Some of Little Compton's most historic homes and historical properties will be open for public tours next Saturday, when the Little Compton Historical Society holds its historic property tour for the …
Some of Little Compton's most historic homes and historical properties will be open for public tours next Saturday, when the Little Compton Historical Society holds its historic property tour for the first time in seven years.
The tour runs from noon to 5 p.m., and visitors can explore the properties in any order they wish. While they're there, volunteer docents will help direct visitors through the homes and will answer questions. Each site will have a designated parking area, and car-pooling is encouraged.
On the tour this year are:
• The Brownell Farm. An iconic c.1815 Little Compton farmhouse that has remained in the Brownell Family more than 200 years.
• The Church House and the Spite Tower. A merchant family’s mansion in Adamsville is one of the few houses built in early Little Compton not intended to be a farmhouse or a summer home.
• The Mill. One of Little Compton’s first summer homes, it incorporates a three-story windmill and the fanciful bas-relief plaster sculptures of artist Sydney Burleigh.
• The Kempton House. One of Little Compton’s few Victorian-styled farmhouses, it offers a 360-degree view of Warren’s Point from its cupola and has remained in the Kempton-Clark family since its construction in 1871.
• Sea Bourne Mary. A beautifully preserved early 18th-century home brought to Little Compton from New Hampshire. The home is surrounded by the legend of Ocean Born Mary and her pirate.
• Wunnegin. An elegant c. 1918 summer home that incorporates a much earlier 1779 farmhouse, it has recently undergone an award-winning restoration and a revitalization to its Lloyd Lawton garden;
• The Wilbor House. The Historical Society’s c.1691 Historic House Museum and outbuildings, including a special exhibit on Little Compton’s Historic Houses, and permanent exhibits “Everyone Was a Farmer” and “Terra Nova, Vida Nova: The Portuguese in Little Compton;”
• The Quaker Meeting House. Also a Historical Society property, the Meeting House is typically open to the public only a few days per year or by appointment. This building was rebuilt in 1815 after a damaging storm with funds borrowed from Afro-Indigenous Quaker Merchant, Paul Cuffe. Eizabeth Cazden, a Quaker historian will be onsite during the tour to answer your questions.
• The Manton Farm. This archaeological site explores the cellar hole of one of Little Compton’s few 19th and 20th-century Afro-Indigenous families. Archaeologist Holly Herbster will be digging during the tour and visitors are welcome to ask questions or participate if they like.
About the tour
The society's historic house tours have been held for more than 50 years and are scheduled once every five years. But because of the pandemic, it has been seven years since the last was held. Society organizers began preparing for the tour more than a year in advance by researching each property and the people who lived and worked in them. The result is the second volume in its house history book series, “The Stories Houses Tell.”
Tickets benefit the society, and are $50. They can be purchased at the Wilbor House or at littlecompton.org. Tickets will be held for pickup at the Little Compton Community Center on the Commons on the day of the tour. Ticket pickup and day of event ticket sales will begin at 11 am. Day of event tickets are $60.
An optional Patrons Brunch will be held at Dancing Oaks, an additional historic property located in Pequahonk, a secluded part of Little Compton on the east edge of Quicksand Pond. The brunch runs from 10 a.m. to noon on the day of the tour, and tickets are $125. Brunch tickets include a regular tour ticket and a copy of “The Stories Houses Tell,”
For more information, call 401-635-4035.