I remember many years ago going to the Danbury Fair with my mother when I was about six years old and riding the large merry-go-round there. You could hear the calliope music all the way across the fair. As you got closer to the carousel, the colors and lights on the brightly painted horses blended with the cheerful cries of delighted children. Tugging on my mother’s … [Read more...] about The Watch Hill Flying Horse Carousel
The beaches in Westerly are full on this beautiful fourth of July. Independence Day is always one of the busiest holidays of the year here. So what exactly happened on the fourth of July? The date commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 242 years ago, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves … [Read more...] about What Day is Independence Day?
The navigation markers appear like apparitions in the thick fog. They’re the only indication of where we’re going and where the channel is beside the line marking our position on the chart plotter. The brightly colored screen of the plotter seems magical to me. If Odysseus had had this navigation technology he could have easily avoided the Sirens, the six-headed monster, … [Read more...] about 100th Anniversary of the Wreck of the Onondaga
My friend Gordon and I are standing on the banks of the Pawcatuck River across from the village of Potter Hill. The dam which once powered the Potter Hill Mill is filling the air with the sound of crashing waters. The mill is silent; it’s once powerful machines and large buildings lie in ruin. A lone fisherman casts his line into the mill pond. Potter Hill is one of the … [Read more...] about The Mystery of the Wrong Way River – Part One
They are one of the most successful life forms on our planet and they have been around for millions of years. They have evolved into perhaps as many as 400,000 different species and are known by scientists as angiosperms. What are they? If you guessed flowers, you'd be right. There is a place right in Westerly where nature puts on its own flower show; it’s the Avondale … [Read more...] about Avondale’s Grasslands
Larry Webster was standing out behind his barn in Charlestown, Rhode Island next to the remains of a large corroded Korean War vintage aircraft. The aircraft was a Banshee , an early twin engine jet fighter. The aircraft’s fuselage, engine, wings and other large parts were stacked up in piles behind us. Larry pointed to the faded lettering of a name on the side of what once had … [Read more...] about Rhode Island’s Aircraft Wreck Hunter
If you walk out to the end of Napatree Point and take one of the trails that head into the interior you might come across some ruins almost hidden in the dense bush. If you’re wondering what these ruins are, here is their story. Long before the first European settlers arrived in Westerly the Narragansett Indians recognized the strategic importance of Watch Hill as a lookout … [Read more...] about A Fatal Flaw: A History of Fort Mansfield on Napatree Point
So you think you know where Watch Hill is? Not so fast. I’m not talking about the village of Watch Hill but the actual hill. Most people assume that the hill called Watch Hill is located where the large white house known as the Holiday House sits overlooking the ocean and the Watch Hill Lighthouse. Today it is owned by singer/songwriter Taylor Swift. I thought so too until I … [Read more...] about Where is Watch Hill?
Rhode Island has always been a haven for nonconformists and individuals whose politics were anti-establishment. In 1636 Roger Williams and a group of his followers established Rhode Island after Williams had been banned from Massachusetts because he believed in religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Williams believed that men should be allowed to worship as … [Read more...] about Williams Root – A Brief History of Roger Williams
With all the recent controversy about global warming and the Paris Agreement, it would seem an appropriate time to discuss the topic of climate change. What does global warming have to do with Westerly you may ask, quite a bit in fact and the Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park off Shore Road in Westerly is a great place to see exactly how. The park is a 135-acre preserve with … [Read more...] about A Walk Back in Time; Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park