Block Island Wind Farms benefit from a team effort

South County is setting the pace as first in the nation with the offshore wind farms, but also in the clear value, they place in the commercial fishing community. Grover Fugate, Executive Director of Rhode Island Coastal Management council, making sure those most familiar with the fisheries have a voice in future projects in a recent webinar designed to share best practices with other areas that may follow in their footsteps with similar initiatives.

Fugate explained how Rhode Island made the Fisheries Advisory Board “part of the regulatory scheme, so Rhode Island fishermen have a much stronger say than fishermen might in other states where a similar board might simply have an advisory role.” (Rhode Island Sea Grant 2020)

Summer 2020 Internship Opportunity

SCM Summer Internships

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: 

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, 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.

An important message from the Executive Director

A Letter from the Executive Director & Board of Directors Chair

What would you want future generations to know about your experience living in this moment with COVID-19?

The South County Museum’s staff, board, and volunteers remain dedicated to researching, preserving, and celebrating Southern Rhode Island’s historic moments, including this one. We are also committed to maintaining a healthy and safe environment in order to halt the spread of COVID-19.

We are reducing transmission by working remotely and the museum’s campus will remain closed to visitors and volunteers until the right time presents itself to welcome you back; however, the museum is always here for you. If you have a matter that needs our attention, please do not hesitate to reach out via phone or email. Stay safe and stay in touch.

In the coming weeks, we will be offering new programming as the museum evolves to virtually collect, document, and exhibit history. Spend some time on our websiteFacebook page, and Instagram profile to take part in our community, share your stories, and experience how the past is relevant today.


Your stories are our history.



Jim Crothers, Executive Director
Daryl Anderson, Board President

Rhode Island’s COVID-19 archive

A Rhode Island COVID-19 digital collection was established to document and preserve the lived experience of the state’s residents by Kate Wells, Curator of the Rhode Island Collection at the John Nicolas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and Becca Bender, Film Archivist and Curator of Recorded Media at the Rhode Island Historical Society.

Browse the growing collection and go back often as countless daily submissions are posted and shared. Check out the interactive map to see contributions through-out the state. Contribute your experience easily today for free.

Not sure what to submit? Check out the “Guide to Personal Archiving” to help spark some inspiration or consider this: If you had the chance, what would you want your great or 2x great grandparents to tell you about the 1918 Spanish Flu?”

The South County Museum and South County Historical Center are collaborating to encourage Southern Rhode Islander’s submit their videos, photos, and stories. Be sure your experience is represented in this innovative crowdsourced digital humanities project. Who knows, you might just see your contribution on this website or at the museum!

Your stories are our shared history at the South County Museum where we capture, preserve, and celebrate them.



Josh Edenbaum, Museum Board Member, Steps Up to COVID-19

Professional photographer and active South County Museum board member, Josh Edenbaum continues to give back to Southern Rhode Island in many ways.

Josh joined the South County Museum board in 2019. He has generously offered the museum his photography expertise and talent, on top of his ongoing board responsibilities. When asked why Josh agreed to join the South County Museum on the mission to capture your stories that are our shared history, he says it was two things: a great community of people and the setting. The museum is “a little unique oasis of history tucked in a beautiful corner of Narragansett.”

Currently, he stands out for his work during COVID-19 for supporting local businesses through the Front Porch Portrait Project as a professional photographer. Read more about Josh’s “heartwarming and inspiring” Front Poarch Project work taking countless free photos while raising money for local businesses in the Providence Business News.

He is also a contributor to the new “COVID-19 in South County” collection at the museum, which is documenting Southern Rhode Island’s unique story through these unprecedented times. We hope you will share your stories, photos, videos, writing, and art. Please sign up for our newsletter to hear more about this project or contact Assistant Director, Heather Pouliot Kisilywicz at

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

#Museumsathome help every age smile

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has started posts of funny snail jokes that have helped put a smile on everyone’s face, not just 12-year-olds. If you are not familiar with the TikToks app, you may want to call for some assistance. Museums are continuing to find innovative ways to engage all ages and have even started to use the TikTok app, know for its dance videos, in ways that combine learning and fun. The hundreds of school students that tour the South County Museum each year will attest that our guides love to engage and enjoy some laughs while slipping in some education along the way.

Stay tuned for new ways the South County Museum will be engaging learners of all ages while having some fun with History at Home.

New Assistant Director

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Pouliot Kisilywicz as our new Assistant Director. Heather started in the fall as an intern researching the genealogy of South County’s first fishing families for our new exhibit “Commercial Fishing of Point Judith: Then and Now.” She 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 how to evaluate DNA test results for genealogical research.

She brings with her a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Rhode Island and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences. Heather moved back home to Wakefield with her three sons, Jack, Thomas, and Ben, in 2017 after living in Princeton, New Jersey for the past 15 years. I hope you will join me in welcoming Heather to our team.