Quonochontaug Historical Society
Who We Are
Back in the mid 1990’s, five of us from Quonochontaug gathered to talk about the importance of documenting our history so that we could pass it on to future generations.
We started by taping oral histories of many of our elders. Enthusiasm to learn about our history gradually spread through the community during the next five years. People began searching for their old family photos, letters, postcards, maps, and articles to share with our informal committee. With the help of a local photography company, the photos were scanned and then copied for our growing collection.
In 1999-2000 the question for our committee became: “How do we share these photos and information with the larger community?” Certainly our growing collection was not benefiting the community by sitting in storage!
The idea of a book materialized, and so Quonnie, People, Places, and Pathways was written and published in 2000. This book contained a selection of the old photographs along with a brief explanation and formatted as a self-guided walking/driving tour of Quonochontaug Neck. To date, it has been through three printings.
In 2001 the state of Rhode Island recognized us as a non-profit organization. We organized lectures, history evenings, walks, and trolley tours. Interest continued to grow. Fireproof safes were donated to protect our collection. We formalized the organization as “The Quonochontaug Historical Society” and wrote our constitution and by-laws.
In June 2010 we applied for our federal non-profit 501(c)(3) status and received approval in September 2010. Our membership drive for 2011 successfully brought in 150 members. The decision was made to put our collection of photos and oral histories into digital format. The years 2000-2010 were a decade of change.
QHS will continue to change and thrive as long as the community is interested and supportive. We seek new ideas and are hopeful that the younger generation will care enough to play an active role in its future.
Anne Doyle, Archivist