History of the East Greenwich Packet
Left: Cover of the first issue of the East Greenwich Packet, Vol. 1 No. 1, from June 1971
The East Greenwich Packet is dedicated to communication with the members of the East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society. It is published four times each year: June, September, December, and March as a means of keeping in touch with members. We want you to know what we are doing as a society, what we hope to do and we want you to participate actively by contributing your ideas and suggestions. The name of the newsletter, although not unique, has real significance to East Greenwich. In the early days of the town, the bay, with its packets in the design of brigs, cutters and sloops, was of prime importance to the economy of the community.
Two primitive paintings of the town and the cove, circa 1870s by Dr. Daniel Greene of East Greenwich, inspired the name for our newsletter. These paintings are most interesting, showing the cove and important buildings in the village. In one painting a packet is tied to the dock where cargo has been unloaded. Pleasure craft and working boats appear in the foreground. A packet in the strictest sense of the word is a sailing vessel carrying passengers, mail and merchandise and sailing between two or more ports on a regular schedule.
These paintings are owned by the Varnum Continentals and are on exhibition in the Varnum House at 57 Peirce Street. They were given to the museum by Mr. Frank R.Hill, former proprietor of Hill’s Funeral Home.
And so this is how the name East Greenwich Packet originated.
The Society published A History of East Greenwich, Rhode Island: As Published in the East Greenwich Packet in 1996 Vol. 17 No. 2, Nov. 1993. Although the classic hardcover "Red Book" has sold out. It was republished in 2012, with a new 20 page index, and is available in our online store.
The Packet is still published quarterly and is available to members only.
Left: Cover of the East Greenwich Packet, Vol. 28 No. 4, from December 2017