The Richmond Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1968 by Lucy Rawlings Tootell. The purpose of this Society shall be to promote interest in historical research, by conducting and supporting studies of the history of Richmond and the surrounding areas, to be a repository for the collection and preservation of manuscripts, pamphlets, and relics of historical significance, and to aid and encourage the maintenance, support and preservation of historical sites, properties and landscapes.
The Society meets for its annual meeting the third Thursday in June at the Clark Memorial Library in Carolina, RI. It also sponsors several events of historical, educational, and/or social nature throughout the year. Outside speakers have presented such varied subjects as the town's role in the Civil War, the town's mill villages, stonewalls of South County, and apple growing in Rhode Island.
The Society's extensive archives are located at the Clark Memorial Library. The Society owns and maintains two buildings, the Bell School and the original Richmond Town Clerk's Office in the historic village of Carolina. It has, in conjunction with a member and the R.I. Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission placed a marker at the historic stone dam in Hope Valley. It will assist those who own historical houses in placing such markers.
The Society has published two books, “Driftways into the Past: A History of Richmond” published in 1977, reprinted in 1988 (out of print) and "Down Country Cookin'” a book of local recipes published in 1995. This book also contains a series of pen and ink drawings of Richmond houses and local lore. A third book published by the author, Vera Robinson, entitled, “Carolina: a Mill Village” is available in the archives. A popular video, aired by PBS, filmed and produced by Carla Ricci, entitled, “Carolina: Smallest of the Small” is available for sale.
Slate of Officers, June 2022
President- Kristen Chambers
Vice President- Richard Wolke
Secretary- Johanna Wolke
Treasurer- Merrill Moone
Members at Large- David Johnson, Denise Stetson
Cemetery Chair- Dory Wagner
Archives- Richard Wolke, Denise Stetson
History is not a burden on the memory,
but an illumination of the soul!