South County museums and galleries offer a rich cultural history of RI
Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum
815 Gilbert Stuart Road
Saunderstown, RI, 02874
A showplace for reproductions of the works of Gilbert Stuart, one of America’s foremost portrait painters, this home also is an authentically restored and furnished workingman’s home and the site of the first snuff mill in America. The lovely wooded homestead on the banks of the Mattatuxet Brook also features a partially restored grist mill and a fascinating fish ladder. The grist mill houses the original fine-grained granite stones used to grind corn for the famous Rhode Island johnny cakes.
Hours: May- September; limited hours in October; call ahead for days and times.
Admission: Adults, $10; children age 6-12, $6
Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum
390 Summit Road
Exeter, RI, 02822
Artifacts and information about local tribes and Native American groups across the country are presented at Rhode Island’s Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum. Artifacts include an authentic birch bark canoe, a collection of Southern New England ash splint baskets, and a large doll collection.
Hours: Open year-round by appointment only.
South County Museum
115 Anne Hoxsie Lane
South County Museum is located on a 174-acre park that once was the 68-room summer home of Civil War-era Governor William Sprague. It includes a working 19th-century farm, and its seven exhibition buildings house a working print shop and working blacksmith shop, plus exhibits on farming, home-making, fishing and sailing and other aspects of 19th- and early 20th-century life in southern Rhode Island.
Hours: May, June and September, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 4 p.m; July and August, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; seniors over age 60, $4; children age 6 to 12, $2.