Lawton's Valley
Lawton Valley In Peterson's
History of Rhode Island:

  History of Rhode Island
By Rev. Edward Peterson (1853)
(Photos by W.Saslow, H.Mutter, and Raytheon)

"This valley, or gulley, as it was once called, is situated on the west side of the island in the town of Portsmouth. This is a delightful retreat in summer; blooming wild weeds hang luxuriantly in waving wreaths from innumerable impending projections of rock. Many beautiful vagrant rills gently steal through various crevices, while some, impeded in their course by rude fragments of stone, impetuously break a passage, and precipitate the sparkling foam down the declivity, till it pauses in the many windings of a gentle stream. It is sublimely beautiful to contemplate this wild luxuriance of prolific nature. No spot furnishes more inviting rides and walks than the island of Rhode Island, and to the mind of perception and taste, is presented a wide field for contemplation on the beauties of nature.The entrance to this rural retreat, is situated about midway of the road running west from the Union Meeting house near the bridge, known as Cuff's bridge. Cuff was an old family negro belonging to the Lawton family. His residence was a small cottage at the base of the hill, near the bridge. The old cellar is all that remains to mark the spot. We well remember his coming to market, in his old-fashioned coat, with the produce of his small plantation.. These resminiscences afford pleasure and delight, far beyond anything of the present day.

This portion of the island is very interesting, and to one who prefers solitudes to the vortex of fashion, presents attractions of a highly interesting character."

Copied as printed in 1853
C. Dietz
 Lawton Valley Links
  Timeline to History
  Lawton Family Arms
  Lawton Valley Revisited
  Battle Hymn of the Republic
  Portsmouth Compact(s)
  Peterson's History o f RI
  Enchanted Forest
  Water Mills (NHS)

    Maud Howe Elliot:
    This Was My Newport

  Arriving Lawton's Valley
  Receiving Visitors
  A Children's Adventure

Lawton Falls Closeup
� 2000, W. Saslow

In My Valley
by Julia Ward Howe

From the hurried city fleeing,
From the dusty men and ways,
In my golden sheltered valley,
Count I yet some sunny days.

Golden, for the ripened Autumn
Kindles there its yellow blaze;
And the fiery sunshine haunts it
Like a ghost of summer days.

Walking where the running water
Twines its silvery caprice,
Treading soft the leaf-spread carpet,
I encounter thoughts like these:�

"Keep but heart, and healthful courage,
Keep the ship against the sea,
Thou shall pass the dangerous quicksands
That ensnare Futurity;

"Thou shalt live for song and story,
For the service of the pen;
Shalt survive till children's children
Bring thee mother-joys again.

"Thou hast many years to gather;
And these falling years shall bring
The benignant fruits of Autumn,
Answering to the hopes of Spring.

"Passing where the shades that darken
Grow transfigured to thy mind,
Thou shalt go with soul untroubled
To the mysteries behind;

"Pass unmoved the silent portal
Where beatitude begins,
With an equal balance bearing
Thy misfortunes and thy sins."

Treading soft the leaf-spread carpet,
Thus the Spirits talked with me;
And I left my valley, musing
On their gracious prophecy.

To my fiery youth's ambition
Such a boon were scarcely dear;
"Thou shalt live to be a grandame,
Work and die, devoid of fear."

"Now, as utmost grace it steads me,
Add but this thereto," I said:
"On the matron's time-worn mantle
Let the Poet's wreath be laid."

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