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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI's historic Watson House to hold open house and quilt exhibit, Oct. 8

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 23, 2005 -- Visitors traveling to the University of Rhode Island for Homecoming weekend and others are invited to step through a bit of University history with a tour of the Oliver Watson House and an exhibit from its historic quilt collection.

The oldest structure on the URI campus, the Watson House, will hold an open house on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The house is part of the original 140 acre farm purchased in 1888 to establish an agricultural school in Kingston, that later became the University. The house will also be open on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for URI's Family Weekend.

Historic tours of the house�s 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 caretaker�s 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 state�s 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.