1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Martha B. (Willson) Day Collection

 Artist in Providence, RI

 Papers, 1862-2001 (bulk 1935-1980)

 Size: .5 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 1115

 Processed by: Karen Eberhart, January 2003

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Martha "Patty"(Willson) Day (1885-1983) was a life-long resident of Congdon Street in Providence, RI. Her father, the architect Edmund R. Willson, bought the house at 104 Bowen St. and moved it to 88 Congdon St. in 1885. Martha lived in the house the majority of her life. She married Howard Day and they raised two sons at 88 Congdon Street, Willson Day and Allen F. Day. Patty became interested in collecting information about the history of the Congdon Street neighborhood sometime around 1930. She asked her neighbors to write down their memories of living on the street. She collected photographs of the houses, residents and Prospect Park.

            In addition to her work as the unofficial historian of Congdon Street, Patty Day was also an accomplished miniature artist. She had at least two exhibits of her work at the Rhode Island School of Design, the first in 1919 and the second in 1980. She passed away in July 1983.

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Scope and content:

            This collection contains vignettes and stories written by the residents of Congdon Street from the 1930's to the 1980's. The residents recall events from their childhood, tell stories about the other residents and sometimes reminisce about world events as seen from the vantage point of Prospect Terrace. Also included is a limited amount of genealogical information about some of the families that lived on the street going back to the 1870's.

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Processing note:

            The collection was compiled by Martha "Patty" Willson Day. She organized the materials by putting information about each house into a separate large envelope. Material was then being added to the red binder embossed in gold with the title "Congdon Street" and a stylized picture of the elm tree that stood on Prospect Terrace until 1955. The documents have been organized into folders according to house. The materials in the binder have been integrated with the materials from the envelopes. Photographs and art work were separated, placed in folders by house and transferred to the Graphics Department in January 2003.

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Folder 1          1 Congdon St.                         undated

Folder 2          2 Congdon St.                         1862, 1935, undated

Folder 3          10 Congdon St.                       undated

Folder 4          12 Congdon St.                       undated

Folder 5          24 Congdon St.                       1957, undated

Folder 6          30 Congdon St.                       1954, undated

Folder 7          34 Congdon St.                       1939

Folder 8          38 Congdon St.                       1939, undated

Folder 9          43 Congdon St.                       1957, undated

Folder 10        48 Congdon St.                       1952-1969, undated

Folder 11        55 Congdon St.                       undated

Folder 12        67 Congdon St.                       1936, 1962

Folder 13        73 Congdon St.                       1951, 1971, c.1986

Folder 14        80 Congdon St.                       1936, undated

Folder 15        85-87 Congdon St.                 1971-1979, undated

Folder 16        88 Congdon St.                       1883-1980

Folder 17        90 Congdon St.                       1957-1979, undated

Folder 18        93 Congdon St.                       1975, undated

Folder 19        98 Congdon St.                       1939, undated

Folder 20        100 Congdon St.                     undated

Folder 21        101 Congdon St.                     1935, 1972, undated

Folder 22        116 Congdon St.                     1935

Folder 23        118/119 Congdon St               1970, undated

Folder 24        Prospect Terrace                     1863-1939, undated

Folder 25        Prospect Terrace - Elm Tree   1921, 1955, undated

Folder 26        House and resident lists          undated

Folder 27        Congdon Street - general        1935-2001, undated

Folder 28        Congdon Street binder            undated

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Amateur plays.

Cady, John Hutchins, 1881-1967.

Prospect Park (Providence, R.I.)

Providence (R.I.) - Social life and customs.

Sharpe family - Rhode Island - Providence.

Trees - Rhode Island - Providence.

Willson, Edmund R., 1856-1906.

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