Spring has sprung, and we here at the Matunuck Preservation Society (MPS) are springing forward to bring you a new season at Hale House. During Covid, we were restricted in presenting new programs, but now are ready to go with a host of new ideas.
At the house, we are preparing a bedroom at last. Many of you have ben asking when we would have a bedroom ready and we heard you! Lucretia Hale’s bedroom will open this season with period furnishings and historic style wallpaper. That’s on the inside, but we also have an exciting new feature outside.
When the Hales were in residence from the 1870’s through the turn of the century, one could see the ocean from the house. They could retreat to a platform above the house and Wash Pond and enjoy views of the pond or out to sea. The platform and a scenic walkway will be recreated for your enjoyment this summer. The view out to sea may not be as clear as it was in the 1800’s, but you will love the view “up the pond”. Cool breezes are almost always available and we are betting this spot will be very popular with our visitors!
Summer programs will begin in mid-June with our open house on the 16th from 5-7 pm. All of us are excited about this one. Local neighbor Elise Torello has become well known for her wonderful wildlife cameras in and around Matunuck. She will be showing slides of the diverse animal populations in our backyards. We call the program Matunuck Hills Safari! You are sure to be surprised at the variety of animals the cameras have found.
The theme for the summer Saturday series is “South County Crafts”. The programs will be held at Hale House on Saturday afternoons from 2-4 pm. First up is Kevin McCloskey showing us his popular hand-hewn whales and mermaids on July 23rd. On August 6th the Rhode Island Weaving Center will be here to show off their beautiful looms and the weavings that they are producing. Finally, August 20th will bring Liz Hellewell to the house to show you how to cane your old chairs. There will be more information on each of these programs in the days ahead.
Last year restrictions caused us to limit tours of the house to those with reservations. We weren’t certain the idea would work, but it was very successful. It has been decided that we will take reservations again this year. Guided tours will be offered by advance reservation on select Fridays and Saturdays. If you would like to visit after we open on June 16th, please call 401-830-4677. Although there is never a charge for touring, we do encourage donations of $5.00 per person to help us offset costs of providing the tours.
Finally, you are invited to take a tour of the wonderful new website MPS committee members Deb Stallwood and Angela Brunetti have worked on this past winter with Jan West of Fine Webworking. There is a lot to discover on the site, and we will post more information about our summer activities there, too. You will also see our swanky new logo, which is displayed in our newsletter here as well.
We are ready to open and are looking forward to seeing old friends and new. Thank you for your continued interest in Hale House!
Bobcat, Elise Torello
Carved whales, Kevin McCloskey
Hale House from Wash Pond, Elise Torello