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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URIís historic Watson House to hold open house Commencement weekend, May 21

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 13, 2005 -- Visitors traveling to the University of Rhode Island for Commencement weekend and others are invited to step through a bit of University history with a tour of the Oliver Watson House.

The only remaining building from the Watson Farm that became the University of Rhode Island, will hold an open house on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A docent in colonial-period attire and other Watson House committee members will be on hand to welcome visitors. Historic tours of the houseís interior will be conducted through the four downstairs and three upstairs rooms that are authentically furnished with antiques and artifacts that are appropriate to an eighteenth century farm house.

The Watson House, which dates to 1796, recently received a Renovations Grant from the R.I. State Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission. Funds from the grant are being matched on a one-for-two basis by the University, and will be used to repaint the exterior and to perform window sash restoration work. There are also interior improvements to be made to the caretakerís living quarters.

The white, wood-shingled and clapboard house is located on the Kingston Campus between the University Library and the Tucker residence hall on Farm House Road. After the Watson Farm was purchased in 1888 for the stateís agricultural school, the Watson House served the state college and later the University as a dormitory, daycare center, and sorority.

Entrance to the Watson House is free and open to the public. However, the facility is not wheelchair accessible.