1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Inventory

5.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Garrett D. Byrnes Papers

 Journalist, of Providence, R.I.

 Papers, 1923-1984

 Size: 0.25 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 1081

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, January 2002

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Garrett D. Byrnes (1904-1985) was born in East Orange, N.J., and came to Providence to study at Brown University. Upon his graduation in 1926, he began a long career at the Providence Journal as a writer, editor and arts critic. One of his major achievements was the creation of the Rhode Islander Sunday magazine. In the 1930s, he also wrote or edited several series such as "I Ran Rum" and "Bars and Bartenders of Providence." He retired in 1974, and then collaborated on The Providence Journal: 150 Years, which was published in 1981. He married Emma Rossen and had one daughter, Davis (Byrnes) Bliss.


Obituary, Providence Journal, December 10, 1985

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Scope and content:

            This collection contains notes and drafts from Byrnes' work on the history of the Providence Journal. The three chapter drafts are very similar to the chapters as published, but do contain a few additional facts and anecdotes. Other subjects include the Capital Center train station project, the Boy Scouts, steam trains, and tugboat operator Katie Sutton.

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            These papers were part of a large lot of Rhode Island material purchased by Rick Stattler from Gem Furniture of Providence in 2001, and subsequently donated to the Rhode Island Historical Society. The remainder of the lot had no apparent relation to Byrnes, and consisted mostly of printed, museum and photographic items. Some items filed in the Byrnes Papers may actually have no relation to him.

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Folder 1. Capital Center. Correspondence with Theodore F. Green II and newspaper clippings re train station relocation project, 1983-1984.

Folder 2. Correspondence, 1926-1970:

            1926/04/08     From Brown University, removing him from disciplinary action

            1926/11/12     From Rev. Peter Gorret of St. Bartholemew's Rectory in Providence

            1936/05/01     From J. Harold Williams re help with Boy Scout Jamboree (w/ certificate)

            1960/08/04     From Preston S. Lincoln re military research

            1964/08/24     From Industrial National Trust re Fearney's Fish Market

            1970/10/19     From W. Earl Dodge offering loan of father Tal Dodge's scrapbook

Folder 3. Catherine Sutton. Research file on female tugboat operator, 1923-1971

Folder 4. "More Tales of the Twenties: Steam Trains." Draft of article, c.1972. 33 pages.


Folder 5. The Providence Journal: 150 Years - Draft of chapter 14, "Alfred H. Williams"


Folder 6. The Providence Journal: 150 Years - Draft of chapter 15, "The Providence Journal Company is Born"

Folder 7. The Providence Journal: 150 Years - Draft of chapter 28, "Dow Jones"

Folder 8. The Providence Journal: 150 Years - Outlines and miscellaneous notes

Folder 9. Miscellaneous research notes:

            Note on John T. Fearney & Son fish market

            Outline titled "Rhode Island's Finest Decade - The Twenties"

            Copy of "Old Bars and Bartenders of Providence" article, May 16, 1932

Note reading in full: "The Roach Coach - sandwich wagon. Am. Rail Passengers Assn tried to stop project because of diesel smoke in covered station. Young Howard Benson to carve lintels? Need 2 flagpoles."

Connection to Byrnes uncertain:

Folder 10. Mrs. William E. Dickens furniture installment payment book, issued by John M. Dean Furniture of Providence, 1931-1932

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Boy Scouts of America. Narragansett Council.

Capital Center (Providence, R.I.)

Dean (John M.) Furniture Company

Dickens, William E.

Furniture industry and trade - Rhode Island - Providence

Green, Theodore F. II

The Providence Journal: 150 Years

Railroad stations - Rhode Island - Providence

"The Steam Trains (More Tales of the Twenties)"

Sutton, Catherine A.B. (Brown)

Tugboats - Rhode Island - Providence

Union Station (Providence, R.I.)

Women sailors - Rhode Island - Providence

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