Early Bristol marker placed at the 1st Congregational Church

Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator Dr. David Weed (left) explains how the Pokanoket Massasoit Ousamequin entered into a mutual protection treaty with the Pilgrims in 1675 that ensured their survival. He went on to describe the importance of the First Congregational Church in the formation of the Town of Bristol following the King Philip War that began in Warren in 1675 and ended in Bristol in 1676. Click here for an eight-minute video of his talk. (photo by Ron Grant)

(Above) Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement Director KC Ferrara (left) talks with Church member Candy Delassandro and then with Church Minister Reverend Deborah Tate Breault. The Feinstein Center awarded the project the $2,500 cost of the marker and marker design. Discover Newport paid for the installation.

(Above, left) as Church Council Chairman Glenn Donovan listens, Dr. Weed explains how Bristol could not become a town until it had a church and a minister (photo by KC Ferrara). Deacon Nathaniel Bosworth constructed the first house in the town 1680-81, and a minister was recruited from England to begin early church meetings in the house at Silver Creek that still sits along Hope Street across from the Guiteras Elementary School.

A sketch of the what the first meeting house may have looked like when it was built on the Town Common is included in the marker along with other information about the early Church and the formation of the Town of Bristol. (Click here for a larger image)