Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

“Last Call: Rum Runners, Bootleggers & Watch Hill.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2023   6:00 PM  

“Last Call: Rum Runners, Bootleggers & Watch Hill.”  

At the Lanphear Livery, One Bay Street Captain Jack Spratt, Presenter       

In partnership with the Watch Hill Conservancy, the Westerly Historical Society will co-sponsor the first of the Lanphear Livery Live! talks scheduled for summer, 2023.        

Jack Spratt will discuss how the wealthy summer guests and cottagers, along with hotel owners, ignored the law in Watch Hill during the Prohibition era. He will speak about rumrunners off-loading spirits at the Watch Hill docks and in the coves while avoiding detection by the Coast Guard. The talk will include anecdotes of local fishermen dragging for booze in the bay, and bootleggers and hijackers playing cat-and-mouse with each other, the police, and the Coast Guard.       

Come and enjoy a relaxing evening at the Lanphear Livery, One Bay Street, in Watch Hill. This historic landmark building has gone through an extensive restoration beginning in 2013. The rebuild was completed in 2016, and in 2017, spaces for public use including the Chaplin B. Barnes Reading Room were completed. The building is also home to the Watch Hill Conservancy. Retail shops and an exhibit about the history of the livery building share the premises.       

Capt. Jack Spratt is a tour boat captain and is known for his historical tours of Watch Hill and Fishers Island Sound, and his talks on local history. His most recent work is the book Watch Hill, 1886.  Jack divides his time between Watch Hill and Old Lyme, Connecticut.  When not with family or running his boats, Jack can be found surrounded by historical papers and books, in the stacks, or at the National Archives uncovering little-known bits of lore. Jack is a retired Watch Hill firefighter and Search and Rescue certified rescue boat coxswain, and attended Cornell University. 

Wednesday Programs are held at the Carriage House of the Babcock-Smith House Museum unless otherwise noted.
124 Granite Street, Westerly, RI
Free Admission
Complimentary Refreshments

In the meantime, please browse out Events Archive for past programs.

To view archived video presentations, click here:

For more events at the Carriage House, visit:

Board meetings  – are held on the first Wednesday of the month from September through May, at 6:30 pm in the Carriage House of the Babcock Smith House, 124 Granite St. and on Zoom.