East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society

East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society

March 22, 2021
East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society Permanently Protects Historic Building By Preservation Easement
The East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society (EGHPS) is pleased to announce the permanent historic protection of 110 King Street, the former Second Kent County Jail.  Upon recording in May, Preserve RI (PRI) will hold a historic easement on the property to protect it from inappropriate development and to preserve the historic 1790s exterior of the building forever.  Following the execution of the easement, the EGHPS will transfer ownership of the property to a private buyer who is required to adhere to the easement – as are all future owners. The easement, which Preserve RI will monitor annually, also requires owners to maintain the building in good condition and abide by historic preservation standards.
Proceeds from the sale will cover EGHPS’s costs for easement preparation and costs associated with sale of the property, support for PRI’s easement stewardship fund, and the remaining monies will fund EGHPS’ endowment and its non-profit mission.  After years of declining use for the property as a meeting location for EGHPS and its activities, in conjunction with the high cost of building maintenance and improvement, the EGHPS concluded that sale of the property with an easement and transfer to a private owner was the best way to ensure its long-term preservation. With the property protected and under new ownership, EGHPS can refocus its all-volunteer efforts on providing public programs that center on its core mission to connect our local community to history and to continue our goal of preserving the history of East Greenwich.
About 110 King Street
The structure today at 110 King Street has two elements: (1) the yellow wood three-story Jail Keeper's house built in 1795 with a dugout cellar, an attic and slate roof; and (2) the 1889 jail of brick and cement with iron bars which replaced an earlier wooden jail. The Second Kent County Jail is a contributing property to the East Greenwich Historic District and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a part of the East Greenwich Historic District.
The East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society was deeded 110 King Street from the Town of East Greenwich in 1976 for a nominal fee as the Town had slated the building for demolition due to its derelict state and the building’s placement impeding traffic flow.  Since acquiring the building more than 40 years ago, the Society has used it as its headquarters, meeting facilities, archival storage and office space for research and other activities in support of our public history mission.  While the building has occasionally been open to the public for events, it has not operated as a museum.
EGHPS is eager to devote its limited resources to preserving and celebrating historic places in East Greenwich.  With historic protection assured for 110 King Street, EGHPS is confident it can move forward with its non-profit mission to serve the community.
About the East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society
Founded in 1967, the EGHPS is a donor-supported, all-volunteer run nonprofit historical society dedicated to:
  • The preservation of the heritage of East Greenwich, its history, its customs
  • The promotion, through education, of an interest and appreciation of this heritage
  • The recognition, promotion of, preservation and aiding in the restoration of buildings and sites of historical significance
  • The preservation of buildings to serve a useful purpose in the Town
About Preserve Rhode Island
Preserve Rhode Island is Rhode Island’s statewide advocate for historic places. The 64-year-old nonprofit provides guidance for local preservation groups, finds productive and adaptive reuses for threatened buildings, advocates for the revitalization of historic places to stimulate local economies and engages the community through public programs at Lippitt House Museum in Providence.

East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society

                                                                                                                Est. 1967


Scalloptown Waterfront


East Greenwich's Scalloptown waterfront, circa 1875 (colorized).
When the Colonel Micah Whitmarsh House, the Brick House, at 294 Main Street, East Greenwich, was to be razed to make way for a parking lot, a number of the townsfolk foresaw what the future could hold. Already the Old Town Hall had disappeared and a number of lovely old houses had been demolished to make way for nondescript purposes. The whole character of the town was going to change if this were allowed to continue.  
  In 1967 the East Greenwich Preservation Society was formed, primarily to acquire and save the Brick House. The building was refurbished, financed with money obtained from dues, donations, grants and bank loans, and became a working asset of the town. 
    In 1969 the “Old Kent County Jail” at 110 King Street was scheduled to be torn down or moved to change the traffic pattern on Water Street. The Society rallied in support of the Jail, purchased the structure and it remains on its original site as the headquarters of the East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society.  

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Ongoing Projects

  • Encouraging the protection and preservation of buildings, neighborhoods, documents, photographs and items of historic significance.
  • Monthly programs which are open and free to the public.
  • Sponsoring programs that foster community growth.
  • Publishing The Packet, a newsletter with in-depth history of the Town.
  • Participating in educational and civic events.


Help Protect and Preserve the History of
East Greenwich, Rhode Island!


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