NARRAGANSETT – The historic Anthony-Kinney Farm has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, the R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission announced Wednesday.
The National Register is the federal government’s official list of properties in the United States whose “historical and architectural significance makes them worthy of preservation,” according to the Heritage Commission’s announcement.
The Anthony-Kinney Farm, which has been in continuous agricultural use since the 17th century, was redeveloped for recreational use at the turn of the century.
“Today, the property’s open fields, stone walls, agricultural buildings and distinctive Bungalow represent the evolution of Point Judith Neck from fertile farmland to rural outpost of Narragansett’s resort community,” said the release.
There are five buildings on the farm’s 149-acre property: a two-story East Indian-style Bungalow, which was built around 1900; a two-and-a-half-story farmhouse, outhouse and two-story barn, all built around 1904; and a tractor shed, which was built in the 1930s.
Animal paddocks, pastures and crop fields are located on the east side of the farm’s property and woodland comprises most of the rest of the 149-acres.
The property was reported part of the Pettaquamscutt Purchase of 1657, which the Heritage Commission described as “the first major acquisition of land in southwestern Rhode Island from the Narragansett Indians.”
In 1897, the property, which had been used a farmland by more than three different owners in the 150 years since its purchase, was acquired by Francis Sherwood Kinney. Kinney was a Narragansett summer resident and wealthy entrepreneur, who co-founded the Kinney Brothers Tobacco Co.
According to the Heritage Commission announcement, it was Kinney who built the bungalow, which became – and still is used as – an entertaining destination in southern Rhode Island.
In 1991, with assistance from the Trust for Public Land, Rhode Island State Open Space and Recreation Grants, and a local referendum, the town of Narragansett purchased roughly 100 acres of the farm from its then-owner. The farm will continue to be preserved as open space for the town.
“In addition to honoring a property for its contribution to local, state or national history, listing on the National Register provides additional benefits,” said the release, adding that a place on the register results in special consideration during the planning of federal or federally-assisted projects and makes properties eligible for federal tax benefits for historic rehabilitation projects.