Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Cotuit

Marketing Rhode Island's History

Recommended Posts

Last night I went to the Rhode Island Hospitality Association's Stars of the Industry Banquet. The outgoing Director offered a challenge to the Association and the RI tourism industry to capitalize on Rhode Island's history as a way to attract visitors to the Ocean State.

How would you use Rhode Island's history as a way to attract visitors to the state?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


How would you use Rhode Island's history as a way to attract visitors to the state?

I love how around the city there are little stations that show you 'what once was' like along South Water St and inside the tunnels. I'd love to see more of this. Maybe include pictures around the city of what was here in more recent history; pictures of the rail lines, arials of downtown with the rivers capped, a statue of E.A.Poe on Benefit St. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love how around the city there are little stations that show you 'what once was' like along South Water St and inside the tunnels. I'd love to see more of this. Maybe include pictures around the city of what was here in more recent history; pictures of the rail lines, arials of downtown with the rivers capped, a statue of E.A.Poe on Benefit St. :thumbsup:

I think a self guided walking tour around the city with stations at each point of interest would be great. You could use signs or stripe of some sort painted on the street to mark the path. have a stack of pamphlets about it at the various hotels. There are a lot of neat historical things in providence that I know I have never seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a self guided walking tour around the city with stations at each point of interest would be great. You could use signs or stripe of some sort painted on the street to mark the path. have a stack of pamphlets about it at the various hotels. There are a lot of neat historical things in providence that I know I have never seen.

I LOVE this idea- self-guided cell phone history tours!. Apparently, it was featured locally this past spring- I missed that, but read about it in the NYTimes. With all the creative minds around here, I think someone could make a local version incredibly cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not have something like the Freedom Trail in Boston, and have it lead down to the RIPTA ferry dock and continue through Newport? Give it some stupid catchy name and your set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not have something like the Freedom Trail in Boston, and have it lead down to the RIPTA ferry dock and continue through Newport? Give it some stupid catchy name and your set.

Patriots' Path

Providence Patriot Path

Revoutionary Way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not have something like the Freedom Trail in Boston, and have it lead down to the RIPTA ferry dock and continue through Newport? Give it some stupid catchy name and your set.

Sounds liek a good idea. Another one would be to emphasise R.I.'s role in the Revolutionary War; Have a Freedom Trail of some sort starting in Providence and showing some famous"Firsts":

Burning of the Gaspee: First act of defiance against British rule:

http://gaspee.com/BurningoftheGaspee.htm

The First Rhode Island Regiment (the first all-black military unit in America) is currently undergoing reconstruction and expansion on Aquidneck Island:

http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american...litary_pioneers

The state does have a rich history. They should rename a state road (Rt. 114?) and call it "History Trail", or something like that. Market it at the Welcome Center near Exit 3 on Rt. 95.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds liek a good idea. Another one would be to emphasise R.I.'s role in the Revolutionary War; Have a Freedom Trail of some sort starting in Providence and showing some famous"Firsts":

Burning of the Gaspee: First act of defiance against British rule:

http://gaspee.com/BurningoftheGaspee.htm

The First Rhode Island Regiment (the first all-black military unit in America) is currently undergoing reconstruction and expansion on Aquidneck Island:

http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american...litary_pioneers

The state does have a rich history. They should rename a state road (Rt. 114?) and call it "History Trail", or something like that. Market it at the Welcome Center near Exit 3 on Rt. 95.

Am I the only one that is bothered at all the "publicity" the "Boston Tea Party" gets in the history books when it was our RI forefathers that really were the first ones to rebel??? And so what we were the first ones to declare our independence but the last (colony) to sign - we were still the first (dam-it!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a somewhat related note, I've been thinking lately that the stretch of I-95 between Providence and Boston should be renamed Patriots Highway. And I've gotta admit, history obviously isn't the primary reason for doing this.

Then again, I'm not a football fan either. And I see this as a nice opportunity to kill two birds with one stone -- both of them tying into a local attraction. It's a piggyback ride, so to speak. One the one hand, you reward a dominant local sports team (almost the home team, really, as the Patriots play closer to Providence than Boston). On the other hand, you highlight the area's relative historical wealth at the same time.

