A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections at the RIHS

Object Thursday: Sledding in Saylesville


Children on sleds at Bleachery Pond, Saylesville, RI, 1921. Print from a nitrate negative. Negative Number RHi S275 265

Children all over Rhode Island are looking forward to a snow day, and wondering why some of them had school today, when (it seems to them) Friday just must be a snow day! In 1921, these children knew how to make the best of snow: sledding!

In my Providence neighborhood, there is hill where everyone goes to sled when the weather is right– it’s a private hill, but the gates are open, and sledding, for now, is tolerated. In 1945’s The Pageant of Benefit Street, Margaret Bingham Stillwell writes of the sledding and coasting that successive generations of children enjoyed on the steep hills of the East Side of Providence.  She writes of College Hill and Hopkins Street in particular, “In the early days, it is said that is the way was clear, one could shoot straight across the river; and in later times one little girl shot through an open door into a South Main Street Store.” (page 40)

There’s too much traffic today to risk such adventures, but as we prepare to dig and salt and sand our way through this snow storm, I hope we can take a moment to enjoy the stories of excellent Rhode Island sledding, if not the sledding itself.

~Kirsten Hammerstrom, Director of Collections


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 122 other followers

wordpress statistics
%d bloggers like this: