Babcock-Smith House, Westerly

#11 of 13 in Historic Sites in Washington County
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Babcock–Smith House is a historic house in Westerly, Rhode Island.

The house was built around 1734. Dr. Joshua Babcock, a correspondent with Benjamin Franklin, lived in the house and hosted both Franklin and General George Washington at the home. Babcock served also as a general in the state militia, as a justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and as Westerly's first postmaster in the 1770s. He operated the post office and a general store out of this house. Babcock died in 1783 and "his family occupied the house until 1817. When his second wife, Anna Maxson Babcock, died in 1812, the property was passed to Dudley Babcock. Dudley, having lost some ships in the war of 1812 and unable to pay some debts, sold the house to his distant cousin, Oliver Wells, in 1817. Mr. Wells used it as a prosperous tenant farm, however the house was allowed to fall into disrepair."

Orlando Smith bought the property in 1846; he repaired the house and started a successful granite business based on a granite outcrop he had discovered there.
The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places and became a museum in 1972.
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Babcock-Smith House reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
9 reviews
  • We had a special day at the Babcock in spite of restrictions on going into the house due to CV19. Jackie set up the tour with Ed Fazio. We felt special with our private tour of the grounds and the...  more »
  • The home and families that lived here are rich in history. Your are given a guided tour of the home and an extensive detail of the families that lived here. Also a small museum next door gives you...  more »
  • Historic museum house dating back to the 1700s. Good educational activity on a rainy (or sunny!) day. Beautiful gardens. Visit Joshua's Store for souvenirs and the carriage house for a look at the granite industry exhibit.
  • Google's★★★★★★ Nice house, great interior all through, wonderful antiques, clean, has a real old vibe. Great, WARM & I will return to check this place out during the winter..WARM my service puppy approves this review as Babcock House is hip on service puppy rights..;-).

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