As for the main idea behind this thread ... I've had somethin on my mind a lot lately: what if there were a direct highway connection between Providence and Newport?

I think it would have the potential to be very good for the tourism industry in this state. But it would require running a superhighway through Warwick and Prudence Island (and probably also require a tunnel between the two). Warwick (and Save the Bay) would scream bloody murder. It would also require the use of some government land in Middletown: I dunno how easily the Navy could be convinced to let the state buy some of their land there.

It could be done. But I'm not sure about the environmental effect of Prudence Island. And the project would probably be accompanied by the odor of pork ...

Edit: and for the record, yeah I guess I should confess that I could care less about the impact on Warwick. Warwick sold its soul -- if it ever had one -- a long time ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No no no please, no more highways. There already is a decent highway connection (95-Route 4-138), or even 195-24-138. No way Prudence Island would EVER get a highway through it, never never never. Two highway proposals that would have made it easier (for cars at least) to go from Providence to Newport have already been proposed and shot down a long time ago. One was extending 24 all the way down to connect to the Newport bridge (part of I 895 which would also connect to 95 in Hope Valley) and the other was the extension of Route 37 over to Barrington (a previous I 895 proposal).

Newport and Providence have pretty good access, we have the ferry in the summer time, two different bus routes year round, and the two highway connections. Extending the ferry to year round service would be the best in my opinion. That and if we ever get Commuter Rail from Providence to the east bay and Fall River, a connection from Newport to Fall River.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rt. 4 is becoming woefully inadequate. It's going to need a major expansion within a decade or two, IMHO. And the Rt. 4/Rt. 1 intersection in North Kingstown is ... poorly designed at best.

That's actually why I started thinking about this idea in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we should build a replica of the Colossus of Rhodes across Newport Harbor to represent the Rhode part of Rhode Island. (I choose to believe that story for the name rather than the Red Clay one since I'm Greek).

Um, btw, I'm not serious. And, FWiW, the Colossus didn't straddle the harbor, and probably looked a lot like another famous big-ass harbor sculpture - The Statue of Liberty. I still think it would be cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All right, well now that we're definitely into the realm of fantasy, I dream from time to time that we could make ornamental anchors, place them on stone pedestals, and use one pair of these these pedestals to flank each of the entrances to all of our major bridges. Or maybe just the ones that lead to Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands (the Sakkonet, Mount Hope, Verrazzano, and Pell Bridges).

Or place them at the major (read: highway) entrances to the state.

I love the anchor as a symbol of the state. I wish it were more prominent. I also wish, when it was our turn to choose the design for our state quarter, we had chosen the design that featured an anchor. I was very disappointed when I learned the result of the vote. So what? We've got water, we've got yachts, and we've got a suspension bridge. And lots of other places have those things, too. But that anchor version, that was distinctive. That was impressive. A little austere perhaps, but charged with meaning.

Humbug.

I also dream that we could make something like the Bunker Hill Monument (think Washington Monument, but half the size) to commemorate the Battle of Rhode Island. Actually, I doubt it would even need to match the Bunker Hill Monument: all of the buildings on the island are so short that it probably wouldn't even need to top 200 feet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rt. 4 is becoming woefully inadequate. It's going to need a major expansion within a decade or two, IMHO. And the Rt. 4/Rt. 1 intersection in North Kingstown is ... poorly designed at best.

That's actually why I started thinking about this idea in the first place.

Taking out the traffic lights on Route 4, and making the Route 4/Route 1 interchange more limited access would be a good idea, and would make the route much safer. That's the farthest I'd go though. And maybe also finally connecting Route 4 north with 95 south and vice-versa. No new highways though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also dream that we could make something like the Bunker Hill Monument (think Washington Monument, but half the size) to commemorate the Battle of Rhode Island. Actually, I doubt it would even need to match the Bunker Hill Monument: all of the buildings on the island are so short that it probably wouldn't even need to top 200 feet.

