Wickford History Walk
A Glimpse Into the Lives and Contributions of Wickford's People of Color
Saturday, October 21st beginning at 10am
Join North Kingstown historian Tim Cranston on a journey through time in Wickford where we will explore the stories of the important contributions of people of color to its long history. Along the way, we will learn about slavery and the infamous Rhode Island business venture, the Triangle Trade, explore the fascinating stories behind the many black mariners who worked out of the village in the 1700’s and 1800’s, delve into the connections between the enslaved blacks who were brought here and the enslaved indigenous people who were kept here, and learn the compelling stories of a number of remarkable women. The walk begins at 10AM on October 21st at the Town Wharf at the very end of Main Street in the village.
Tim Cranston can trace his Rhode Island roots back to 1637 when his ancestor John Cranston, a young boy of 12, was sent to the “colonies” by his father, a chaplain to King Charles, as he feared retribution would be rained down upon the boy by Cromwell during the long period of turmoil in England. Upon arrival he walked down the gangway to the young streets of Portsmouth and Newport and would later become colonial Governor. His son Samuel would one day marry the grand-daughter of Roger Williams, and eventually would become the longest standing governor in Rhode Island history. The Cranston family eventually went on to settle in the villages of Wickford and Swamptown. Today that long standing lineage, and inherent Rhode Island sense of place, is personified by Tim Cranston, self-proclaimed arbiter of all things “Swamp Yankee,” and local historian of Ye Old North Kingstown and South County, and all of Rhode Island. His popular local history column has run in the South County Independent for +20 year, earnings two RI Press Association "Spirit of RI" and three PreserveRI Education Awards. The culmination of Tim Cranston’s efforts to learn about the details of the history of the village of Wickford, once the RI Colony’s second most important seaport, is the “Walking in Olde Wickford” guidebook series, a four volume set of handbooks to the history of this critically important South County village.”