Experience the early history
of USA
Come to PODC 2001

The Pilgrims (early English settlers) first landed at Cape Cod. American Revolution of independence from Britain started in Boston. These exciting places are next to Newport the conference site. At the very site you can see the oldest Jewish synagogue in North America (est 1763, Newport) and the oldest operating tavern in the United States (est 1673, Newport). The charming municipality of Newport offers numerous other tourist attractions related to the initial history of USA. There is even more in the vicinity. See the oldest schoolhouse in the United States (est 1716, Portsmouth), Museum of the American Indian (New York City) and the Freedom Trial including major sites of the American Revolution (Boston). The remaining part of this document describes some of the many tourist attractions in the area of Newport. Enjoy your stay at PODC 2001 and experience the early history of USA. [*]

Attractions in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a state of firsts. The state lead the way toward revolution, and on May 4, 1776, the state was the first to proclaim independence from Great Britain. In 1790, Samuel Slater's mill in Pawtucket became America's first successful water-powered cotton mill, and in 1876 polo was played for the first time in the US, in Newport.

Newport is a resort city famous for its opulent mansions. It was home to the America's Cup Regatta for more than half a century and has hosted the acclaimed Newport Jazz Festival since 1954.

Newport(founded 1639)

White Horse Tavern. Built in 1673, this is the oldest operating tavern in the United States open for lunch and dinner daily. (Marlborough and Farewell Streets, Newport, RI. Phone: 401-849-3600.)

Touro Synagogue. Built in 1763, Touro Synagogue is the oldest Jewish synagogue in North America. It was built by Sephardic Jews, descendants of Jews who fled Spain and Portugal to escape the Inquisition. Designed by a Georgian, Peter Harrison, country's first architect. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1946 and is considered one of the finest examples of 18th-century colonial architecture in the United States. The synagogue still houses an active congregation. (85 Touro Street, Newport, RI. Phone: 401-847-4794.)

Figure 1: Touro Synagogue of Rhode Island. (Nathan Benn/Corbis © & (p) 1995-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)

Cliff Walk. Scenic walk overlooking Atlantic Ocean adjoins many Newport "cottages." Designated a National Recreational Trial in 1975. Begins at Memorial Blvd.

Redwood Library and Athenaeum. Portraits done in the 18th and 19th centuries can be found in the US oldest library building.(50 Belleville Avenue, Newport, RI. Phone: 401-847-0292)

Naval War College Museum. This national historic landmark features the history of naval warfare and the U.S. Navy in Narragansett Bay. (686 Cushing Road, Founders Hall, Newport, RI. Phone: 401-847-7951.)

Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House. The oldest restored home in Newport, built in 1675. Features a tour which gives the view of colonial and revolutionary war America through the eyes of individual Newport residents. (17 Broadway, Newport, RI. Phone: 401-846-0813.)

Friends Meeting House. Built in 1699, the meeting house is the oldest religious building in Newport. Features the history of the Quakers, once the dominant religion in Newport colony. (Farewell Street and Marlborough Street, Newport, RI. Phone: 401-846-0813.)

Trinity Church. Historic church completed in 1726. George Washington worshipped there. (Queen Anne Square, Spring and Church Streets, Newport, RI. Phone: 401-846-0660.)

Newport mansions. The Breakers mansion is the largest mansion in Newport. In 1895 Cornelius Vanderbilt commissioned American architect Richard Morris Hunt to build his 70-room mansion overlooking Rhode Island Sound in Newport. The mansion incorporates many of the elements of the Beaux Arts tradition, including symmetry and dignity. Other mansions: Château-sur-Mer (1852), The Elms (1901), Marble House (1892), and Rosecliff (1902).

Figure 2: The Breakers, Rhode Island Sound. (Richard Cheek/Preservation Society of Newport County.)

Hammersmith Farm. The unofficial summer White House during Kennedy Administration. The farm dates back to 1640.

International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum. World's largest tennis museum features interactive and dynamic exhibits detailing the history of the sport. Tennis equipment, fashions, trophies and memorabilia on display.

Newport Jazz Festival. Fort Adams State Park. Phone 800-976-5122.


Gray's Store. Gray's was built in 1788, and is one of the oldest continuously operating stores in the United States. Numerous antiques are on display, and the store has cheddar cheese, penny candy and collectibles for sale. (4 Main Street, Adamsville, RI. Phone: 401-635-4566.)

