Take a trip through time at the Johnston Historical Society


Ever been to the Elijah Angell House?

How about the adjacent Museum Barn that sits on the property at 101 Putnam Pike next to the Johnston Fire Station?

For that matter, are you a history buff who’d like to learn even more about the Town of Johnston?

If so, the Johnston Historical Society, which is rated among the top such historical groups in Rhode Island, has a special offer that’s specially designed to introduce people to its unique properties and programs.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, the JHS will host a three-fold event that will include a tour of the Elijah Angell House, circa 1827, an invitation to the non-profit’s first general meeting of 2019 as well as an explanation of just how easy it is to join the highly-active organization.

The Sunday, Jan. 27 afternoon meeting – which will run from 2 to 4 p.m. inside the Museum Barn – is being done on a trial basis and a different time from those night-time sessions that in years past have often been held on what Board Member Anthony Ursillo called “those cold winter nights.”

JHS President Louis McGowan, as well as the non-profit’s hard-working Board of Directors, is hoping that an afternoon meeting will appeal to a wide audience and offer people an opportunity to check out the Elijah Angell House, Museum Barn and the many interesting artifacts that are on display.

“It’s sometimes so depressing to go out on a Wednesday night in January,” said Christopher Martin, the JHS’ corresponding secretary. “That’s why we’ve decided to try a special Sunday daytime meeting.”

Ursillo added: “We never – ever – know what the weather will be on any winter night. Our feeling is that a Sunday meeting would be great for our members as well as prospective new members.”

The Sunday, Jan. 27 General Meeting-Open House will feature a special speaker – the Society president – who 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,” Martin announced, “as well as show some artifacts related to the late Sutcliffe and his military career.”

For people who like such historical talks, the Jan. 27 event – which is free and open to the public – promises to be action-packed especially the way McGowan, who is steeped in local history and has written several books for the JHS about the Town of Johnston, does each and every presentation.

Even if people don’t want to take in the General Meeting and McGowan’s presentation, the JHS will have two knowledgeable members on duty at the Elijah Angell House that will be open for tours.

Likewise, the JHS will host a post-holiday open house with light refreshments.


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