Events

   Events

Bringing History to Life in Unique Ways

Through Hearthside’s creative and entertaining programs, learning about history can be both engaging and fun. Each year, a different schedule of events is developed, with some programs being annual favorites, while others may only be offered every other year. The result is an ever-changing menu of themes and innovative ideas being presented that offer appeal to a wide range of interests and audiences.

Please enjoy browsing the images in our events gallery below, and check our 
Annual Calendar to plan your visit.
"Such unique events from the World's Fair to Victorian mourning to tea time. A beautiful building with a ton of interesting history."

Preview Of Hearthside's 2017 Special Events

We are pleased to present some very special new events this year, in addition to some of our regular programs that have proven so popular, such as the Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea, American Girl Doll events, Victorian Mourning Customs, and Old-Fashioned Christmas. New exhibits have been added to enhance self-guided tours of the house, while additional opportunities for guided tours to discover the history about Hearthside are scheduled for some select Thursday evenings. Details for each event will be added as event dates approach. Listed below are some of our featured events this year.  Click here to view the entire 2017 Schedule for other exhibits, tours and event dates.

Antique Phonograph Visit

Sunday, April 30th
An exhibit that literally comes to life! Several different types of antique phonographs will be exhibited by collectors from the Massachusetts Bay Colony Antique Phonograph Society. In addition to viewing the artifacts, there will be a special recording session of music played on Hearthside’s antique piano. The recorded cylinder will then be played on an old Edison. A unique opportunity to enjoy an exhibit and performance in one event.

Our special guest performers will be brother and sister, Christopher and Leah Trek. These extremely talented pianists will be playing throughout the afternoon. Leah, age 11, earned 2nd place playing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 at the New England Music Festival in 2015. She is also a student at Heritage Ballet. An aspiring orchestra director, Christopher is 13 and received first place with Beethoven’s Fur Elise at the New England Music Festival in 2014. He recently started a classical chamber ensemble group with other young musicians in an effort to promote classical music among youth. 

        Doors open at 1:00 with continuous admission until 3:00 p.m. The museum closes at 4:00 p.m. Tours are self-guided to view the phonographs on display. All three floors are open for touring, and costumed guides will be on hand to provide background on the house. Admission is $10; $5 ages 10-17; 9 and under are free, as well as members.

Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea

Saturday, May 13th
Do you miss Downton Abbey? If you're like the majority of fans of this show who do, then you'll want to join in for this memorable afternoon of relishing in the grandeur of a formal tea, remembering the beloved characters of Downton Abbey, and a special presentation by fashion historian Ren Antonowicz on "Footwear and Fribbles" (shoes, hats and accessories) that were as much of the lure of the show as the storyline and characters. Hearthside's annual Tea has always been one of our most popular events, but made even more so with the theme of Downton Abbey. Two seatings are offered, as space is limited.
Guests encouraged to wear Downton-inspired outfits, footwear and fribbles! Raffle, prizes, museum tour, shopping, and more make for a memorable afternoon and a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend.
 
Tickets go on sale April 13th, but our members enjoy early purchase starting April 3. This is always a sell out so be sure to mark your calendar and get your tickets before they're gone.
 
Cost $34; $30 for members. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 401-726-0597 or email info@hearthsidehouse.org.

Downton Abbey Fox Hunt

Sunday, June 11th
Fans of Downton Abbey will recall the fox hunt scenes during the series, which featured this sport, steeped in history and tradition that became associated with wealth and social standing. Our Downton Abbey Fox Hunt will provide the thrill of the chase, as horses gallop across the picturesque meadows of Chase Farm Park with properly outfitted riders demonstrating remarkable horsemanship and etiquette, teamed with trained hounds who chase only a scent, and not real foxes. A brief lecture under the tent and elegant picnic luncheon, in the style of Downton Abbey, will be held prior to the hunt.