Jamestown (settled ca 1670)

Sydney L. Wright Museum. This museum features both Native and Colonial artifact collections from both the pre-historic and settlement periods. Most of these were found at local sites. (26 North Road, Jamestown, RI. Phone: 401-423-7280.)

Beavertail Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1856, it sits on the site of the third lighthouse built in the United States -- back in 1749. (Beavertail Point, Beavertail State Park, Jamestown, RI. Phone: 401-423-3270.)

Jamestown Windmill. Windmill, built in 1787, was recently restored and is owned by the Jamestown Historical Society. (North Road, off Route 138, Jamestown, RI. Phone: 401-423-1798.)

Little Compton

Monument to Elizabeth Pabodie. Historic gravesite of the first girl born to colonists in New England: the daughter of Pilgrims John and Priscilla Alden. (Commons Burial Ground, Little Compton, RI.)


United Congregational Church. This church is one of the oldest in New England -- it's congregation began in 1695. (Valley Road and Green End Avenue, Middletown, RI. Phone: 401-849-5444.)

Narragansett (settled 1675)

The towers. This Romanesque entrance arch flanked by rounded towers is a grandiose and sad reminder of a 19th-century casino, destroyed by fire in 1900, and Narragansett's own past as summer mecca for the rich and fashionable.

North Kingstown (settled 1641)

Smith's Castle Blockhouse (ca 1638), destroyed by fire in 1676 and rebuild in 1678, is one of the oldest plantation houses in the USA and the only known existing house where Roger Williams preached. (1.5 mile north on US 1. Phone 401-294-6840.)

Pawtucket (settled 1671)

Slater Mill National Historic Site. Nation's first water-powered cotton mill (1793) was build by Samuel Slater based on English technology. On site are also Wilkinson Mill (1810) and Sylvanus Brown House (1758). Mill features restored water-power system, including raceways and 8-ton wheel; spinning and weaving demonstrations; slide show. (Roosevelt Ave at Main St. Phone 401-725-8638.)

Portsmouth (founded 1638)

Founder's Brook. The first Rhode Island settlers from Boston landed here in 1638, led by Anne Hutchinson. She was the first woman in the U.S. to found a town. (Boyd's Lane, Portsmouth, RI.)

Old School House. The oldest schoolhouse in the United States, built in 1716. Antique textbooks, school bells and school furniture are on display. (East Main Road and Union Street, Portsmouth, RI. Phone: 401-683-9178.)

Green Animals. Topiary gardens planted in 1880 with California privet, golden boxwood and American boxwood sculpted into animal forms, geometric figures and ornamental designs; also rose garden, formal flower beds. (Off RI 114. Phone 401-847-6543.)

Providence (settled 1636)

Brown University is the seventh-oldest college in the US.

First Baptist Church in America. Oldest Baptist congregation in America, established 1638, erected present building, by Joseph Brown, in 1775. (75 N Main St, at Waterman St. Phone 401-454-3418.)

First Unitarian Church. Organized as First Congregational Church, 1720, the church was designed by Joseph Holden Green. (Benefit and Benevolent Sts. Phone 401-421-7970.)

John Brown House. Exhibits John Brown's chariot (1782), perhaps the oldest American-made vehicle extant. The library contains one of the largest genealogical collections in New England. (52 Power St, at Benefit St. Phone 401-331-8575.)

Old State House. Independence was proclaimed here two months before declaration signed in Philadelphia. (150 Benefit St. Phone 401-222-2678.)

Providence Athenaeum Library. One of the oldest subscription libraries in the US. (251 Benefit St. Phone 401-421-6970.)

Historic architecture is found throughout the city of Providence. Benefit Street, known as Providence, Rhode Island's Mile of History, runs near Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design. It was created in the 1750s, when Towne Street (today North and South Main streets) became too congested. Its 18th- and 19th-century architecture have made it Providence's best-known residential street.

Figure 3: Benefit Street in Providence

The Museum of Art is one of the country's finest teaching museums. It is maintained by Rhode Island School of Design - one of the country's leading art and design schools. It houses 100,000 works of art in its permanent collection, including works by Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, and John Singer Sargent.

Attractions nearby - Massachusetts

Cape Cod

The southeastern part of the state Massachusetts forms a peninsula called Cape Cod. The Pilgrims, the early English settlers, first set foot on American soil in Provincetown, town in eastern Massachusetts, at the northern end of Cape Cod, in 1620. A community developed on the site about 1700 and Provincetown was incorporated in 1727. Now Cape Cod is an especially popular tourist location due to its sandy beaches and cozy towns.

