What: Smith Hill Rhode Tour Kickoff Event [FREE]

When: Thursday, December 14, 5:30pm

Where: The 400 (400 Smith St., Providence)

A free community kickoff event on December 14, 5:30pm, at The 400 (400 Smith St., Providence) will launch Rhode Tour’s new Smith Hill neighborhood tour, the latest addition to the popular mobile app and website featuring self-guided historical journeys and short essays.

The new tour was made possible by a grant from the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism to the Rhode Island Historical Society for research and development, and the Smith Hill neighborhood was selected because of its robust yet often neglected history.

This area, thickly settled, was at one point a destination of a large immigrant population who moved into a variety of homes built with the express intention of housing people in the city’s workforce. The buildings here – from small “cookie cutter” cottages to triple-deckers – exemplify the rapid development of Providence in just a few decades. This Rhode Tour will explore the social and architectural development of Smith Hill from the 1850s through the present day. A number of physical maps will also be printed.

At the free kickoff event, refreshments from Smith Hill-area vendors will be served, and there will be a presentation of the new tour, as well as the opportunity for attendees to meet neighbors and share their own stories of Smith Hill. This event is taking place as part of the statewide A La Rhody initiative.

Rhode Tour is a free mobile app and website that tells stories by and about Rhode Islanders. A joint initiative of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and the Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Tour brings mapping technology, sound, images, videos and well-told stories together to engage participants in learning about the places we live, work, visit – or perhaps simply pass by – in Rhode Island.

With 18 tours and more than 200 stories now available, Rhode Tour has been developed with statewide heritage and cultural producers as a premiere source for place-based history tours that represent the flavor and diversity of Rhode Island. In telling Rhode Island stories, Rhode Tour is about the power of place, including archaeology, the environment, race and ethnicity, manufacturing, and social issues. Visit RhodeTour.org to take a thematic tour sitting at your computer, or download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play to experience Rhode Island in a whole new way.