Barrington preservationists honor Bonnie Warren


Barrington Preservation Society’s (BPS) Annual Meeting was held at the Tyler Point Grille on Jan. 13, and the highlight of the meeting was the announcement of a new award.

The award was established for recognizing the individual or business for outstanding work in preserving the historic character of a property, landscape or for exceptional effort in advocating for preservation, historic or community pride in the town of Barrington.

The name of the award (and is also the first recipient) is “The Elizabeth Sargent Warren Historic Preservation Award.”

Elizabeth “Bonnie” Warren, a longtime member of BPS, boasts an impressive resume including helping to initiate the Historic Preservation Program at Roger Williams University, a founder of “The Friends of Linden Place,” “Friends of Haines Park,” and has worked for many years for the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission.

The award is an original architectural model of the historic Providence Arcade set on a mahogany base with a brass plaque. Burr Sebring, a noted silver craftsman and member, donated his time and funds to make the wood base. Future recipients names will be added to the base and it will be proudly displayed in the Barrington Preservation Society’s Museum.

Also at the meeting, a review of the year documenting BPS’s accomplishments was presented and there was an announcement of the new slate of board members. Julia Califano succeeds Kent Phillips as president and new trustees include Pat Buff, Niamh Maddock, and Margaret Whitehead.

Last year was a busy and successful one for BPS. Highlights included the “Destination Drownville” House Tour and erecting the “Preserve America“ sign for the Town of Barrington. The museum ran several exhibits, digitized its collections for online access, and began a partnership with Roger Williams University’s Historic Preservation students. Robert A. Geake was the guest speaker and gave a talk on the “Historic Taverns of Rhode Island” based on his newly released book by the same name. Mr. Geake mentioned several taverns which were from Barrington in the 19th century.

To learn more about Barrington Preservation Society’s programs and museum please visit their website


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.