The monument to the 1st Black Regiment was rebuilt in Portsmouth (at the junction of 24 and 114). It is not an oblisk by any means, but better than what it was.

Rhode Island does a poor job in marketing its' history in my book. Here's something of note. Around 8 years ago my wife was working in Newport near Common Cemetery (the cemetery that straddles Farewell St as you come off the Newport Bridge). I had some time to kill before my wife got off work. So I took a stroll into the cemetery and stumbled upon William Ellery's gravestone! Ellery is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Contential Congress, 1st Chief Justice of the R.I Supreme Court, and so on. The inscription on his gravestone was quite impressive. Here was one of the Founding Fathers and I did not even know he was laid to rest there. R.I. history website does not even list him:

http://www.visitrhodeisland.com/facts_history/history.aspx

If I get some time I'll go down there with my digital camera and snap a pic of the gravestone and post it.

I think what is needed is a statewide commisson to come up with a plan for an historic "trail" of some kind, both walking and driving (start in Newport, move north through Bristol, Providence, Pawtucket, etc.) Ft. Barton in Tiverton is the only preserved Revolutionary War battle site in the state. That's not listed, either. www.visitrhodeisland.com states that no "major" battles took place in the state during the Revolution. WRONG. More troops fought in The Battle of Rhode Island (over 17,000) than at Bunker Hill (around 10,000), making it the largest battle ever fought in New England, ever. Nothing on the Gaspee incident, either, which happened years before the Boston Tea Party (making it the first armed insurrection aganst British rule)

Anyhow, that's my Friday rant. I'll also post pics soon of a Pocasset Indian execution site nearby where I grew up. It's where King Philip executed prisoners during King Philip's War in a gastly fashion...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would encourage people to contact the Rhode Island Hospitality Association about some of these shortcomings on the state's part on marketing our history.

I also believe that this is a project that Mrs. Cacieri was taking on, I don't see anyway to contact her directly, but you can visit the Governor's website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone is aware of my sign fetish. Did you all know that Rhode Island has a system of Heritage Trails? Supposedly there are two in Providence, yet I've never seen any physical manifestation of them.

Then look at Nova Scotia's Scenic Trailways for comparison.

You'll find signs like the ones below across the province.

CabotTrail001.jpgCabotTrail002.jpg

I find Rhode Island surprisingly difficult to navigate, the Bay breaks up the state and makes our roadways rather circuitous and counter-intuitive. The East Bay is a total mystery to me, and I couldn't get myself to Narragansett right now without consulting a map (and I generally have a really good sense of direction). I know where it is, but do I take Route 1, how do I get to Route 1? Should I take Route 4..? We need to make it easier for people to navigate the state.

And has anyone ever tried to find out which bus goes where when using RIPTAs website? Pretend you're new to the state and try to figure out how to get to Wickford. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MikeR, I agree. Very disappointing. And the Newport Colony House, from the steps of which they read aloud the Declaration of Independence? Sitting in the middle of a construction zone right at the moment.

First state to declare independence from the crown? That would seem to be pretty big news. First state to abolish slavery? Shoot, you'd think we would push that for all it's worth.

Big stuff happened here! Little state, but big stuff!

Recchia, taking out the Rt. 4 traffic lights would be a start, as would straightening and widening the Rt. 4/Rt. 1 junction. But do you drive that road much? I do, every day. Without an alternate route being built, Rt. 4 is going to need to expand to 3 lanes both ways at some point anyway. And that's not even considering beach/summer traffic.

It's the middle of January. The weather has been unseasonably warm, but not THAT warm. There's no beach traffic this time of year. But Rt. 4 has been packed every night this week. It's like that every night. And every morning. You throw in a little roadwork, or even a small accident, and half the state's workforce shows up late for work that day.

I drive that road every day. So do a lot of other people, by all indications. You know that old cliche about Rhode Islanders, how we pack a lunch if we plan on driving anywhere more than 15 minutes away? Yeah, it's not true anymore ...

