Pawtuxet Armory Hall provides vivid look into local history


There’s something about stepping into a building with a long and storied history that just feels different – something that feels special.

It may be the coldness of the surrounding stone walls and flooring, and it could just be a mental symptom of knowing you’re in a building that was constructed about 175 years ago, but it doesn’t change the feeling that you’re in a location that means something important.

In Pawtuxet, that special feeling is preserved and is about to be immaculately put on display for history enthusiasts and curious residents of Warwick at the Armory Hall on 59 Remington St.

This unassuming but easily identifiable building just off the beaten path of the main Pawtuxet Village drag holds a storied history – first as a home of Warwick’s own Pawtuxet Rangers, then as a meeting place for the Masons, then a private residence and finally, back into the hands of the Rangers, who have put hard work and a lot of money into making this piece of history proudly sing all the tales of its past.

As part of its 175th anniversary celebration, to be held at the hall this Sunday, April 15, the Pawtuxet Rangers will welcome in local public officials, preservation personnel, interested village residents and historic military units from all over the Northeast to give a spotlight moment to the building and unveil a new local museum filled with artifacts and information about Pawtuxet, and much more.

For anybody with even a little enthusiasm for history, the new museum is a must see. It includes homages to each of the building’s previous owners and tells the story of the Pawtuxet Rangers from their inception in colonial times as a defensive force during the Revolution to their current role as drummers of enthusiasm via rousing drum and fife musical numbers and marches.

In the room dedicated to the Rangers, there are interactive items used to help enthuse kids about the local history – such as a life-sized, full weight deactivated musket and period garb for those who want to dress up and feel like they were warped back in time.

There is a room dedicated to telling the story of the Burning of the Gaspee, and an incredibly cool artifact located on the ground level – the actual door to the tavern where early patriots planned to set out on that very mission that changed the trajectory of American history.

Enough cannot be said about the dedication and enthusiasm exuded by the Pawtuxet Rangers and accompanying community groups that make Pawtuxet Village, and all its vibrant history, accessible and exciting for all.

The 175th anniversary celebration begins at 2 p.m. To RSVP, email pawtuxetrangers@aol.com or call 785-1774.


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