Rhode Island January 10, 2018
History Left A Definite Mark At This One Fascinating Spot In Rhode Island
It’s one of the oldest buildings in Rhode Island. It is on the list of National Historic landmarks in Rhode Island, and on the National Restiger of Historic Places. It’s also a place where history has left a mark several times over. Smith’s Castle in North Kingstown has a fascinating and sometimes gruesome past that dates back to the 1600s.
Smith's Castle, North Kingstown
Smith's Castle's history goes back to the very beginnings of Rhode Island and the founder of our state, Roger Williams.
Roger Williams first Trading Post was located here.
The land was originally known as Cocumscussoc. Roger Williams acquired the land from the Narragansett tribe because of his friendly relations with them, and built his trading post on the site in 1637.
The trading post prospered until he sold the property and surrounding grounds to Richard Smith in 1651.
The original house was destroyed in King Phillip's War in 1675
The first house was burned to the ground by the Narragansett tribe during King Phillip's war in retaliation for The Great Swamp Massacre. This epic battle was fought between the colonial militia and the Narragansett tribe in 1675 and was a major turning point in the war. The Narragansett and Wampanoag people still commemorate the brutal battle in a yearly ceremony.
It is the site of the only incident in the U.S. of someone being hanged, drawn, and quartered.
In 1676, English colonist Joshua Tefft met a gruesome fate after being found guilty of treason for siding with the Narragansetts. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered, the only time this happened on American soil.
40 men are buried here.
40 soldiers from Rhode Island as well as Massachusetts Bay colony, Connecticut, and Plymouth were killed in the Great Swamp Massacre during King Phillip's War and are buried at Smith's Castle.
The rebuilt house was known as a "castle."
Richard Smith, Jr. constructed a large, fortified house in 1678. It became known as "Smith's Castle" and is the house that still stands today.
A postcard of Smith's Castle from 1905.
In the early 20th century the Updike, Congdon, and Fox families took over the house and grounds.
It was a large dairy farm well into the twentieth century.
The original herd of cows on the site in 1648 were Roger Williams'. In 1920, the Fox family began selling Cocumscussoc brand milk in glass bottles.
Smith's Castle is now a popular wedding spot.
The Cocumscussoc Association took possession of the house and property in 1948. They now maintain and interpret the history of the place for the people of Rhode Island. With its beautiful grounds and picturesque location on Mills Pond, the site is now a popular spot for weddings, clambakes, and other events.
They also host midnight paranormal visits.
Paranormal investigators RISEUP give paranormal tours at different times over the year. Not surprising given some of the events that have taken place here!
Visit Rhode Island’s hidden historic treasure, Smith’s Castle at 55 Richard Smith Drive in North Kingstown for an incredible taste of real Rhode Island history. Call 401 294-3521 to plan a visit to a spot where New England’s past has truly left its mark.