Tribute To The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Sunday, July 23rd
A Tribute to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair returns once again this summer as we celebrate the connection of Hearthside to the greatest international exhibition as the model of the Rhode Island pavilion. With exhibits and memorabilia from the actual Fair inside and a whole host of nostalgic entertainment outside, this event is a perfect family activity for a summer’s day. Plan now and get the date on your calendar. This event won’t happen again for two years.

Battle Of Chase Farm

Saturday, October 21st
For the first time, we will be hosting Revolutionary War re-enactors at Chase Farm Park. This one-day event is expected to draw close to 200 or so re-enactors to portray camp life, perform drills, act out different scenarios. While Hearthside wasn’t even around during the Revolutionary War, there is a strong history within the house connected to the War. A very famous ancestor of Arnold Talbot (owner of Hearthside 1904-1926) was Silas Talbot of Providence, his great, great grandfather. Silas’ portrait hangs over the dining room fireplace at Hearthside as the patriarch of the Talbot family. Silas Talbot was a courageous hero who distinguished himself as both an army colonel and as a highly successful naval captain during the American Revolution. Later in life he served as commander of the U.S.S. Constitution.

VINTAGE WEDDING EXHIBIT/TOUR

April 8 & 9, 2017 from 1-3 p.m.
A special wedding exhibit is being featured on the weekend of April 8 & 9. Over 140 years of wedding dresses are represented in the exhibit, spanning from the 1840s to the 1980s. In the early years, brides simply wore their Sunday best, which eventually evolved into wearing white, made popular by Queen Victoria in the late 19th century and of course remains the choice of most brides today. The exhibit is displayed throughout two floors of the house museum and features over 20 dresses, mostly from the museum’s collections.
 
In addition to wedding attire, the origins of such wedding traditions such as throwing the bouquet, stealing the wedding shoes, serving Jordan almonds, wearing something blue, and other common, and not so common, traditions are explained on informational panels as part of the exhibit. Visitors are invited enjoy the exhibits at their leisure while taking a self-guided tour the house and learning of its history from guides in period costume. Doors open at 1:00 with continuous admission until 3:00. The museum closes at 4:00 p.m. A $10 general admission is charged, $5 for students 10 and over, and free for 9 and under as well as members of the museum. 

Sleeping Beauty: Aurora's 16th Birthday

Sunday, March 12th | 1:00-3:00 p.m.
On Sunday, March 12, a special appearance of ballet dancers from Sleeping Beauty will kick off Hearthside’s 2017 season. 
In a partnership with Heritage Ballet, Hearthside will feature the dancers in different rooms around this historic house while visitors enjoy the classic tale through storyboards and a self-guided tour. Talk with many of the story’s favorite characters: Princess Aurora and the Prince, the Lilac Fairy and Red, Green and Blue Fairies, Carabosse, Red Riding Hood, Pied Piper and Puss in Boots. As a special memento of the visit, there will be an opportunity for a custom portrait with the Princess. Interpreters dressed in period attire will also be on hand to provide history
about Hearthside for those who have never visited the museum.
 
The doors open at 1:00 p.m. with continuous admission until 3:00 p.m. The museum closes at 4:00. General admission is $10;
$5 ages 10-17; 9 and under and museum members are free. The Heritage Ballet will perform Sleeping Beauty at the Stadium
Theatre on April 1-2. 

Services List

Hearthside's Tribute to the 1904 World's Fair

2017 Date: Sunday, July 23rd, 2017
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
The 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis has been referred to as the “Greatest World’s Fair ever” and in 2014, Hearthside paid tribute to that international event with a special exhibit and event that featured Rhode Island’s important role in it. An extensive exhibit, funded by the RI Council for the Humanities, was displayed throughout the rooms in the house, included photographic displays, interpretive panels, video presentation, and memorabilia that were donated to Hearthside by the Murch family of St. Louis. Patrons learned about Hearthside’s connection to this international exhibition, as it was the model for the Rhode Island Building (and later became a home to the Murch family after the Fair).

