Benefit Street: A Mile of History

June 15-October 31, 2019: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10am

Adults, $15; seniors, $12; RIHS Members & Students, $10; children 10-17, $6; children under 10: free

Begins: John Brown House Museum, 52 Power Street, Providence

Created in the mid-18th century “for the benefit of all,” this colonial thoroughfare shows off an enviable collection of 18th- and 19th-century wood-frame houses. Although its breathtaking historic structures can give the street the appearance of a museum mile, it is actually a vital urban neighborhood enhanced by ongoing preservation efforts since the 1950s. Thus, the tour itself tells a story that touches on the past, present, and future.

Please call (401) 331-8575, x360 with any questions or concerns.

Buy tickets in advance here or show up the day of the tour!




Echoes of the Gorham Manufacturing Company

Gorham Manufacturing Company was a mainstay of Providence’s cultural and economic landscape for over a century. On this walking tour, led by Rhode Island Historical Society educators and guides, explore the earliest beginnings of the company in the early 19th century, then move into downtown to look at large-scale creations that are still present in the city. During the walk, consider how both Gorham and Providence evolved over time: the growth of the city; the people who worked (or didn’t) at the manufacturer; and how each influenced each other. The tour ends with a brief walk-through of the Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970 exhibit at the RISD Museum. Attendees may stay to further explore the exhibit at the conclusion of the tour.

Fee: $15, $12 for members of Rhode Island Historical Society or RISD Museum. Tour departs at First Baptist Church, 75 North Main Street. One mile of level walking through city streets and parks.

Unseen Stories: Providence During the Revolutionary War

Join the Rhode Island Historical Society on this pilot walking tour that examines Providence’s involvement in the American Revolution. We’ll look beyond the stories we often hear about and focus instead on the unseen stories from the past. The tour will consider how everyday people lived their lives in Providence as war changed the world around them. While visiting sites throughout the East Side, we’ll discuss themes like enslaved men attempting to gain freedom, refugees trying to survive plight and famine, and how people functioned in times of uncertainty at our country’s founding.

Fee: $15, $12 for members of Rhode Island Historical Society. Tour departs from John Brown House Museum, 52 Power Street, Providence. One mile of walking through city streets and parks; includes stairs, steps, and slight inclines.

H.P. Lovecraft: A Literary Life

Each year in August, the Rhode Island Historical Society marks the anniversary of the birth of H.P. Lovecraft with a walking tour of spaces and places that were important to his life and his work in Providence. Born in 1890 and writing through his death in 1937, Lovecraft‘s acclaim as a genius of occult and horror fiction lives on. Passages from his Providence-based stories (“The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,” “Haunter of the Dark,” “The Shunned House”) and excerpts from his personal correspondence offer astounding detail about his life and his work. Amazingly, most of the Providence sites that meant so much to the author in the 1920s can still be seen today. Providence native H.P. Lovecraft’s sci-fi and horror stories are known the world over. See the city through this legendary author’s eyes as the passages of his work are connected with locations around the East Side.

Fee: August – $15, $12 for members of Rhode Island Historical Society. October – $22, which includes walking tour and film screening in collaboration with the Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival. Tour departs from the John Brown House Museum, 52 Power Street. 1.75 miles of level walking through city streets.


Organizing a group visit to Providence or have family in from out of town? The Rhode Island Historical Society offers private bookings for groups large and small. 

For available tours, our small group (1-6 people) fee is $60 flat rate. For groups that include 7 or more people, $12 per person. For specialized tours, higher rates will apply.

Please call Jennifer Wilson at (401) 331-8575 x360 to start tour private booking now.


Thank you to our generous sponsor of the 2019 RIHS walking tour season!