South County Museum opened the 2019 museum season this month with three new exhibits and expanded blacksmith programs. New exhibits include “Baskets in New England,” “South County Trade Signs,” and “The Apothecary 1850-1950.”
“Baskets in New England,” curated and installed by volunteers Charles McCarthy and Susan Valenstein, showcases over sixty baskets of various sizes and styles dating from the 18 th to the early 20th century. Included in the exhibit are several baskets attributed to Rouse Matteson of Saunderstown, RI.
The second new exhibit for 2019 is “South County Trade Signs.” It features commercial business signage from late 19th and early 20th century which adorned South County businesses and social organizations.
“The Apothecary 1850-1950” features a wide assortment of artifacts associated with medicine and healing as practiced by pharmacists and doctors in South County before the advent of large chain stores. This exhibit was developed and installed by volunteer Martha Simoneau.
The blacksmithing program has been expanded to include introductory and intermediate workshops for adults on weekends and evenings and additional “Blacksmith Camp for Kids” for young people under age 14.
South County Museum honors Rhode Island’s rural, village and maritime history. The museum, at 115 Strathmore St., Narragansett, R.I., is located on eight acres with seven exhibit buildings, including a print shop, blacksmith forge, carpentry shop and schoolhouse. A living history farm and flower gardens are also available to explore on what was once the19th-century estate of Rhode Island’s Civil War-era governor William Sprague. Walking trails through woods, meadows and salt marshes are accessible from the museum as well.
For more information and a calendar of events, call 401.783.5400 or visit www.southcountymuseum.org.
Exhibits are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during June. The hours are the same during July and August, but the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.