Site History

Lawton Falls II
© 2000, W. Saslow

Lawton Arms
Realm of Lawton

Conduct a Survey
  Nest Monitoring

Hollow Tree Treasure
© 2000, W. Saslow

View an Info-File

Site History
  History Page
    Town Farm
    Lawton's Valley
Portsmouth Asylum

The site of the Portsmouth Asylum is silent now, overgrown with bittersweet and bramble on the southwest corner of the Raytheon property. The only clue to its presence, a stockwell, a cistern, and several sunken foundations, the stones covered with the coursing mud of years of runoff and neglect. Perhaps, the well is still in use by local deer, their trails radiating through the thicket. The site has been largely forgotten. The modern age moves on, oblivious to an important era in local history where good intentions, tempered in the fires of deterrence, met poor results, and paupers were left shuddering in shame and repression. The following link provides more information about the Portsmouth Asylum also know as the Town Farm.

Lawton Valley

Lawton Valley has quite a far-reaching and colorful past. Though it has changed over the years due to dam construction and the passing of an almost entirely agrarian culture, the features which made it a favorite over the centuries remain today. The residence of a town founder and a well known author/poet, Lawton Valley has a lot to offer to naturalist and historian alike.
Lawton Valley History

Portsmouth, Rhode Island Site
© 1999, Raytheon


Portsmouth Asylum Links
  Historical Context
  Act Establishing (1832)
  Inventory Report (1833)
  Rules & Regulations (1838)
  Committee Report (1840)
  Committee Report (1857)
  The Portsmouth Cripple (1848)
  Produce Sold (1849)
  Meat Sold (1849)
  Town Council Excerpts
  1865 Census Excerpts
  1875 Census Excerpts
  1892 Account Book
  Committal Letters (1867)
  Oakum and Idle Hands
  Newport Daily News Clips (1851)
  Site Mapping (10/5/01)
  NPR Interview

Historical Texts:
  Report on Poor & Insane (1851)
  Fales Memoir (1851)
  Peterson's History (1853)

Selected Biographies
  Thomas R. Hazard -1
  Thomas R. Hazard -2
  Seth R. Anthony
  William R. Fales

Fun and Games
A Day at the Portsmouth Asylum

Other Poorhouse Links
The Poorhouse Story

 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

Mrs Howe In Lawton Valley
Circa 1865 from a Painting

Waterfall at Lawton Valley c. 1890.
The round object in the right foreground
is a discarded mill stone. Early water powered gristmills were established at Lawton Valley and the Glenn

Summer Shower
by Emily Dickinson

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Same Raytheon Site Early In Construction During 1959
© 2000, Raytheon Company

Trail to the Sea
© 1999, W. Saslow

[Search!] [Survey] [Planning] [Projects] [Outreach] [What's New!]

Copyright © 1999-2002, REWHC. All Rights Reserved
1473 have visited