Surrounded by waterways, Barrington’s natural setting of shorelines and marshlands made the town a perfect escape from the summer heat of the city, said Carole Villucci, director of the Town Museum operated by the Barrington Preservation Society.
“And with its picturesque beauty and cool breezes off Narragansett Bay, people came to Barrington to spend their summers in hotels, cottages, and even tents,” Villucci said.
You can relive a bit of that time period on Wednesday evening, June 6, when the museum hosts a reception to open its newest exhibit: “200 Years of Barrington Summers.” It runs from 6 to 8 pm.
“During the 19th and early 20th centuries, said Villucci, “Barrington was a vibrant summer community where people could mingle with the year-round residents, relax on the beach, sail the waters, participate in sporting events, go fishing or dig for quahogs, listen to band concerts, or simply sit on wicker chairs on lawns or porches and have a family picnic.
“Barrington’s coves, ponds, creeks, streams, and rivers were treasured resources that made summer living special,” she said.
This exhibition celebrates Barrington’s summertime history with the inclusion of historic photographs, musical instruments, costumes, games, and sports and sailing gear, Villucci said.
“Imagine taking a trip to the beach or a fishing spot and discover Barrington’s past fishing industry,” she said. “Visualize walking on a footbridge in the early 20th century from Haines Park to Crescent Park in Riverside.
Recollections from a 19th century diary, a summer cottage love story, and quilts from the 18th century will be featured along with a model Ferris wheel, she said.
The museum is located in the lower level of the Barrington Public Library.