John Douglas House

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John Douglas House   

Standing on the south side of Kingstown Road between the Tavern Hall Club and Waite House, this residence was built by John Douglas in 1753 on land purchased from Elisha Reynolds in the previous year. Its original owner was a blacksmith and the oldest of seven children in the family of George Douglas of North Kingstown. He married Lydia Tripp. The large central chimney of the house is marked with the initials

JL with D set above them and the date 1753. On the quarter acre of land he had purchased, John Douglas also erected a blacksmith shop.

There he followed his trade until 1772 when he and his wife moved to Dutchess County, New York, having sold the house to George Teft, also a blacksmith, from whom it passed to Timothy Peckham in 1792. The property has had some fifteen owners but one whose name became closely associated with it was Lucy Champlin. Lucy purchased the house from Elisha Potter in 1844 and lived there for many years with her daughters Hannah and Penelope, to whom she left the house and lot when she died in 1866. It was as a consequence of this that the house was often referred to as the Hannah Champlin House.

The building is quite typical of the area, with its frame construction, large central chimney, and clapboard siding. Its doorway, which once faced to the south, now faces Kingstown Road and has a cornice held up by brackets, flanking pilasters, and a transom. There was once a large barn in the yard, and Wilkins Updike's law office, called "Big Enough" also occupied a portion of the property in the middle years of the nineteenth century.

For the period 1912 to 1938, the John Douglas House was the historical center of Kingstown since it contained on the lower floor a museum sponsored by the Narragansett Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1938 it became a private residence once again and its historical exhibits were scattered until some of them were once again brought together in the collections of the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society.

John David Douglass, who was born about 1728, North Kingstown, R.I. and died before 1790. Was married to Lydia Tripp on Sept. 9, 1750 at South Kingstown, R.I. by Rev. Dr. Joseph Torrey. John Douglass was a blacksmith as was his father.

Land records show that on 30 Mar. 1752 he bought 34 acres and 4 Dec 1752 he bought 1/4 acre there, on which he subsequently built a house, barn and blacksmith shop. He sold the first plot of land 5 May,1766. The John Douglass house, a very beautiful one, is still standing, was recently renovated, and resold in 1986. MORE INFO

The last plot of land with the house, John sold on 12 Feb. 1772 when he was already living in the eastern tier of the lots of the patent known as "Great Nine Partners" and which afterwards became known as part of the precinct and later the town of Amenia NY. He signed the Amenia Pact.

He probably moved from there to New Britain (now a part of New Lebanon, Columbia CO. N.Y., then in Kings District, Albany Co. N.Y., sometime during or after the "American Revolution". The census of 1790 lists John Douglass (probably John Jr.) and Samuel Wait next to each other in New Britain then a part of Canaan in Columbia Co., N.Y. A tradition in the Douglass family was to the effect that the brothers and sisters of Silence Douglass Beman followed her to Hampton, N.Y. From records, it would seem that this was true.

John David Douglas married Lydia Tripp on September 9, 1750 by Rev. Dr. Joseph Torrey, South Kingston, Rhode Island.

Peleg Douglas, born April 1751 at S. Kingston, Wash., RI.;married Patience about 1778 in NY; died about 1850 in Chateaugay N.Y.
Nathan Gardner Douglas, born about 1752 or 1753; died about 1787 in New Britain N.Y.
Lucy Douglas, born about 1753 or 1754, in South Kingston R.I.; married about 1777 at S. Kingston, Wash., RI, Benjamin Fowler; She died after 1790 in Danby VT.
Silence E. Douglas, born about 1754 in S. Kingston, Wash., RI; married 1775 in New Britain, NY, Samuel Beman; died 12 may 1796. They had nine children.
Mary B. Douglas, born about 1755 or 1764 in S. Kingston, Newport, RI; married: About 1782 at New Britain, NY, Samuel Waite.
John David Douglas, born 11 August 1766 in S. Kingston, Wash., RI; married about 1786, at Whitehall, Wash., NY, Abigail Pearse; died after 1854.
Thomas Douglas, born 1769, at Beekmantown, Clinton, NY; married about 1794, at Clinton, NY, Chloe Howe; died 17 Dec 1853.
George Washington Douglas, born 26 Dec 1772 at S. Kingston, RI; married about 1799 at NY, Sophia Adams; died 12 April 1857.

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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024