Around Town

History Repeated

Charlestown travels back to 1776 at Amos Greene Farm

Posted

Amos Greene Farm sits on 70 of its original hundreds of acres, a picturesque setting complete with pastures, rock walls, woods, and a shingled colonial dwelling.

The farm once belonged to Captain Amos Greene, Jr. in the eighteenth century. The property was built by his father, and when Greene, Jr. was a King’s County (what is now the South County area) militia captain, he used it as a muster ground for his men to practice drills. Today, parts of the Amos Greene Farm are owned by Carla and Russ Ricci, and the rest, gifted in December 2005, is preserved by the Charlestown Land Trust. The farm remains one of the few undisturbed pre-revolutionary settings left in the country.

“When you travel down the dirt path, you’re traveling back hundreds of years to the birth of our nation,” says Stu Redish, event organizer and member of the Charlestown Historical Society. Alongside President Pamela Lyons and Board of Director Alan Angelo, Redish is involved in the annual militia reenactment held on the farm, which this year will take place on October 6. 

“It makes history come to life,” says Redish, whose favorite part of the event is hearing the musket fire. “It’s pretty dramatic.” Dramatic, and authentic. Eighty troops supplied by the Brigade of the American Revolution (led by their troop commander, Providence College’s Professor Emeritus Norm Desmarais) camp out over the weekend in canvas tents, cook over open fires, and wear period costume – rain or shine.

This month, Amos Greene Farm will burst back to life with their third “Raid on Charlestown” reenactment. While Charlestown never saw any major Revolutionary War battles, Redish explains, raids by the British were common in South County. The day is complete with a salute to Captain Amos Greene, Jr.’s grave, live drummer and fifer, demonstrations by a weaver and blacksmith, reading of the Declaration of Independence, and intermittent skirmishes between British and French and American soldiers.

Redish believes the event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about history in a more meaningful way: “There’s a difference between studying history in books and experiencing this ‘living history.’” In the case of Amos Greene Farm, he gushes, “You’re really seeing what it would’ve been like in 1776.” Charlestown