The exhibit continued outdoors with a “festival-like” atmosphere reminiscent of “The Pike,” with entertainment, games, and foods found at the 1904 Fair. This event provides a nostalgic look back at a time when airplanes, automobiles and ice cream cones were new inventions and the simple pleasures of old-fashioned games of skill kept everyone engaged and entertained, which is not an easy thing to do in this digital age. With our permanent collection of 1904 World’s Fair artifacts and because of the overwhelming popularity of the event, the event was repeated in 2015 and will continue to be a featured offering by Hearthside in the future.

Color & Light: Early 20th Century Portraits of Hearthside

  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
During the summer of 2012, Hearthside hosted a photography exhibit, Color & Light: Early 20th Century Portraits of Hearthside, which was later nationally recognized with a “Leadership in History Award” given by the American Association for State and Local History, as well as written up in an article in the National Endowment for the Arts magazine. The exhibit booklet for the event was also given an honor by the New England Museum Association with a Publications Award. The beauty of Hearthside was captured 100 years ago in a new photographic process at the time known as “hand-colored photography.” 

Fifty photographs by nationally-renowned photographer David Davidson and Rufus Waterman, a lesser known photographer who emulated Davidson’s work, had recently been discovered in their original pristine condition by descendants of the Talbot family, who were living at Hearthside at the time. With a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Friends of Hearthside was able to mat and frame the artwork and hosted a major exhibit featuring these extraordinary pieces, displayed in the same locations in which they were taken between 1907 and 1912.

For the first time, a glimpse of what the rooms in this home looked like was available. In addition to the photographs, the exhibit also included displays of Davidson’s original box style camera and artifacts from his Providence studio, and even the shawl worn in many of the photographs. The Color & Light exhibit was a unique blend of art and history. While the artifacts were on loan from the Davidson family and have been returned, the 50 photographs that were donated to Hearthside by the Talbot family remain in our collection.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Victorian Mourning Customs

2017 Dates: OCTOBER 28, NOVEMBER 5, 11, 12
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
Each October, Hearthside, and all of its volunteers, get draped in black, giving all who pass by the message that this is a house in mourning. The occasion is the wake and funeral of former Hearthside owner, Simon E. Thornton, who died on May 2, 1873. His body was prepared at the house by the undertaker, who came with his equipment and a portable embalming table. The coffin was displayed in the Drawing Room where visitors would come and pay their respects. Following the ceremony, the coffin would be carried out of the house and into a waiting hearse to bring it to the gravesite for burial.

Hearthside re-creates the Victorian mourning customs practiced during the time when Simon Thornton passed away, with displays in each room of the house that include mourning clothing, mourning clothing, jewelry, artwork, stationery displays, post mortem photography, and other funerary exhibits. To kick off the inaugural exhibit in 2012, a funeral ceremony was featured, complete with an 1868 hearse.

Old Fashioned Christmas

2017 Dates: December 3rd, 9th & 10th
Home for the Holidays Tours: December 28th & 30th
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
There’s no place like Hearthside at Christmas time. The house is decorated so beautifully that it is no wonder it was selected to be featured in Yankee Magazine, Worcester Living Magazine, and two books about “Christmas at Historic Houses.” Each year, volunteers spend weeks decorating to transform the mansion back to a turn-of-the-century Christmas. Visitors to Hearthside delight in the magic of a Christmas from long ago as they enter the house and are greeted by our volunteers dressed in period attire.

Each room is elaborately decorated with Victorian ornamentation of lace and gold, festive garlands, and countless poinsettias and many special personal touches brought in by the volunteers from their own holiday collections. The festive atmosphere is enhanced with live seasonal music and caroling, homemade cookies and hot cider, and a gift shop stocked with holiday gifts. The amber glow of candlelight and the white lights of the gaily decorated trees add to the warmth of this beautiful home, making it a popular destination to visit after Christmas for candlelight tours during the vacation week before New Year’s.

