Thursday, May 19, 2016

Events ~ Historic Tales of Jamestown ~ Newport


Historic Tales of Jamestown
A May 19, 2016 author talk with Sue Maden & Rosemary Enright

Newport, RI – From tales of shipwrecks to summer days long past, discover the fascinating history of Jamestown, RI during the Newport Historical Society’s May 19, 2016 talk Historic Tales of Jamestown when authors Sue Maden and Rosemary Enright share stories of Jamestown’s 350 year history.

Learn how the town was home to Camps Bailey and Meade, two training facilities for Union troops during the Civil War. Hear about the steam ferries that crossed Narragansett Bay beginning in 1873 and how people traveled to the island to sample the town’s leisure and entertainment opportunities. Explore how Beavertail Lighthouse and “Clingstone” stand as iconic landmarks long after their construction, and how the opening of the Jamestown Bridge in 1940 changed the area’s development.

Historic Tales of Jamestown is the latest addition to The History Press’ American Chronicles series. The book, which will be available for purchase during the talk, includes photos and essays, many of which originally appeared in some form in The Jamestown Press.

Sue Maden has been researching and co-authoring articles and books about Jamestown for over 25 years including Greetings from Jamestown, Rhode Island: Picture Post Card Views 1900–1950 and Jamestown Affairs: A Miscellany of Historical Flashbacks. Together with Rosemary Enright, the pair has written Jamestown: A History of Narragansett Bay’s Island Town and Legendary Locals of Jamestown along with over 50 articles about the island’s history.

Historic Tales of Jamestown takes place at the Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI, at 5:30pm. Admission is free, donations welcome. Reservations are appreciated; please call 401-846-0813 x104 or email

About the Newport Historical Society
Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information please visit .


Rhody bloggers ~ Michelle Meek ~ Providence

Blogger’s name: Michele Meek
Blog name: The Rhode Less Traveled

1. Tell us about your blog.
The Rhode Less Traveled is a blog about great things from the small state of Rhode Island. We write about food, culture, and other activities for those living or visiting the state, and we offer some advice for those considering moving to the state.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your blog?
After having lived in New York and Boston and having spent extended time in Europe, our decision to move to Providence felt a bit like taking the “road less traveled.” And, well, it’s hard to resist a pun. So, The Rhode Less Traveled just fit. And I still believe that Rhode Island has been largely undiscovered—which may be part of what makes it great.

3. How did you get started?
I’ve always been a writer. In fact, the most consistent thing I could say about myself would be that I write. I started to write a book when I was eight-years-old, and I’ve been writing ever since in a variety of forms. In college, I was the editor of the school newspaper, and over the years, I’ve written everything from books, to magazine articles, to blog posts, to (most recently) a dissertation!

As for blogging specifically, I started when we traveled through Europe in 2005, and I received so much great feedback from friends and family that I decided to start doing it more publicly.

When we moved to Rhode Island, I launched the blog and simply started posting on things that I liked. Over the years it has grown to hundreds of posts on food, activities, and culture throughout the state.

4. Who is your target audience?
When I write, I typically feel as if I’m talking to fellow Rhode Islanders who share my love of the state and want to discover new things. But, in fact, the blog continues to reach many people who are considering moving to the state.

Although I’ve tried to solicit some guest blog posts over the years to mix it up, I have to say that largely the blog would be considered ‘family friendly’ in that many of the activities and restaurants would be suitable for families. I’m not really out clubbing these days, so I can’t really write posts on the local singles, bar and club scene! (If anyone out there wants to chime in though, I’m open to it!)

5. What do you love about what you do?
Writing is work, but it’s work that I love. It’s honestly a joy for me to see people learn about something new from the blog, or for someone to think more seriously about moving to Providence after reading my posts. I love where I live, and the blog is my way of sharing that. For that reason, I have made the conscious decision to write only about things I enjoy. If I go to a restaurant and hate it, you won’t find a post about it on my site.

