Visitors at the Joy Homestead celebrated the 241st anniversary of the March to Victory of General Rochambeau through Cranston, Scituate and Coventry on June 18. The early morning of June 18, 1781, …
Visitors at the Joy Homestead celebrated the 241st anniversary of the March to Victory of General Rochambeau through Cranston, Scituate and Coventry on June 18. The early morning of June 18, 1781, marked the beginning of four days during which the Joy family witnessed allied French soldiers and artillery travel by their homestead. That Monday, they saw the Rochambeau lead the first of the regiments, the Bourbonnais, on their way to join General George Washington’s army in New York.
The Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R) begins in Newport and continues as a 600 mile National Park Heritage Trail following the route that the French took on their way to Yorktown, Virginia, to defeat the British under the command of General Cornwallis. The route is also designated as a national landmark which the Cranston Historical Society’s Joy Homestead & Governor Sprague Mansion Museum are located on.
At this year’s event, hosted by the Cranston Historical Society, guests enjoyed an early evening of tea and strawberries with homemade biscuits.
Joy Homestead is a gambrel-roof farmhouse built in 1754 by Job Joy, a cobbler and farmer. Five rooms are furnished with period antiques, and the home is one of five Cranston houses on the National Rochambeau Trail – but the only one open to the public. The Joy Homestead is a fine example of early architecture – including one center chimney with three fire places. The Cranston Historical Society purchased the Joy Homestead in the spring of 1959. With the help of its members, the Rhode Island Preservation and Heritage Commission and grants, the building has been restored to the way it would have looked in Job Joy’s time.
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