THe cocumscussoc Association 

The Cocumscussoc Association is the corporate entity that owns, maintains, and interprets the history of Smith's Castle and Cocumscussoc on behalf of the people of Rhode Island.

The Association was incorporated on August 9, 1948 with Norman B. Smith, Arthur B. Lisle, Joseph W. Greene, Jr., William Green Roelker, John H. Cady, Mary S. Whitford, and Adelaide B. Viall elected Trustees. Elected as the first officers of the corporation were:

       President: Norman B. Smith
       Vice-President: Arthur B. Lisle
       Treasurer: Joseph Warren Greene, Jr.
       Secretary: Mary S. Whitford

       Within a month of its creation, the Association was able to secure an option to purchase Smith's Castle from John Lawson, then-owner of the house and the remaining land surrounding it.
       After several months of securing new members and raising funds, the Association closed on the Castle and two acres of land. The purchase price was $13,000.


The house as it appeared when the Association took possession in 1948.

The house as it appeared when the Association took possession in 1948.

The Association bylaws adopted in 1948 still guide the group's mission today:
      "[The Cocumcussoc Association] is constituted exclusively for the following charitable and educational purposes:
       "To acquire by purchase or otherwise the property in the town of North Kingstown commonly known as Richard Smith Blockhouse; to restore, maintain and preserve it as a historical monument; to open it to public inspection and use at suitable times and otherwise to establish and maintain it for the public education, benefit and use, and as an example of early Rhode Island architecture; to accept gifts and contributions for its purchase, restoration and maintenance; and to charge such fees for its inspection and use as may be necessary from time to time to accomplish the above purposes and to be devoted solely to such purposes."

In 1999 the Association supplemented the mission with the following vision statement:

       "Smith's Castle will focus on teaching people the history of Rhode Island's development through three eras: Native American days, early colonial days, and the plantation era. Our teaching will be supported by physical evidence of Rhode Island history that is connected to Smith's Castle."