Residents invited to tour renovated historic buildings, purchase newest NSHA swag June 4 & 5

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two buildings that have been largely closed to the public, with renovations underway over the past several months, will open their doors next weekend, inviting residents in for tours, and the chance to purchase the latest merchandise launched by the North Smithfield Heritage Association.

The NSHA has scheduled a two day Open House for both Heritage Hall and the Memorial Town Building on June 4 and 5, and will be soliciting feedback on potential uses for the second floor of the Main Street structure, which once housed municipal offices.

“We will hold the open house over two days to make it more convenient for the public,” explained NSHA President Richard Keene. “Holding the event over two days at two locations might help us to regulate the number of people inside the buildings at any given time.”

Built in 1921, Memorial Town Hall was originally created as a tribute to North Smithfield residents who served in World War I. Previously, the location hosted a hotel and boarding house.

The stately two-story brick building at One Main Street features neo-Georgian architecture, and sits on high ground at the center of Slatersville looking over the village. The structure held town offices before those were relocated to Green Street last year, and went under effective control of the NSHA in October.

Volunteers have been hard at work since, with renovations that include new paint and refinished flooring. According to Keene, the organization plans to use most of the first floor for its business office, research center, archives and meeting room, and in the next few weeks, the group will also install new carpet in two of the rooms.

But plans for the upstairs have yet to be determined, and the June event will provide a chance to gather ideas from residents. The organization had first hoped to host an open house in November, but cancelled amid surging cases of COVID-19.

“We haven’t decided yet, what to do with the upstairs. We’ll wait for public feedback,” said Keene. “One option is to restore the original open hall and use it as a museum.  We’ll consider all the feedback and then make a decision.”

The NSHA has also finished renovation work at Heritage Hall, a Green Street structure built in 1897 as a chapel for the St. Luke’s Episcopal Mission. The building once served a congregation of families from the Slatersville textile mills, and was later owned by the Union Grange, and operated as a community building, before it was donated to the association in 1994.

In recent months, NSHA Director of Maintenance Charlie Dubois and his team of volunteers have repainted the ceiling, walls and floor in the building’s lower hall, and installed used French doors in the upper hall. Keene noted that volunteer Martha Shean also made and installed new curtains.

“The building looks spectacular, and we are looking forward to showing it off at our Open House,” Keene said.

The property normally serves as a rental facility to help raise income for the association, but has been closed for the past year due to the pandemic. Last week, NSHA announced that rentals will resume on Tuesday, June 1.

The Open House will also serve as a chance for the organization, which works to preserve and promote the culture, heritage and history of North Smithfield, to show off new merchandise for sale. The group will have unveil Shutterfly puzzles that feature images from three town farms and 19th Century Main Street Slatersville. The puzzles are available in four different sizes and cost $20 each.

The puzzles will be offered alongside other NSTA items that reflect local history, including calendars, ornaments, maps and books. Those unable to attend the event can also make purchases through the online shop at www.nsheritageassn.org.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two buildings that have been largely closed to the public, with renovations underway over the past several months, will open their doors next weekend, inviting residents in for tours, and the chance to purchase the latest merchandise launched by the North Smithfield Heritage Association.

The NSHA has scheduled a two day Open House for both Heritage Hall and the Memorial Town Building on June 4 and 5, and will be soliciting feedback on potential uses for the second floor of the Main Street structure, which once housed municipal offices.

“We will hold the open house over two days to make it more convenient for the public,” explained NSHA President Richard Keene. “Holding the event over two days at two locations might help us to regulate the number of people inside the buildings at any given time.”

Built in 1921, Memorial Town Hall was originally created as a tribute to North Smithfield residents who served in World War I. Previously, the location hosted a hotel and boarding house.

The stately two-story brick building at One Main Street features neo-Georgian architecture, and sits on high ground at the center of Slatersville looking over the village. The structure held town offices before those were relocated to Green Street last year, and went under effective control of the NSHA in October.

Volunteers have been hard at work since, with renovations that include new paint and refinished flooring. According to Keene, the organization plans to use most of the first floor for its business office, research center, archives and meeting room, and in the next few weeks, the group will also install new carpet in two of the rooms.

But plans for the upstairs have yet to be determined, and the June event will provide a chance to gather ideas from residents. The organization had first hoped to host an open house in November, but cancelled amid surging cases of COVID-19.

“We haven’t decided yet, what to do with the upstairs. We’ll wait for public feedback,” said Keene. “One option is to restore the original open hall and use it as a museum.  We’ll consider all the feedback and then make a decision.”

The NSHA has also finished renovation work at Heritage Hall, a Green Street structure built in 1897 as a chapel for the St. Luke’s Episcopal Mission. The building once served a congregation of families from the Slatersville textile mills, and was later owned by the Union Grange, and operated as a community building, before it was donated to the association in 1994.

In recent months, NSHA Director of Maintenance Charlie Dubois and his team of volunteers have repainted the ceiling, walls and floor in the building’s lower hall, and installed used French doors in the upper hall. Keene noted that volunteer Martha Shean also made and installed new curtains.

“The building looks spectacular, and we are looking forward to showing it off at our Open House,” Keene said.

The property normally serves as a rental facility to help raise income for the association, but has been closed for the past year due to the pandemic. Last week, NSHA announced that rentals will resume on Tuesday, June 1.

The Open House will also serve as a chance for the organization, which works to preserve and promote the culture, heritage and history of North Smithfield, to show off new merchandise for sale. The group will have unveil Shutterfly puzzles that feature images from three town farms and 19th Century Main Street Slatersville. The puzzles are available in four different sizes and cost $20 each.

The puzzles will be offered alongside other NSTA items that reflect local history, including calendars, ornaments, maps and books. Those unable to attend the event can also make purchases through the online shop at www.nsheritageassn.org.

Members may renew their dues, and visitors can sign up for the popular monthly newsletter at both locations.

The NSHA Open House will be held at 101 Greene St. and 1 Main St. on Friday, June 4, from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The public is welcome to stop by the buildings either day with volunteers to provide guided tours. Those who have not been vaccinated for the COVID Virus will be asked to wear a mask inside the buildings.

Contact NSHA at nsha@nsheritageassn.com or 401-447-6394 for further information. 

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