Tuesday, March 15, 2011

15 March 2011, Coventry and Hopkinton, Rhode Island

Today was a bit of an emotional day.  We went to the Town Hall of Foster, Rhode Island to look for Caleb Lewis'  twin sons Henry and Rhodes, born in 1841 in Foster.  Nothing could be found.  No sign of Caleb Lewis or his sons even having been in Foster at all.  Looked through birth records, probate records, deeds, and even tax records... nothing !!!  With that disappointment, we decided to go and find the cemetery we tried to find yesterday;  the Lewis Cemetery on Lewis Farm Road in Coventry.

The GPS didn't help much as it could not find a Lewis Farm Road at all.  I called my very dependable Lew-Lew and he guided us to where we needed to be.  I almost tossed out the ole Garmin, as it then displayed  "driving on Lewis Farm Road".  We drove along the entire street.. one of those dark roads again, with tons of creepy trees, and those stone walls and very old houses.   We reach the end of the road and have not seen a cemetery.  I turned around and figured we should drive that road one more time, just in case, when this very nice lady stopped beside us, rolled down her window and asked if we were lost.

She told us that there is indeed a Lewis cemetery, right on the Lewis Land, which no longer belongs to the Lewis' Family though.  She told us that the new owner has to allow us access to the cemetery, as one has to walk across his property to reach the cemetery.  We thanked her and drove back down towards the property she described.   A very large piece of land with a dark brown wooden house, can't miss it.  The cemetery is fenced in.  When they say fenced in, it does not necessarily mean that there is a wooden or metal fence, but rather that knee-high stone wall.  We arrived at the property, which is a corner property.  So very large, with a body of water, like a small lake, very hilly, surrounded by trees.  And right next to the house, a small stone wall encasing; indeed a cemetery. 

Somehow the sun went away, leaving us on this gray, very gloomy, spooky, overgrown little old cemetery.  Within that stone fenced cemetery was small area fenced in with metal rods.  A sign, "Historical Cemetery, Coventry" and two empty Headstsone-holders, for the lack of a better word.  There were no head stones, but those two stone place holders.  Somebody placed two little American Flags right there, indicating perhaps the involvement in the civil war if not even in the American Revolutionary War.   The rest of the stone encased area just looked devastated and so very sad.  Headstones were either without writing (perhaps due to erosion), broken, fallen over, or sunken halfway into the ground.  Some of those that were supposed to be there, were not to be found.  Perhaps those were totally consumed by the ground. 

ADDITION:  above: This enclosed area within the Lewis Cemetery is the resting place of Benoni E. Lewis and his wife Sarah (Hawkins).

However, some stones were in better condition and one could actually read what was recorded on them.  One of those was that of John R. Lewis.  Another one was that of Amy Sheldon Lewis, wife of John Lewis (b. 1747).   I took pictures of every headstone for those readers who are interested in receiving those pictures.  After we climbed back over the stone fence, we walked back to the car and made our way back to the hotel room.  Pastor Stall, from the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Hopkinton, R.I. called and suggested to get together this evening so that I may look through "the vault". 

An edition of the church was built where Daniel Lewis'  dwelling house stood.  Daniel Lewis is a son of John Lewis (the John Lewis who settled in Westerly, after participating in the negotiation with the Narragansett Indians for the purchase of the land (Misquamicut Purchase (now known as Westerly)), brother to our Samuel Lewis.  Daniel Lewis was married to Mary Maxson, daughter of Mr. Maxson, who came to Hopkinton from Newport in what is called the Newport Migration (or Newport Movement) in 1661, after the purchase of Westerly was completed.  He and Mr. Clarke founded the SDB Church in Hopkinton and today, I was looking at the original Membership-Book.  I did not take a picture, but will do so tomorrow.  It shows as members the Lewis Family (mainly the sons of John Lewis and their wives).  Pastor Stall was kind enough to allow me to scan those book pages.  At 9 p.m. we left the church and will return on Thursday. 
                                            The day was not a total loss after all. 


  1. Gets more interesting every day !!!


  2. ha.. more interesting or more frustrating.. ggrrr..

  3. I love your determination on this walk. Great reading and what an experience, I feel like I am right there with you. {hugs}

  4. Thanks Curt... it is quite interesting up here. Hardly any people around..


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