Rudolf F. Haffenreffer and the King Philip Museum

“Before 1929,  a private museum in Rhode Island attracted little public notice beyond an occasional mention in the press . . . but that January it suddenly catapulted into regional consciousness.. . the King Philip Museum … was depicted as a ‘shrine’ or ‘sanctuary’ for Philip, the great Pokanoket leader who died virtually within sight of where the Museum stood.”  [From  Passionate Hobby, Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer and the King Philip Museum] Click here for a pdf copy of the 1994 text by Shepard Krech III.


(Above) An article in the October 11, 1931 Providence Journal Magazine shows Haffenreffer at his Museum and examining some of the thousands of relics he collected from all over the world. (Click on article for a legible version.)


The Governor William Bradford House built in 1745 can be seen in the upper left quadrant of this 1948 areal photo [click on the right hand photo for a larger view] of the farm, just to the right of Metacom’s Seat, a large white quartz promontory that sits near the top of the Mount. The area in front of the House and Seat is now covered with half a century of tree growth thus obscuring the view of Mount Hope Bay. The barns and museum building are visible in the lower right quadrant, and the town of Bristol can be seen at the top of the left hand photo.


(Above, left) Haffenreffer is seen at the far left in this ca. 1940 photo at a Boy Scout gathering in front of Camp King Philip’s cement tepee. (Above, right) An early 17th century Nipmuc or Mohegan wooden bowl from Congamond Lakes in Southwick, MA (also seen in the color photo above) made from a maple knot is displayed in his museum along with thousands of arrowheads and other artifacts.