6. What’s your most popular type of post?
By far, my most popular post has been “Three Years in Providence, and Counting (Or the Pros and Cons of Moving to Providence, RI)” ( ) which is often discovered by people considering a move here. I’m working on an update to that post since, at this point, I am coming upon my 7th year here. People often email me questions about moving here, which I’ve responded to via email privately. But I think it would be great to add in a longer perspective, especially after my spending a semester in Berlin (in 2014) and returning to Providence.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
Actually, I was born in Providence! But my mom and I moved to New York when I was a baby, and I didn’t move back here until the late-2000s. My husband and I spent a year living in Newport, which was lovely, but just not convenient enough of a commute to Boston. We lived in New York City and Boston, but ultimately we decided on Providence in 2009.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love the ocean, so I’m proud to live in the Ocean State, home to so many beautiful and accessible beaches. But I also love the vibe of Rhode Island. Boston may be only 45 minutes away on the train, but it feels much farther in spirit. People are more relaxed and friendly here, and the pace feels just a bit slower. It’s a mostly liberal state (which was important to me, at least), and you’ll find amazing culture and food, which I would not want to live without.

9. Any advice for people wanting to get started blogging?
It’s always the same old advice—like Edison said, it’s one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Just start doing it—and keep it going. Some people feel it’s important to blog every day, and if you can, that’s great. But for me, I just don’t have time to post that often, so I aim for quality over quantity!

For me, writing requires phases. As one of my professors once advised me, first you let in the madman, then the artist, and then the editor. To be creative and come up with ideas (even if it’s as simple as a pithy opening), you need to allow in crazy ideas. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, which is why you need the artist to come in and craft it, and the editor to cut or change as necessary.

10. Favorite place to take out of towners?
Well, for first-time visitors to Providence, I often like to take them to the RISD Museum, or to explore some of the boutique shops in Downcity or on Wickenden. If there’s a WaterFire, then we always go with visitors.

In the winter, we take people to the Pawtucket Winters Farmers’ Market, which always impresses visitors with the amount of produce all year round, as well as local honeys, fresh juices, jams, artisan breads, maple syrup, cheeses, fish, meats, mushrooms, etc.

In the summer, we usually head over to the Hope Street Farmers’ Market in Lippitt Park. And, of course, we might also take guests to one of the great beaches in RI.

I also always want to introduce visitors to our local food culture. I like to take friends to Nick's on Broadway or the Grange—or if we’re going without the kids, maybe New Rivers or Gracie’s.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Makers ~ Maria and Amanda Oliveira ~ Lincoln

Artist’s name: Maria and Amanda Oliveira
Shop name: Oliveira Crafts

1. Tell us about your work
We make a large variety of items from doilies and pillows to hand crochet accessories and blankets. The environment is very important to us and we use recycled items to help make our crafts.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I love crafting and creating things so my daughter suggested selling Items on Etsy and we became a team and created a family business. We named our shop Oliveira Crafts after our last name because it felt more personal.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I started crafting in my teens for fun and now I'm sixty. My daughter recommended we sell my creations and since last summer we have made it a profession.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I have grown up in a very crafty family. I would watch my aunt do embroidery and patch work as a child and I loved it. Now I get inspiration everywhere from finding items at thrift shops that need to be fixed up to using pinterest.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
My favorite items to create are crochet. My grandmother, aunt, and sister crochet a lot and inspired me to start in my teens. I love making items for the comfort and warmth of my customers and choosing different colors and stitches.

6. What’s your best seller?
My crochet items are best sellers. We have sold some baby blankets, hats, and scarves.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I moved to Bristol from the Azores when I was nine years old and was there for seven years. I also lived in Pawtucket for around thirty years then moved to Lincoln when I had kids.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is a beautiful and friendly state. We have so much history and beautiful landscapes. The people here are very kind and I see it as my home.

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Newport. It's beautiful by the water, the small boutiques are gorgeous and there is so much life. There is always something to do in Newport from shopping to going to the beach or seeing concerts.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Think outside of the box and create what you love and inspires you because at the end of the day you can be happy with what you accomplished. Make sure you have the time, patience and motivation to make your items or you will be miserable. To start a shop for crafting you have to truly love and enjoy what you're doing.