You Can Tour & Have Tea At This Rhody Landmark, So Make Plans With Your Fave History Fan
It was built in 1790 by one Rhode Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, who could ultimately boast not one but two governors (first William Sprague and later, his nephew William the IV), not to mention one of the most successful textile printing businesses in the entire country (Theirs was the first to manufacture cotton fabric in a calico print, which was the low cost material of choice for aprons, houses dresses, and the like during most of the 19th century.) that would come to be known as Cranston Print Works.
By the late 1960’s, however, the Manse, a key part of the Sprague legacy, was almost leveled to make room for a senior housing high-rise.
The years in between were rife with mysteries, murder (the killing of Amasa Sprague and subsequent conviction and execution of an innocent man for the crime led to the overturning of capital punishment in RI), and scandal (the story of marriage and eventual divorce of Kate Chase, one of the IT Girls of her era, and William Sprague IV has all the makings of a period drama starring JLaw and Bradley Cooper if you ask me).
And I haven’t even gotten to all the ghost stories (some versions say it’s haunted by Amasa whose real killer was never named, while others point to a Charlie the Butler apparition apparently upset about his daughter never marrying into the rich family who occupied the mansion after the Sprague fam and for whom he worked) that started swirling after the Cranston Historical Society took over the property in 1967.
(For the record it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, but has not been designated a National Landmark as of yet.)
Ghostly whisperings notwithstanding, it’s also gone on to become a wildly popular venue for parties, showers, and weddings.
As luck would have it, you can have a front row seat for the retelling of its fascinating history this Thursday night (That’s TOMORROW - since this post will be published on Wednesday, June 26th) at the Early Evening Tour With Tea at the Governor Sprague Mansion.
I also hear that there will be some Queen Victoria Jam Cake 🍰 too, a perennial fave of the current monarch (and Duchess Meghan’s grandma-in-law) Queen Elizabeth.
Tickets are $15 each and seating is limited. To reserve yours, call 401-944-9226.