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Annual Conference: Interpreting Historic Places (2003)

westerly library
window detail,
East Greenwich Public Library

18th Annual Rhode Island Statewide
Historic Preservation Conference

Saturday, April 12, 2003



Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 18th Annual Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference.

To remain vital, Rhode Island’s historic places are rethinking how they present themselves to the public. New themes—from the global economy to the Underground Railroad—invigorate the stories told at historic sites and museums. A fresh focus on the history of neighborhoods and working landscapes bolsters the effort to preserve their unique features. Keynote speaker Dr. Patricia West, Curator of the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, New York, investigated the stories behind the bricks and mortar.

Conference-goers heard from experts and leaders in the field, toured historic sites, networked with counterparts from around the state, and celebrated the 2003 Statewide Historic Preservation Awards. Tours explored East Greenwich’s Hill and Harbor District, Casey Farm and Boesch Farm, two Cowesett estates, the New England Wireless and Steam Museum, and industrial sites along the Pawtuxet River. Demonstrations and panels focused on new frontiers for museum interpretation, farmland preservation, working waterfronts, stone wall building, shellfishing traditions, military archaeology, and Rhode Island’s new preservation grant program.