Thursday, March 17, 2011

17 March 2011, Hopkinton & Westerly, R.I.

         remember to click the images ;-)
   Top of the evenin', my fine people.  Today was a beautiful day.  Sunshine and what felt quite warm (keeping in mind that yesterday we had in the low 40s and lots of rain).  We met with Pastor Stall this morning at 10 a.m. (actually, the girl that I am, I made us be fashionably late by about ten minutes).  We met at his office where he allowed me to continue scanning pages out of the original SDB Membership-book (i scanned more than one-hundred pages), while Pastor Stall copied documents for me we found the other day.  I have yet to determine what those documents are about, but I am sure, getting more familiar with the belief-system of the SDB's, I should understand those documents better.  Pastor Stall has a closet full of old books, collecting dust and are just laying in there, not very loved by anyone.  Breaks my heart !!!

After the scans and copies were done, Pastor Stall allowed me to interview him and we talked about the history of the SDB church, the people which would attend and discussed for a moment whether or not the Narraganset Indians would either convert and join the church or took parts of the belief system to include in their own traditions, to which Pastor Stall said that he does not believe that to be the case, as the people of the SDB Church were "very English, very Protestant, very White."  As Pastor Stall could not recall the dates of some events, he said that he would get me a copy of a book he has, which will answer all those questions I have.  He has already given me a book "A Choosing People: The History of the Seventh Day Baptists" by Don A. Sanford, which gives an insight once more of the Journey of Roger Williams and William Penn.   After we finished up, we left the church to go to The First Hopkinton Cemetery in the hopes to find Daniel Lewis, son of John Lewis of Westerly.

No Luck in regards to finding any known Lewis.  There was only one headstone of a Lewis, and I am not sure whether he is even of the same Lewis Family.  Pastor Stall called a man named Charlie who is in the possession of an old cemetery which could have the Lewis' members interred there.  Before we went to his house, Pastor Stall joined us for lunch and took us to a local Pizza place.  The drive to Charlies house was quite interesting.  I love how they have their houses and land here.  Charlie and his wife were so nice (as is everyone we encounter in this town).  Charlie invited us into his house and unrolled the old paper map of the cemetery.  All names I recognized, Babcock, Burdick, Saunders, and so on, just not a Lewis.  Charlie and his wife suggested to go up to the Town Hall.

We arrived at the Town Hall, a tiny, old,  white house, right across from a meeting house which was built by the SDB of Hopkinton for the people in order to shorten their travels to church.  Inside, we meet the town clerk who was very nice, providing us with some background on the burial ground where Daniel Lewis and Mary Maxson (his wife) can be found, but one should not travel there, as it is deep in the "woods".  She took out a book she and another lady wrote, showing us a page which contained an image of Daniel and his wife's headstone, including exact description of the location.  The town clerk allowed me to scan the page and then went on to make copies of a list of Lewis Family Members buried in the Second Hopkinton Cemetery.  Before we went to the second cemetery, we stopped at a very small one, which was suggested by Charlie, but it turned out to hold the Thursten Family.  At the Second Hopkinton Cemetery we found a few Lewis's before Pastor Stall had to leave to tend his "pastoral" obligations.  Lewis' mom and I decided to drive back into Westerly, visiting the River Bend Cemetery and the Lewis Cemetery (or burial ground) of which I spoke in my post of John Lewis of Westerly and then see the house which is believed to be of John Lewis.

