Thursday, September 6, 2012

Narragansett, Rhode Island

Our home is now parked outside of Providence, Rhode Island.  We have a niece, Karen and her husband Paul, who recently have moved here from New Hampshire.  It has been great visiting them and their two boys once again.  We have had a couple of days of heavy rain, I understand it is a gift from Hurricane Isaac.  By late afternoon yesterday the sun finally came out again and we ventured forth to the town of Narragansett.  The town forms the southernmost tip of Rhode Island's famous Narragansett Bay.  John and I were faithfully following our navigation's systems instructions to find the statute of Canonchet, and after we found it, our eyes were instantly caught by the sight of two very large stone towers.  We later discovered, from interpretive signs in the area, that they are the " most universally cherished landmarks in the state of Rhode Island".  The stone structures were originally part of a much larger building, the Narragansett Casino constructed in 1886.  Before the Narragansett Pier burned in 1900, the town was one of the foremost seaside resorts of the nineteenth century.  A fire in one of the town's hotels swept through the town and destroyed the pier and the casino.   Only left standing were the stone towers.  The casino was rebuilt in 1905,  another fire destroyed it in 1956.  Still the Towers endured.  There were also the enormous hurricanes of 1938, 1954,and 1991 (each of which decimated surrounding structures) and the Towers still remained standing.  Today there is a Great Hall above the towers which has been used as the site of memorable galas for more than a century.  From the Towers we had a wonderful view of the bay.
I find it a bit hard to believe that about nine months back we were on the shores of the west coast looking at the Pacific Ocean, and now we are on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.  Many people were in the water, surfing seems to be a popular sport here as well as in California.
I mentioned a Native American statue that we came to this area to see, that of Chief Canonchet.  He was the war leader of the Narragansett when the United Colonies attacked their winter fort in 1675.  He was caught and executed by our government in 1676, after he had led the Great Spring Offensive against the colonies.  Strangely enough, the commemorative marker under his statue notes that he was a "friend, benefactor, protector, warrior, hero and martyr". The quote was made by Thomas Bicknell in 1920.
 Seems to me that there is more to the story of Chief Canonchet!  The rest of our time in Narragansett was spent walking around the town where there are numerous large seaside resorts/homes, and colorful gardens.

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