Johnston Historical Society
Upcoming Events

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Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Johnston Historical Society Museum Barn, 101 Putnam Pike, Johnston, and are free and open to the public. Events are subject to change.

November 28, 2018
Betty Mencucci, President of the Burrillville Historical and Preservation Society, will give a presentation called "The Life and Travels of Hiram Salisbury, 1815-1844." Hear how this man from Burrillville traveled by horse and wagon out to Buffalo, New York, visiting his father and relatives who lived in western New York, and also visited Niagara Falls and several War of 1812 sites. Later when the Erie Canal was built he traveled by boat on the canal. He was a man of many skills. He was carpenter and built furniture, wagons, coffins, sawed out gunstocks, and built a schoolhouse. He plowed with oxen, collected taxes for the town, worked at surveying, hunted wild bees, and set gravestones for family members. This fascinating program will be of interest to genealogists, War of 1812 enthusiasts, and people interested in history. Come and learn what life was like in the early 1800s and for an appreciation of the hard labor endured by our ancestors.

December 2018
No general meeting—Enjoy the holidays!

January 10, 2019
Member Field Trip to the Varnum Armory—Rescheduled from November
East Greenwich
Varnum Armory, 6 Main Street. JHS members and their friends and family are invited for a tour of the 1913 armory and its large military history and weaponry collection. Reservations not required, just show up. Free, but donations are welcome.

January 27, 2019
General Meeting and Open House
It's so depressing to go out on a Wednesday night in January, we decided to try a special Sunday daytime meeting. Society President Louis McGowan will give a presentation on the late George Sutcliffe, a Johnston resident who was a fighter pilot during World War II. Louis will read a detailed account of a dogfight that Sutcliffe was involved in, as well as show some artifacts related to Mr. Sutcliffe and his military career. At the same time we'll host a post-holiday open house with light refreshments. All are welcome.

February 27, 2019
General Meeting
Ray Wolf will give a talk related to his latest book, Rhode Island's Old Cars Today: 1905-1949.

March 10, 2019
Our Town Johnston
If you missed the showings of RIPBS's documentary on our town, here's another chance. We'll be showing the 60-minute film at our Museum Barn, and some of the "stars" will be on hand to answer any questions you may have! Microwave popcorn and Yacht Club Soda will be available for your enjoyment.

March 27, 2019
Steve Merolla will do a presentation on the King Cemetery.

April 24, 2019
General Meeting
Our speaker will be local writer and historian Jim Ignasher. Topic TBD.

May 29, 2019
General Meeting
Grayce Moorehead, Associate Director of the Mohr Memorial Library, will give a presentation on genealogy.

June 26, 2019
General Meeting
Robert A. Geake, board member and archivist at the Warwick Historical Society, will give a talk on a topic TBD.


Second Wednesday of each month
Mohr Library Genealogy Group Meetings
Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library, 1 Memorial Avenue. The Library has yearly subscriptions to and also New England Historical Genealogical Society databases (NEHGS) on all library computers. The Library also publishes a monthly newsletter outlining upcoming program details and includes tips for searching. Former programs include field trips to the State Archive and Swan Point Cemetery, as well as speakers on cemeteries, medallions found on gravestones, how to search for a particular nationality, and much more. Meetings are open to all! Join avid ancestral sleuths, learn tips from others. All nationalities discussed. (401) 231-4980;;

To see photos of past events, please visit our Facebook page at

Note: Our museum barn is open Tuesdays, 9-11am and 6:30-8:30pm; and Thursdays, 2-5pm; and the first and third Saturdays of each month, 9-11am, for those who would like to visit the museum or examine the society's collection of printed materials. Both the museum and Elijah Angell House continue to be open by appointment—we always welcome visits by interested individuals or groups. Just shoot us an email at, or leave a message at (401) 231-3380 to set one up.

Home | About Us | Properties | Publications | Johnston History

Johnston Historical Society, 101 Putnam Pike, Johnston, RI 02919, (401) 231-3380,
Unless otherwise noted, all content is © Johnston Historical Society.

Updated November 2018