Rhode Island’s oldest enigma: unveiling the Stone Ender

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Image courtesy of redwoodlibrary.org

The titleholder of Rhode Island’s oldest building can be confusing to pinpoint. While some sources point to the 1723 Redwood Library in Newport, a strong contender lies north.

The Clemence-Irons House in Johnston, a surviving stone-ender, boasts a construction date of 1691, confirmed through dendrochronology (tree-ring dating). This unique building style, with a large central chimney separating two rooms, reflects Rhode Island’s early colonial architecture influenced by western England.

This house exemplifies the lives of Rhode Island’s pioneers. Today, the Clemence-Irons House, thoroughly restored, offers a great glimpse into 17th-century life and sparks the imagination about Rhode Island’s fascinating past.

– Erin McIntyre with AI assist*

*As a company focused on innovative tools to build community, we embrace AI as an editorial resource to help us create relevant content. Every article is reviewed and modified by one of our editors to ensure accuracy.