Carolina Images, Photos and Videos
Lloyd Kenyon Remembers – Added October 16, 2013
Carolina, R.I. is my hometown. I was born there in 1928 in a rental apartment over the old library building to Lloyd (Sr.) and Anna Fortune Kenyon. My parents lived in the second floor of the house next to Carolina Baptist Church, but my mother went to my grandmother's home for my birth. Dr. Duckworth called at the house, examined my mother, and declared it was not yet time for my birth so he was going home to milk the cow and would be back later to deliver me. An obviously busy doctor with well determined priorities.
I remember coming home by bus during the 1938 hurricane from Richmond School. Trees were down in the northern section of Carolina and the bus driver took a detour behind the houses on the east side of the road, past the old baseball field and swimming hole, back to the main road across from the grocery store and post office. It was a wild ride for many school children too young to appreciate what was happening.
Carolina has had many bridges in the past and we are lucky to have pictures of many of them thanks to local residents and RI DOT. Soon the concrete bridges we have currently will be replaced. A video clip is included in this section. It was created for the Carolina film .... but was not used in the final version. Happy viewing.
Bobby has provided so much great information that we have dedicated an entire page to hold it all. Click here to read more.
Every picture tells a story.
While doing research for Carolina, I came across many fascinating photos from a variety of sources.
Take some time to view these three image galleries.
Bob Reed is Vetta Kenyon Scudder's nephew and spent a number
of summers at his aunt's farm in Carolina
What’s your story?
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Textile Manufacturing Related Videos
Fred Kenney Remembers
Mr. Broomfield Remembered - Sonya Kenyon
FOOD from Carla Ricci- Nov 2009
"As I interviewed people for 'Carolina' we often touched on the issue of what people ate. Besides johnnycakes, oysters and clams, wildlife was often on the menu. Charlie' Dyson's family, after the fire, depended on his father's skill in hunting deer. People had recipes for squirrel stew, beginning with the memorable instructions of 'place your hand firmly on the squirrel's head and pull the skin down the body and along the length of the tail'. After the pig was slaughtered, every part of its body was used. Charlie Dyson remembered Head Cheese...it was something the women made, he said. More recent cookbooks from the area have recipes for woodchuck casserole, or frog saddles."
Poverty and Hunger in the Carolina Area: some recollections...
Larry Webster sent in this early childhood memory of a family and house that his school bus went by everyday when he was in elementary school in the early fifties...
"I remember the kids standing out by the house, dressed in dirty rags and no shoes..they were out there each day...the house had oil paper window panes...some people remember going there for sex with some of them or a woman there...someone else told me that some kids might be buried close to the house...I do not remember them being black people, just dirty and white, perhaps almost white or mulatto..I was too young to worry about race."
A note from Carla Ricci: in the interviews that I did for "Carolina" the presence of poverty in the local area was constant. People often mentioned houses that had dirt floors, no water or electricity right into the 1970's. Janice Houston said that she remembers that some of her childhood friends would often go out to the potato fields to dig up "pig potatoes" for dinner. Charlie Dyson would walk along the railroad tracks looking for bits of coal that the RR had tossed out with the ashes.The woods would provide meat from deer. The saltwater ponds provided oysters and clams: he and his father would walk there and borrow a boat. Because Charlie's father had only one arm, it was essential that Charlie went with him, no matter how small he was or what season it was, otherwise his father would be rowing around in circles. They would fill a bushel basket for his father, and a peck for him, and walk back. There were two spots where they would rest, and then walk the rest of the way. It was an eight mile trip.
If You’re Not from Carolina…
by Patty Downey
If you’re not from Carolina, you can’t know the bridge …
…the bridge halfway between home and Brown’s country store where a girl could stretch far over the edge to find sun turtles lazing on the rocks in the summer, deep purple asters in the fall, and smelly skunk cabbage in the spring. Maybe even a big black snake might be coiled below. Here was a natural terrarium, open and free of charge to an eight year-old kid lost in the wonders of nature.
If you’re not from Carolina, you can’t know Mr. Brown …
…Linton Brown who ran the store and wore a white apron most often covered in blood from butchering meats. He’d let us go in the back and watch as he hacked, deboned, and ground. After wrapping the meat in white paper tied with string that came from a big ball overhead, he would let us pull a penny candy from the glass jars. Licorice, fireballs, root beer barrels, squirrel bars. It could take a long time to choose.
If you’re not from Carolina, you can’t know the octagon house …
…sitting on Main Street, white with a smaller octagon on top, and for all the world, looking like a giant wedding cake. Mr. and Mrs. Potter lived there. Mrs. Potter had a yarn shop in one of the rooms downstairs. Skeins of yarn in reds, blues, and yellows were lined up neatly on shelves too high to reach. Nestled in plastic bins were spools of thread making rainbows in the window light. If anyone gave directions to Carolina, they began with the house of eight sides.
Carolina was good rooting soil. A place where kids could ride bikes along the elm-treed street without worry of speeders or snatchers, sell Girl Scout cookies alone and on foot, knocking on any door, knowing who lived there. A place for learning the rules of life during pick-up games on the empty lot or about the birds and the bees at the pasture skating pond on bonfire night.
I’m still finding traces of earth under my nails from this little village that grew me up and sent me on my way. My mother always said you had to eat a peck of dirt before you left your childhood. I’m grateful that mine came from Carolina.
The Children Who Disappeared
When Larry Webster was a young boy in the fifties he remembers how summers of that era were not the carefree times we think they were...they were a time of worry about a disease that could make children disappear...the newly acquired TV in their home was full of the news...come fall, some children would come down with it and he remembers one who never seen again. Later there was a vaccine administered by shots or sugar cubes ..."The vaccinations were universal" he remembers, "none of this deciding if your kids would or would not get the shots. In a few years that was the end of polio."
Dr. Laskey and Miss Meaton
Thru out Carolina's history, the village was blessed with the presence of doctors and nurses. Doctor Saunders, and Doctor Duckworth were early examples. In the fifties, Miss Meaton was the school nurse and she would hold court in her office at the Pawcatuck Valley School...Dr. Laskey, who lived just over the railroad bridge, would come and examine every child at least once. "If we had at least basic health care in the schools like we did back then today, a lot of the problems kids have could be caught early on" Larry Webster remembers."I recall a smell in the office..it might have been tobacco. Dr. Laskey was big on heart murmers and diagnosed me with one in about the 6th grade, plus other friends, too." He also was the medical examiner for Charlestown and signed off on most of the autopsies for people who died in town. "As a pastime, I investigate old aircraft crash sites. Pilots killed in crashes were terribly mangled and he often just put M.E.I. as the cause of death - multiple extreme injuries."
The Carolina Mill during the flood of 2009
The film "Carolina" opens with a description of a flood at the mill in 1840. It nearly put the mill out of business. Roland Hazard had miscalculated how much the river could rise when rain was heavy..ultimately he had to move the weave room to the second floor of the mill. As the film neared completion in 2009 another flood happened and Jessica Wolke caught the photos below that show that the dam still works, but that the original weave room still floods...