River Bend Cemetery is HUGE.  Right by the water and just HUGE.  Lots of Babcock's, Saunders', Wilcox's, Langworthy's, etc.  I have to call John again, the nice man I spoke to before of this cemetery.  He told me to send him a list of Lewis's and he would find them all for me and then give a tour.  I just did not have the time at all to get this done before my departure from Atlanta.  I thought: "how hard can that be to find a headstone with a name on it???  I will be just fine."  Well, very hard!!!!!  and no, I was not fine.  So, a phone call to John it is and hopefully he will forgive my rudeness and show us around.  After finding our way back out of that HUGE cemetery, I drove us to the Lewis Burial ground next to the Moore company.  Thanks to Peter Lewis, who has been there before, he suggested where to park the car and how to get to the area.  My Lewis put that spot to park into the GPS and then hoped for the best, as I manage to get lost even with a GPS.  My history Professor made a statement which made me giggle, 'cause he might as well said my name with it.  He said: "some of you can't find their way out of a paper bag" referring to the results of a geography quiz.  I did well on the quiz, but in real life, well.. it's just another story I shouldn't get into.  The Lewis Cemetery (i didn't take my camera while illegally entering Mr. Moore's property).   What a sad vision.  Nothing there reminds even remotely of a burial ground... nothing reminds at all that a great person and his family were laid to rest right there.  Pretty sure that was not what he had in mind when devoting a little corner of his land to be the final resting place for him and his family.

 We then continued to what we thought to be the Lewis house (also put into the GPS by my lovely Lewis [i am telling you, i'd be sooooo lost if Lewis would not take such good care of my location-deficiency ... paper bag]).  I cannot be sure, but we somehow believe that this picture is it.  It is right by the water.  Beautiful !!!!   From here, we had a crazy thought of going to Watch Hill.  People kept telling us that we need to go there.   Now the dangerous adventure begins, as Lewis did not put that into the GPS.  But I did well.... I only had to turn around once to correct my direction.  Yeah, I was proud of myself.  We made it there and made it all the way to the very tip.  It was well worth the trip.   After that, we drove back towards our hotel.

Watch Hill

Watch Hill
Finally, we made it to the beach right at our hotel.  It was quite the view.  I could stay forever !!!   In all the excitement, we forgot to go to the Wilcox Park.  We shall do so before we have to leave this Saturday.  It was a great day, in part due to Pastor Stall.

Westerly (at our hotel)

Watch Hill is where the money is... just in case you, like me, thought that everything is just old and tiny over here!!


In addition:  Thanks to Peter Lewis (once again) who provided a picture of the actual Lewis-Card-Perry-House, I shall share it with you all right here...



  1. I love this journey you have invited us along, it is exciting and full of surprises. All my best to you, Lewis and family. Miss you guys and wait with baited breath for the next installment. {hugs}

  2. :) Glad you are enjoying yourself!! Thanks for sharing the adventure!!

  3. So glad you're enjoying your adventure. Good job in finding your way...especially to Watch Hill without the GPS. Miss You, but knowing you're doing something you love makes the time apart bearable.

  4. Interesting day! But you missed the John Lewis house on Margin Street. The big one must have been a bankers house. John was a farmer :–) I'll send you a jpeg and maybe you'll see it on Saturday.


  5. Hello Hopkinton people...

    Many of my ancestors were born in your town. I live in Vancouver, Canada.
    I am looking for the grave of one of my greats - who may have died of Typhus Fever during the epidemic of 1813 there.

    Her name was Abigail Clark and her husband was Captain George L.Stimpson - they married in Hopkinton (she was born there) and then, they moved to Windham, Greene County, N.y. and founded that area, building the first cabin on the road into town, where a highway marker now stands apparently.

    George died in Windham in 1796, and in the Vital Records of Hopkinton it shows that Abigail Clark Stimpson died in Hopkinton, on Nov.24th 1813, due to Typhus.

    She must have moved back to her hometown, after the death of her beloved husband, my multi-Great Grandfather.

    Does anyone know where they buried Typhus Victims during that epidemic in Hopkinton in 1813?
    I am trying to find her burial place - any help with this, will be most gratefully appreciated.

    Layna Jan Wilson,
    Vancouver, Canada.

    1. Layna,

      I have complete copies of church entries for people who lived and died in Hopkinton... When I get back to Atlanta (i am in singapore now), I will go through my records and should I find something, I will contact you ;-) Liane :-)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.


What say you?