by Heidi Benedict, University Archivist
Have you ever wondered about the two portraits on the first floor of the library?
They are Dr. Herbert Marshall Howe and his daughter Edith. So why are they in the library?
In 1875 Dr. Howe purchased the property upon which RWU now sits and established Ferrycliffe Farm. There he raised Jersey dairy cows. At the time, Ferrycliffe extended across Metacom Avenue to the west shore of Bristol Point.
After Dr. Howe’s death in 1916, the farm was taken over by his daughter Edith and her husband Dr. Halsey DeWolf. Dr. Howe’s granddaughter Mary Howe DeWolf Fulton and her husband Dr. Marshall Nairne Fulton, continued farming on a smaller scale into the 1950s.
In the mid-1960s the University, then Roger Williams Junior College, acquired over 60 acres of land from the Fultons. The Bristol campus opened in the fall of 1969. The remaining 50 acres of the farm were sold to the University in the early 1990s.
Nearly five years ago, Mary Howe and Marshall’s children, Harriet Fulton Dwyer and DeWolf Fulton, on behalf of all their siblings, donated a collection of family diaries, letters, and photographs to the University. Since then the Archives has been processing the collection. In doing so the University Archivist noted that 1916 was a significant year for the Howe and Fulton families. In celebration of these events she will be sharing specific items from the collection here in Connections throughout 2016. The Archives plans to open the collection to the public in the fall.
March 7, 1916:
Edith Howe and Halsey DeWolf were married in Philadelphia on March 7, 1916. The Archives holds a copy of their wedding invitation, and marriage service book, with a completed certificate, names of witnesses, and even a sprig of pressed flowers.
Edith and Hal’s daughter, Mary Howe, married Marshall Fulton on June 22, 1940 in Bristol, RI.