Figure 4: Provincetown located at the northern tip of the Cape Cod located at the northern tip of the peninsula (Joe Sohm/Chromosohm/ALLSTOCK, INC.)

Cambridge (settled 1630)

Harvard University. America's oldest university founded in 1636.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of the greatest science and engineering schools in the world.

Boston (founded 1630)

Museum at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library. Designed by I.M. Pei, the library is considered one of the most beautiful contemporary works of architecture in the country. The library tower houses a collection of document from Kennedy administration as well as audiovisual programs designed to recreate the era. (5 miles SE on I-93, off exit 15, at University of Massachusetts Columbia Point campus. Phone 617-929-4523.)

The Freedom Trial. Boston offers several walking tours of historical locations. The Freedom Trail connects 16 locations that make up Boston National Historical Park, including major sites of the American Revolution. One example is the site of the Boston Massacre in front of the Old State House, where British troops opened fire on a mob of citizens in 1770.

Black Heritage Trial. The trail traces the history of African Americans in Boston. It includes major sites such as the Abiel Smith School, the first public school for black children.

Figure 5: This engraving by American patriot Paul Revere shows British troops landing in Boston just before the outbreak of the American Revolution (1775-1783). Revolutionary forces drove British troops from the city by placing artillery on high ground overlooking the harbor in March 1776. (Corbis.)

Museum of Fine Arts. The museum houses a number of works by French impressionist Claude Monet, work by the Italian sculptor Donatello, portraits of George Washington painted by Gilbert Charles Stuart used on the United States one-dollar bill. (465 Huntington Ave. Phone 617-267-9300.)

Brewster (settled 1656)

New England Fire and History Museum. This 6-building complex houses an extensive collection of fire-fighting equipment and includes the Arthur Fiedler Memorial Fire Collection; diorama of Chicago fire of 1871; engines dating from the Revolutions to the 1930s; world's only 1929 Mercedes Benz fire engine; life-size reproduction of Ben Franklin's firehouse; 19th-century blacksmith shop; largest apothecary shop in the country contains 664 gold-leaf bottles of medicine; medicinal herb gardens; library; films; theatre performance. (0.5 mile W of MA 137 on MA 6A. Phone 508-896-5711.)

Deerfield (settled 1669)

Historic Deerfield, Inc. Maintains 14 historic house museums furnished with collections of antique furniture, silver, ceramics, textiles. (Phone 413-774-5581.)

Fall River (settled 1656)

Battleship Cove. Five historic naval ships of the WWII period. (At junction MA 138, I-195. Phone 508-678-1100.)

Lenox (settled ca 1750)

Edith Wharton Restoration (The Mount). Edith Wharton's summer estate. (Plunkett St at S junction of US 7 and MA7A. Phone 413-637-1899.)

Tanglewood. Where Nathaniel Hawthorne lived and wrote. (On West St, 1.5 mile SW on MA 183. Phone 413-637-1600.)

Martha's Vineyard (settled 1642)

Vincent House. The oldest known house in the island, build 1672. Original brickwork, hardware and woodwork. (Main St in Edgartown. Phone 508-627-4440.)

Nantucket Island (settled 1659)

Main Street. Paved with cobblestones. Lined with elegant houses build be whaling merchants and shaded by great elms, this is one of the New England's most beautiful streets. (Phone 508-228-1894.)

Northampton (settled 1673)

Words and Pictures Museum of Fine Sequential Art. Displays of comic book art from 1970s to present.

Plymouth (settled 1620)

Plimoth Plantation. Living history museum re-creates day-to-day life in 17th-century Plymouth. (3 miles S on MA 3A. Phone 508-746-1622.)

Provincetown (settled ca 1700)

Pilgrim Monument and Museum. A 252-ft granite tower commemorating the Pligrims' 1620 landing in the New World. (Phone 508-487-1310.)

Quincy (settled 1625)

Adams National Historic Sites. A house (1731), where John Adams lived. Two 17th-century saltbox houses. (1250 Hancock St. Phone 617-770-1175)

Salem (settled 1626)

House of Seven Gables. Said to be the setting for Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel.

Sandwich (settled 1637)

Heritage Plantation. 1899-mid-1930s autos including a restored and rebuild 1931 Duesenberg Model J. Tourer build for Gary Cooper, a 1908 white steamer, and the first official presidential car, which was used by president Taft. (Grove and Pine Streets. Phone 508-888-3300)

Stockbridge (Settled 1734)

Norman Rockwell Museum Maintains and exhibits the nation's largest collection of original art by Norman Rockwell. (MA 183 in Stockbridge. Phone 413-298-4100.)

