Monday, March 10, 2014

Museum of Newport Irish History tells immigrants’ story

Photos, maps and artifacts in this museum show Irish immigrants' history in Rhode Island.   - - Donna Poisl

By Christopher Klein |  GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

NEWPORT, R.I. — Long before the blue bloods turned this city into their summertime resort, green coursed through the arteries of Newport. In the early 1800s, Irish immigrants started coming to this corner of Rhode Island in large numbers to work the coal mines in nearby Portsmouth. During the Gilded Age, Emerald Isle immigrants began to settle in the Fifth Ward, a working-class neighborhood sandwiched between Newport’s commercial waterfront and the opulent oceanside mansions of the rich and famous.

Today, the tight-knit enclave of two-story, sidewalk-hugging houses remains the Hibernian heart of one of Rhode Island’s greenest cities, and since 2011 it has been home to the nonprofit Museum of Newport Irish History.
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