Preserving our rich heritage


 Our organization is a fully volunteer, non-profit charity, founded in 1970, that works to preserve and promote the culture, heritage and history of North Smithfield, Rhode Island.


What We Do

Promote, Collect, Preserve and Restore Our Town Heritage

Members preserve our town heritage through public education, collection of documents, photographs and artifacts pertinent to the town of North Smithfield, as well as restoration of historic town buildings and locations.  The Association collects displays and stores many historic artifacts in the Forestdale School.  

Consider a donation or a loan of an item to the NSHA or let us scan them into our database so we can share them with future generations.  Volunteers open the building for the public Thursday and Saturday, 2nd & 3rd week of each month.  Contact us at to arrange an appointment.


Our Restoration Projects

Historic Cemeteries

Historic Cemetery Restoration

Artifacts and Relics


Volunteers collect, scan, catalogue and preserve artifacts of all kinds related to the town's heritage to include Letters, photos, books, relics and antiques.  They update our database as well as post to our website for public viewing.  

We urge residents to loan historic items so we can photograph and scan images to add to our database or for display at the School House .   We can visit your home to photograph items as well.


Our library contains a complete original set of James Arnold's 19th century "Vital Record of Rhode Island" as well as other reference books.

NSHA volunteers work to locate, clear and maintain 60 Historic Cemeteries in town.  Many of these cemeteries are abandoned and terribly overgrown with trees, brush and weeds.  Once cleared, the group inventories the burials and repairs broken and fallen stones.  Their work restores dignity to burial grounds of many of our town’s settling families.

We urge you to maintain the area around one grave once a year.  Contact us at or 401-447-6394 for more information.

Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall (the former Union Grange #13), is now our headquarters and a community center, at 101 Greene Street.  We restored much of the building in the past few years.  We next plan to repaint the building interior and eventually rebuild the steeple. 


We rent the upper and lower halls to the public with round or long tables of 8-10 .  The upper hall seats 100 and costs $225 for the day.  The lower hall seats  50 - 60 people and  costs $125.  


Contact:   Jeanne at 401-447-1801

                  Louise at 401-769-8177 


Forestdale School

Located at 190 School Street, the schoolhouse was originally opened in 1877.  Now the NSHA museum and artifact repository, the school and grounds are designated as a town Historic District. 


We plan to replace the roof and restore the siding, moldings, windows and clapboard as well as install handicapped access and a fire alarm.  Once the exterior is restored, we plan to restore the interior.

Open to the public Thu and Sat or by appointment to view artifacts and relics.

Historic Cemeteries

Three years ago, volunteers began to locate and restore abandoned cemeteries in town.  Currently we located and photographed over 60 cemeteries.  We cut trees and brush in the most overgrown lots and  two restoration crews began to repair and reset broken and fallen gravestones.   The cemeteries need continual upkeep.  Come lend a hand if you enjoy the outdoors and like to work with your hands.

             Our Programs

History Nights

One Friday night a month, we offer a history presentation about a topic relevant to own town.

Admission is free and we serve light refreshments.

Heritage Fair

We organize a fair in Slatersville on Memorial Day weekend to promote our local history.

Come view relics and artifacts, civic exhibits and craft vendor booths.

Free admission.

How You Can Help Us

Become a Member Today

Our membership currently stands at 176.  We need more members to help with our important work.  Annual dues are $20 per family member; students are free!  Please click on the icon to the right to print an application.   Mail it to NS Heritage Assn, P.O. Box 413, Slatersville, RI 02876.

As a member, you will receive our monthly email updates and attend our activities at no charge.

Volunteer Opportunities

Come lend a hand!   We rely on volunteers for everything we do.  Help to collect and archive artifacts; restore and maintain our buildings and cemeteries; plan programs and activities; fundraise and write grants; promote our town heritage. 

We make a point to have fun.   Members as well as non-members who can pitch in to help from time time entirely enjoy our camaraderie and good humor.  You don't have to make a regular commitment.  Every effort helps!  

Do your community service project with us!  Call Rich Keene at 401-447-6394 or email

We must raise revenues to pay all the utility and maintenance expenses for two old buildings as well as to conduct our various preservation activities.  Once we lose a bit of knowledge or a historic structure, it's gone forever.  Please donate generously to our Annual Appeal which allows us to preserve our Town's Heritage.   

 We are IRS 501 c (3) certified.  Make a tax deductible donation payable to “N.S. Heritage Association”.  Mail to P.O. Box 413, Slatersville, RI 02876.  Include a return address or email address and the treasurer will send an immediate acknowledgement letter.

Add the North Smithfield Heritage Association to your estate distribution plan.  


Donate to our Annual Appeal


"We eat the elephant one bite at a time!

Contact us:



P.O. Box 413, Slatersville, RI 02876

  • Facebook
  • Instagram


©2018 by North Smithfield Heritage Association. Proudly created with