National Historic Landmark North Kingstown
Golf Course Monday September 17, 2012 Sponsored by The Cocumscussoc Association
at Smith's Castle
|About Smith’s Castle|
Smith’s Castle is an important, multi-component historic site located on the western shore of Narragansett Bay near the village of Wickford, Rhode Island. European occupation dates from 1638 when Richard Smith built a trading post on the site. Smith’s trading house played a major role in European-Native American trade and politics, and functioned as a center of trade for English and Dutch commerce in southern Rhode Island. In 1675, the site was used as the command headquarters for the Narragansett campaign during King Philip’s War. By the eighteenth century, Smith’s Castle was transformed into a major slave-holding plantation owned by members of an aristocratic Narragansett planter family. It is one of only a few remaining Narragansett plantation houses. The various occupations of Smith’s Castle make it an important site at the state, regional, and national level. Smith’s Castle was listed on the National Register in 1972 for the quality, character, and rarity of the house. In 1998, the National Trust for Historic Preservation bestowed the National Preservation Award on Smith’s Castle to honor the quality interior renovation and restoration then recently completed. In 1995, the site was designated a National Historic Archaeological Landmark after exploratory excavations conducted on the property found extensive underground features dating to the seventeenth-and eighteenth-century periods of occupation. A wealth of information on European-Native American relations, frontier life, seventeenth-century military garrisons, and the lives of the masters and slaves who lived on Rhode Island’s eighteenth-century plantations is believed to lie beneath the soil of the Smith’s Castle property. About the Cocumscussoc Association
A group of concerned citizens formed the Cocumscussoc Association in 1949 to save Smith’s Castle from a developer’s wrecking ball. The Association’s mission is to preserve the 23 acre site’s archaeology and architecture, including the ca.1678 house and a ca.1900 house. The Association informs the public about the history of the site and its inhabitants through docent-led public tours, school programs, and adult-education seminars. The Cocumscussoc Association is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt IRS 501(c)(3) organization.