Candy Corn: A Handful of History

Did you know that Chicken Feed was the original name for candy corn. In 1898, the Goelitz Confectionary Company wanted to market the kennel shaped treat that would appeal to rural America. Their clever marketing included a prominent rooster on the candy box to target citizens living farms, about half of America. The unique shape was originally created by hand, but now Jelly Belly has automated the process in true Willy Wonka form. Check out this video to learn more.

The Rhode Island Red was the most popular chicken in the coop. William Tripp (1824 – 1891) developed the bred on his farm in Little Compton around 1854. In 1898, Richard V. Browning, of Natick, Connecticut, exhibited the bred for the first time at the Rhode Island Poultry Association show. His exhibit created quite a stir.

The Richard V. Browning Collection, on loan from Don Nelson, include the original handwritten and typed correspondences from around the nation Mr. Browning received after the show. Chas. O. Flag, Director and Agriculturist, at the land grant school Rhode Island College (now University of Rhode Island) inquired:

“What can you tell me about this bread? How long have you had your stock and what is source? I saw that Mr. Wilbur’s display of eggs were spoken of as laid by the famous “R.I. Red “. Does this breed of foul always lay with a large dark egg as those exhibited by Mr. Wilbur? Are the birds hardy and easily raised, and are the hens good layers?”

Richard V. Browning Collection. Letter from Chas. O. Flagg 24 December 1898 inquiring about the “R.I. Red”.

The Rhode Island Red became a commercial success. It admired for being a productive egg layer of large attractive brown eggs, as well for meat. The bird’s mild demeanor makes it attractive to raised over more aggressive birds.

So next time you grab a handful of candy corn out of the bowl, you can be proud of one of little Rhody’s famous bird. So enjoy a handful of history and Happy Halloween!


And the winner is……

Maria Saracen, West Warwick

This handmade quilt took over a year for quilter Mary Loftes to make. She generously donated it so a lucky winner could enjoy it for a life time. Maria, her husband and son now the best museum gift shop souvenir anyone could get for $1.00.

They stopped by to “take a look around” then decided to purchase a couple of raffle tickets. It was their first visit to the museum. This summer, every visitor was welcomed with free admission. It’s as our gift to a community who always supports us.

Thanks to your generous support, the museum remains a place where anyone can take a break from the modern world in order to step back in time. Thank you for your continued support!

And congratulations Saracens!!!


TURN on a binge worthy American Revolution Spies lecture tonight

Adored “TURN: Washington’s Spies” or want to know what the fuss is all? Join us tonight at 7:00 PM for the equally entertaining and educational presentation on Rhode Island’s spies in the American Revolution.

Can’t make it tonight? SCM members can enjoy watching the recorded lecture anytime on the South County Museum’s website. Members also receive 10% off everything in the museum’s store, including Christian’s book!

Become a member at www.southcountymuseum.org today. #southcountymuseum #rhodeislandhistory #americanrevolution #newenglandhistory #spies


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…..