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Portsmouth Historical Society offers virtual tours

Outdoor placards with QR codes provide information about exhibits


PORTSMOUTH — Its buildings may be closed due to the pandemic, but the Portsmouth Historical Society is still giving visitors the opportunity to experience a little bit of local history.

The Society is inviting people to the museum grounds at 870 East Main Road (corner of Union Street) to experience a virtual visit. 

Posted around the museum grounds are placards that provide information about the buildings and exhibits. The signs feature QR codes that can be scanned by smart phones and tablets to gain additional information as well as audio clips.  

“Since we are unable to open our buildings and exhibits this season due to COVID-related restrictions, we created an experience that we hope will attract visitors to our grounds to enjoy our new virtual tour provided by the placards,” said Anne Northup Burns, president of the Society.

The grounds will be “open” seven days a week. Visitors are asked to practice social distancing.

The Portsmouth Historical Society, formed in 1939, is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers and supported by the community. The organization is dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of Portsmouth, R.I. history. For more information visit, or e-mail

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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.