Afternoon Teas

2017 Date: Downton Abbey Tea - Saturday, May 13, 2017
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
It’s a return to the gentle splendor of a bygone era at Hearthside, with spring flowers, elegant hats, delicate lace, dainty teacups and fancy finger foods as Friends of Hearthside hosts its annual Afternoon Tea on the second Saturday in May. This popular event, especially as a Mother’s Day celebration always sells out so early ticket purchase is recommended. A different theme is featured each year, such as “the history of hats, the language of the fan, the language of flowers, the history of the parasol, and more recently, a “Downton Abbey Tea” based on the popular tv series. Prizes are awarded and raffle baskets are always a feature.

American Girl Doll Events

2017 Dates:
TEA - Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday June 4th, 2017
GARDEN PARTY: Saturday, August 5th, 2017
CHRISTMAS PARTY: Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
In the spring of 2007, Hearthside introduced the American GirlTM Doll Tea Party for young girls along with their mothers and grandmothers as a special event they can share with their dolls. Wearing their Sunday finery and toting their favorite doll, the Tea has proven to be so popular that it now is held over two days, with four seatings in order to accommodate the numbers of guests who come each year. The tea is an elegant afternoon of tea, lemonade, miniature sandwiches and dainty sweets, as well as a crash course in proper Victorian etiquette. The Tea event led to a Christmas event, and eventually to a Garden Party held in August.

All of the American Girl Doll events continue to be quite popular and have given hundreds of girls and their families some very special memories from their experience. All three of these annual events center around the American Girl DollTM historical character Samantha Parkington, a nine-year old orphan raised by her wealthy and very proper grandmother in 1904. That story coincides with the year that Hearthside got its name and really captures the essence of what it was like growing up in Victorian America. History comes to life and is made more interesting for the girls as they experience firsthand in an actual mansion how Samantha lived during the first years of the 20th century.

Spirited Evenings at the Hearthside

  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
Everyone who visits an old house invariably asks the question “Is the house haunted?” Some have hinted that they have experienced strange feelings in one room or another, or heard noises while in the house alone. On occasion, Hearthside hosts programs to explore spiritual happenings with psychics and spiritual readers. In each case, the featured guest presenter provides some reading from Hearthside, giving us even more information to ponder about its history. Past presenters have included Carol Lynne, Paul Enos, Shelley King, Lynn Kent, and Jodi Lynn. In 2016, an evening with renowned spiritual medium Roland Comtois took place in the intimate setting of Hearthside’s drawing room for an exclusive event for 30 guests to receive personal messages channeled from the other side, followed by a book signing, dessert and informal conversations with the presenter.

Reenactments

2017 Date:
REVOLUTIONARY WAR ENCAMPMENT - BATTLE OF CHASE FARM: Saturday, October 21st, 2017
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
The cannons thunder through the air, uniformed soldiers charge at each other while firing their guns, and in the end, bloodied bodies were littered among the countryside “battlefields” of Chase Farm Park . This has been the recurring theme during the Civil War Re-enactment held in Lincoln for 20 years with the last one in 2013, which brought in over 3,000 visitors to Chase Farm Park and Hearthside and over 300 re-enactors from all over New England and beyond. Hearthside had [has] been used as part of the re-enactment in recent years, featuring an extensive Civil War collection on loan, and even turned into a field hospital by the soldiers. History lessons go beyond the battlefield to the encampments to learn what a soldier’s life was like.

Hearthside has hosted other events that commemorate Civil War history such as lectures, museum exhibits, and the annual School of Instruction and Confederate Memorial Day, a kick off to the re-enactors’ season at the end of April. We’ve also held “Christmas in the Camp,” a look at how Christmas was celebrated during the time of conflict. During the summer, Hearthside has hosted the civilian re-enactors as they enjoy an old-fashioned picnic on the grounds.

Earlier periods are also part of the reenactment offerings at Hearthside and Chase Farm Park. The War of 1812 has been explored, with the help of the U.S.S. Constitution Museum.

Tribute to The Great Gatsby

  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
In a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the 1973 filming of The Great Gatsby in Newport, RI, Hearthside hosted a special event, “Great Gatsby Revisited,” in the summer of 2013. A large contingent of Rolls Royce’s and Bentleys convened on the grounds as part of the Rolls Royce Owners Club Summer Meet. Hearthside’s event featured an afternoon of extraordinary cars, roaring 20’s fashions and live jazz music.

