Babcock-Smith House, Westerly

4.9
#10 of 12 in Historic Sites in Washington County
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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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
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • 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... 
    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... 
    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 »
Google
  • An excellent example of colonial architecture. Most of the decorative pieces are original. Don't forget to check out the Granite Museum.
  • Great place full of local and Revolutionary Era history. House has a lot of details i hadn't seen in other houses of the era. Grants museum is a great addition. Mr. Gallup-Smith gave us the most awesome personal tour for just stopping in after a Docent meeting when it was closed.

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