Attractions nearby - New York City

New York is the most popular city in the United States, the capital of finance, business, communications, and theatre. New York saw the inception and growth of USA. On the balcony of Federal Hall at Wall Street, April 30, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as first president of the United States. The growth of the city was catalyzed by newcomers. Seven million immigrants entered the United States here with the supply of labor needed for its growth into a major metropolis. Each wave of immigrants has brought its customs, culture and life, which makes New York City the varied metropolis it is today.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The most famous port of immigration in the country. Millions of immigrants began their American dream here between 1892 and 1954.

The George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian. World's largest collection of materials of the native peoples of the North, Central and South America. (One Bowling Green St. Phone 212-514-3700.)

Metropolitan Museum of Art Represents pre-Columbian and Native American collections, among others. (Fifth Ave at 82nd Street. Phone 212-535-7710.)

Carnegie Hall Completed in 1891, the celebrated auditorium has been home to the world's great musicians. (154 W 57th Street at Seventh Ave. Phone 212-247-7800.)

Empire State Building. 1930s moderne skyscraper that King Kong climbed in the classic movie. (350 Fifth Ave, at 34th Street. Phone 212-736-3100.)

Central Park. The first formally planned park in the country.

Rockefeller Center. The largest privately owned business and entertainment center in the world is made up of 19 buildings on 22 acres. (Fifth Ave to Avenue of the Americas and beyond, 47th to 51st Streets with some buildings stretching to 52nd Street.)

Statue of Liberty National Monument. (Phone 212-363-3200.)

Jewish Museum. Devoted to Jewish art and culture ancient and modern. (1109 Fifth Ave at 92nd St. Phone 212-423-3200.)

Attractions nearby - Connecticut

Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield created a practical constitution called the Fundamental Orders, by which the powerful "General Court" exercised both judicial and legislative duties. The orders are sometimes regarded as the first written constitution.


Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine force Museum. Permanent home for Nautilius, world's first nuclear-powered submarine. This submarine was the first to sail under the North Pole. (2mile N on CT 12 at Crystal Lake Road. Phone 800-343-0079.)


Wadsworth Atheneum. One of the nation's oldest continuously operating public art museums with more than 40,000 works of art. American furniture, sculpture, porcelains, the Amistad Collection of African-American art. (600 Main Street. Phone 860-278-2670.)


Mystic Seaport. This 17-acre complex is the nation's largest maritime museum, dedicated to preservation of 19th-century maritime history. Visitors may board the 1841 wooden whaleship Charles W. Morgan. (75 Greenmanville Ave (CT 27), 1 mile S of I-95 exit 90. Phone 860-572-5315.)

Olde Mistick Village 1720s-style New England village on 22-acres. (Coogan Blvd and CT 27. Phone 860-536-4941.)

New Haven

Yale University A member of Ivy League - organization of elite US universities. (149 Elm Street, on N side fo New Haven Green. Phone 203-432-2300.)

New Preston

The Institute for American Indian Studies. A museum of Northeastern Woodland Indian artifacts with permanent exhibit hall. Exhibits include changing Native American art displays; also a replicated indoor longhouse, outdoor replicated Algonkian village, simulated archeological site and nature trail. (4 miles SW via CT 47 to CT 199S, then 1.5 miles to Curtis Rd in Washington. Phone 860-868-0518.)


Roseland Cottage. One of the most important surviving examples of a Gothic-revival "cottage," complete with period furnishing. Summer house, build in 1846, of an influential abolitionist Henry C. Bowen. (7 miles NW cia CT 171 and 169 in Woodstock. Phone 860-928-4074.)


First Church of Christ, Congregational United Church of Christ. Church established in 1635. (Main and Marsh Streets. Phone 860-529-1575.)

Dinosaur State Park. More than 2,000 prints were unearthed at this site. Visitors are able to examine the crisscrossing tracks and view a skeletal cast and life-size models that lived here in prehistoric times. (3 miles S via I-91 exit 23, off West St in Rocky Hill. Phone 860-529-8423.)


1. Microsoft Encarta Deluxe 2001, © 1988-2000 Microsoft and/or its suppliers. All rights reserved.

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[*] This work may contain excerpts from sources listed in the reference section of the document. Every effort have been made that information stated here is correct at the time of publishing. However, as things may change, no responsibility is accepted in the event that any information given is inaccurate.

This page is maintained by Grzegorz Malewicz (greg@cse.uconn.edu)