The Great Gatsby movie had featured Hearthside’s last resident, E. Andrew Mowbray (1927- 1996), and his 1922 Rolls Royce. Mowbray was an avid antique car collector and enthusiast, especially of Rolls-Royce and Bentleys. His 1922 S111BG Springfield Silver Ghost Permanent Salamanca, which once belonged to beer tycoon August Busch, appeared in the movie, and he drove it throughout the movie, playing the role of Daisy’s (Mia Farrow) chauffeur. Mowbray was a long-time member of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club, and he also published “Rolls Royce in America” by the late Arthur Souter.

Victorian Dinner Parties

2017 Date: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2017
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide title

    Write your caption here

    Button
With the donation of a 10-burner stove came the ability for Hearthside to be able to host elegant dinners. In 2013, a series of elegant Victorian Dinners was started as a special fundraiser for the organization. Seated in the Music Room and Dining Room, guests enjoy a variety of fresh foods from the yearly harvest of local farms and Narragansett Bay waters, prepared by professional chefs in our colonial kitchen. The extravagant 5-course meals feature authentic menu items often found on the Victorian table. Carefully selected wines will accompany the different courses.

Hosted by Victorian costumed staff, served at tables with elegant linens, flowers, candlelight, and the special historic ambience in this 200-year old house, this exclusive dinner party is like no other. All monies raised through these dinners, held seasonally, go toward the Capital Improvement Fund, providing funds for Hearthside’s most critical restoration needs.

Antique Fairs

  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
Visitors to Hearthside love history and antiques, so in 2009 Friends of Hearthside hosted an Antiques Fair. What better setting for browsing antiques than on the picturesque grounds at a historic site that is located along one of the country’s oldest and most scenic roadways in the state. The Fair featured quality antique and collectible dealers. Volunteers in period dress greeted the visitors to the Fair and provided history and tours. Blacksmithing demonstrations, with the sound of metal on the anvil, enhanced the feeling of antiquity of the objects being shown. Another event, an Antiques Appraisal Day, was added because of the increasing interest in antiques. In searching for answers to “What’s It Worth?”, people from all over the state carried in their precious keepsakes from grandma’s attic to find out if what they had was truly valuable or something only of sentimental value.

Heritage Crafts

  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
  • Slide Title

    Write your caption here

    Button
Focusing on the forgotten crafts and chores of long ago, Hearthside has sponsored events featuring demonstrations of weaving, quilting, basket making, spinning, embroidery, stained glass, use of herbs, silhouettes, gravestone etching, stenciling, rug hooking, rope making, cooking over the open fire, washing clothes in a washtub, and blacksmithing. A country stand with hot apple crisp and hot cider on a cool fall day, provided a popular family day. An old-fashioned Spinning Frolic in 2012 featured a contingent of spinning wheels and sheeps’ wool on the front lawn of Hearthside, while Celtic tunes played by local musicians provided rhythm and relaxation for the spinners on a summer day.

Great Road Day

2017 Date: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2017
With historic houses, farms and mills, the Great Road Historic District in Lincoln, Rhode Island, retains much of the Blackstone River Valley’s early nineteenth century rural character. Through a collaborative effort, historic sites along Great Road and nearby area open for tours with free admission to the public on a special tour day at the end of September. This is a great opportunity to connect the history in this part of the Blackstone Valley and discover what’s so great about Great Road.

Participating sites have been the Arnold House, Captain Wilbur Kelly House, Hearthside, Saylesville Meeting House, and Valentine Whitman Jr. House, the Blackstone Valley Historical Society at North Gate and the Arnold Bakery, the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop, the Moffett Mill, and history hikes from Gateway Park to Chase Farm Park. The Lodge Restaurant on Breakneck Hill Road partners in this event to promote tourism to the area
Share by: