past for a brief break from the modern world.

Purchase your raffle tickets today online, in our gift shop, or by calling the office (401) 783-5400. Who knows – it might just be your lucky day…..


Quilt Applications now available for 35th Annual Quilt Show


Chick Cuddling Canceled due to COVID

Unfortunately, we counted our chickens before they hatched. 500 Rhode Island Red eggs were recently set in the museum’s incubators in hopeful anticipation of our most popular event of the year, the 4th of July chick hatch. Sadly, the museum remains closed to the public and the chick hatch has been canceled.

Between 400 – 600 visitors join us each year to welcome the newborn Rhode Island Reds. The continued cancelations of important events while daily operating expenses continue, like feeding the chickens, sheep, and goats, seriously jeopardize our non-profit organization.

If you are a faithful flock follower, consider making a donation online using the “Support” section or by phone. Donations of $20.00 or more will receive a free stuffed animal baby chick to cuddle at home! With your support, we are confident that the museum can weather this storm because birds of a feather flock together. Thank you!


McBurney shares South County’s WWII stories

Please join the folks at the South County Museum for a free Zoom lecture by local historian and author Christian McBurney on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at 7:00 PM.

The talk will last 45 minutes, after which Christian will be glad to take questions.

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81012051038 

RSVP today to reserve your spot.

He will speak on South County related stories from his newly-released book, Untold Stories from World War II Rhode Island (History Press, 2019):

  • Did you know President George H.W. Bush trained in Charlestown to be a pilot?
  • What was it like to watch army patrols on Quonochontaug Beach?
  • Was there really an attack by a German submarine right here in Point Judith? (YES!!)

Christian McBurney, an attorney in Washington, D.C., has authored or co-authored seven Rhode Island history books and is the founder and publisher of the leading Rhode Island history blog, smallstatebighistory.com. He currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area, after being raised in Kingston, R.I., attending South Kingstown High School, and obtaining his undergraduate degree from Brown University.


Genealogy Workshop: Leveraging DNA Test Results

Get more out that DNA report and make the most of it. Dig deeper and knock down the brick walls to discover that missing great grandmother. This interactive workshop will be hosted by the South County Museum’s Assistant Director and Chief Genealogist, Heather Pouliot Kisilywicz.

Heather holds a certificate in genealogy from Boston University, is an enthusiastic member of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society, and a frequent lecturer around the state on DNA for genealogical research. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Rhode Island and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences. 

This event is a collaborative offering with the Newport Public Library and the Rhode Island Genealogical Society. Reserve your spot today on Eventbrite