Meet the Author: Barrington

Meet the authors for a book talk of the new Images of America Series titled, Barrington by Barrington Preservation Society. The book was published by The History Press in May of 2017.

The story of Barrington, Rhode Island, began in the 1640s with a small outpost on the shores of Narragansett Bay. Despite its total destruction during King Philip’s War in 1675–1676, by 1717, it was incorporated as a town named Barrington after the brother of the governor of Massachusetts.

During the 18th century, Barrington grew into a strong agricultural community. In the 1850s, the brickyard became a full-scale industry, and the new railroad accelerated population growth by attracting people seeking a summer resort and others to work in the brickyard, especially Irish and French Canadian immigrants.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Rhode Island Lace Works brought a new wave of Italian families, yet the town remained primarily an agricultural community, combined with oyster culture. Elegant residences sprang up along the shores of the Barrington River and Narragansett Bay, while Maple Avenue became the center of a large Italian community.

After World War II, the population exploded and Barrington became the premier bedroom community of Rhode Island due to an outstanding school system, a remarkable housing stock, and excellent recreational and boating opportunities.

Four longtime Barrington residents worked together to choose photographs and write copy for the book Barrington. They used their extensive knowledge to identify neighborhood buildings, landscapes, people, and events.

Richard E. Donnelly retired from a 35-year career in advertising that included clients such as local icons Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing, the Pawtucket Red Sox, and Del’s Lemonade. He is presently an antiques dealer specializing in folk art, with special interest in 19th century scrimshaw, and whaling journals and logbooks. He is a member of the Scrimshaw Forensics Group at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, board member of the Barrington Preservation Society, and a member of Barrington 300.

 Jean Douglas is a graduate of Bates College and recently retired as an English teacher. She is also a graduate of Roger Williams University with a B.S. in Historic Preservation. Jean is a former president of the Barrington Preservation Society and currently serves as a board member.

Van Edwards has a PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches at Bridgewater State and Bryant University.  Van is a former President of the Barrington Preservation Society and Chairman of Barrington 300 Committee.

Bonnie Warren is a graduate of Radcliffe College with a B.A. in Architectural Sciences. She retired from the RI State Preservation Office in 2000. She is a board member of the Barrington Preservation Society, and has been instrumental in the formation of Friends of Haines Park, Friends of Nockum Hill and Barrington 300.

Free and open to all. Register below to reserve your space.
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