Do you know that Barrington has two birth dates?
It does. And you can find out why and a lot more about Barrington’s early history on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The Barrington Preservation Society is hosting a forum and a tour titled "In a Place Called Nockum:" A Forum on the Early History of Swansea, Barrington and Warren.” The forum will be led by three society historians, Van Edwards, Bonnie Warren and Nat Taylor, and the Rev. Charles Hartman, the retired pastor of the first Baptist church in North America, which was founded on Nockum Hill.
The tour includes the historic Allen-West home on George Street on Nockum Hill now owned by Jason Lawrence of Barrington. The home, built around 1763, is expected to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places within a few weeks.
Nockum Hill and the surrounding neighborhood was at one time part of Swansea, Mass., said Edwards, who has been researching the history of the area for about a year.
“Swansea was mother of us all,” Edwards said. “Barrington then broke away first in 1717. But then it became a part of what is now Warren until Barrington incorporated as a separate town in 1770.”
Thus, the two birth dates, he said.
“Nockum Hill contains the site of the ﬁrst Baptist meeting house
in the New World,” said
Edwards, “and the ﬁrst shots of King Philip's War in 1765 were ﬁred nearby.”
The forum runs from 10 am to noon in the Barrington Congregational Church -- the "White Church" -- fellowship hall at 461 County Road. The forum will be followed by a New England-style buﬀet lunch featuring clam chowder, corn bread, pork barbeque, vegetarian chili, Indian pudding, and apple pie.
There is a $15 charge -- $12 in advance -- or $10 for members of the Preservation society for the optional lunch; the forum and tour are free. The latter will include a visit to the historic house; the Doug Rayner Wildlife Refuge, and Nockum Hill cemetery.
Bus service between the “White Church” and Nockum Hill will be provided, said Edwards. For more information, contact Edwards at email@example.com or (401) 245–9719.