Gov. Sprague’s 188th birthday celebrated by historical society


The Cranston Historical Society celebrated Governor William Sprague IV’s 188th birthday at their annual meeting held on September 18.

President Sandra Moyer welcomed members and guests and gave a summary of the Cranston Historical Society year of events and progress at both the Governor Sprague Mansion Museum and colonial Joy Homestead. Moyer shared information about the Cranston Discovery Network signage that will be placed a various site throughout the city. The Sprague Mansion was one of the first signs dedicated last spring by the City of Cranston, describing the history of the neighborhood and the Sprague family.

Governor Sprague was the only Union governor to serve in combat during the Civil War, in July of 1861 at the first Battle of Bull Run, fighting along with his Rhode Island troops. Sprague IV served one term as governor of Rhode Island from 1860 to 1863. He also was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1863.

Sprague was one of Abraham Lincoln’s top three war governors during the Civil War.

In celebration of his birthday, Sept. 12 of 1830, guests attending the fundraising buffet and Cranston Historical Society annual meeting enjoyed a meal by Ralph’s Catering and a birthday cake in the Governor’s honor, both eaten in the historic ballroom and dining room of the Sprague Mansion.

“The Mansion is one of the oldest historic mansions in the State of RI,” sad Moyer. “Long time society member John Lonardo planned the meal and refreshments. He has been chairperson of Hospitality for several years. Members and guests from all over the state in attendance enjoyed an interesting display of some historical items belonging to Governor Sprague.”

Some upcoming events were also announced, which include: Friday, Oct. 26 – Annual Charlie the Butler Ghost Party with Jared the Magician & Mentalist at 7:00 p.m. (seating is limited and early reservations are suggested); Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m., Cranston Historical Society open Meeting & Volunteers of the Year night with guest speaker John Currier of the Pawtuxet Rangers; Sunday, Dec. 2 will be the Annual Holiday Open Houses at the Sprague Mansion & Joy Homestead from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; April 14, 2019 – Annual Victorian Tea with Historic New England’s curator Laura E. Johnson. PhD at 2:00 p.m. For more information call the Sprague Mansion at 401-944-9226.

The Cranston Historical Society and its Museums, Sprague Mansion and colonial Joy Homestead, are 501(c)(3) historical, educational and nonprofit entities. Events help support Cranston Historical Society house museums.


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