But that's not really the main reason I want to build a direct route. I want a new highway so we can bring Providence & Newport closer together. Not literally of course. It's a shame that they're so far apart: imagine the cultural & economic potential if Providence and Newport were immediately adjacent to one another!

But in reality, they're not as far apart as our road system makes them seem. By our existing routes, it's about a 50-minute drive from downtown Providence to Newport, assuming good traffic. But with a direct link between the two cities on a fully functional superhighway system, I think that travel time could be shortened to no more than 30 minutes.

These are the only two cities worth a darn in the state. Warwick? Warwick has zero cultural value. Pawtucket is ... well, frankly grimey. Cranston? No cultural value AND stuck in the '50's. Johnston? I can't speak for Johnston, but you get the picture.

Newport and Providence are legitimate destinations. No other city in the state deserves two thoughts, unless you're passing through Warwick when using Green. So why not bring these two cities closer together? Or if nothing else, why make them seem farther apart than they really are?

And the space is available to do it. You have to cut through Warwick, but besides that, the presence of the Bay would enable us to put together a project of major proportions while condemning a bare minimum of land to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And has anyone ever tried to find out which bus goes where when using RIPTAs website? Pretend you're new to the state and try to figure out how to get to Wickford. Good luck!

One of my pet projects that I have yet to be able to get off the ground and fit into my workload at Preserve Rhode Island is to compile all of the historic sites in the state and then specifically create a brochure that details which sites are accessible via RIPTA. I figure this would be a great marketing tool and since RIPTA is willing to trade advertising spaces on their buses for any advertising or sponsorships that may potentially increase their ridership, it would be a great opportunity for my organization to get its name out there, which we sorely need.

There will be another free Statewide Historic Sites Open House this fall, like the one in 2004, to garner support for another bond referendum for funding for Historic Preservation projects, so that will be something to look forward to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Widening highways does nothing to ease congestion, any traffic engineer can tell you this. It's called triple convergence, as soon as you add more access to a highway, more people will in turn use it and bring it right back up to the level of congestion (either by switching the time they'll drive it, the route they will drive, or the mode of travel). So widening Route 4 will solve nothing. Taking out the lights will make it safer and maybe less congested for a short period of time. What needs to be done is to stop all the blatant sprawling developments that are happening in South County, i.e. "South County Commons" off Route 1.

Best way to connect Providence and Newport now is to make that ferry service year round, and cheaper and more viable as a commuting option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best way to connect Providence and Newport now is to make that ferry service year round, and cheaper and more viable as a commuting option.

Also, if/when we have Commuter Rail service to NK, having a bus to Newport meet the train would be swell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being an auto racing histoy buff, I have some interesting little tidbits for you.

Narragansett Park in Cranston - (today the site is the Cranston Stadium) - Originally a horse track built in 1867, the old R.I. State Fairgrounds hosted the first ever oval track auto race in the U.S. on Sept. 7 1896, won by Harry B. Morris. The track remained a 1-mile dirt oval until 1913, when it was concreted and held racing from 1915-1923 when Milt McBride won the last race.

The Newport Fairgrouds (also called the Aquidneck Trotter Park) held races on a 1/2 mile dirt oval between 1900 and 1904 and 1937, 1940-41; William Venderbilt won the first race. Today this site is the airport.

I can go on and on with other information but I thought those two were germane to the conversation about R.I. history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe I read on this very site that Newport also hosted the very first automobile race. And (coincidentally, I'm sure) the first speeding ticket was also issued in Newport ...

Fun fun.

Recchia, you sound like you know a thing or two. Is there a difference between widening a highway and "adding more access," as you say? Or do the two mean the same thing in engineering terminology?

Because I said nothing about adding more access, and inasmuch as I'm taking that term literally, I find it to be an odd superimposition on my original idea. But as I said, maybe I just don't know the lingo ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recchia, you sound like you know a thing or two. Is there a difference between widening a highway and "adding more access," as you say? Or do the two mean the same thing in engineering terminology?

My bad, I meant adding more capacity to a highway. Poor choice of words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.