Colt State Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Coordinates: 41°40′11″N 71°18′03″W / 41.66972°N 71.30083°W / 41.66972; -71.30083
Colt State Park
Rhode Island State Park
BristolRI ColtStatePark EntranceGate.jpg
The bulls at the Hope Street entrance
Named for: Samuel P. Colt
Country  United States
State  Rhode Island
County Bristol
Town Bristol
Elevation 33 ft (10 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°40′11″N 71°18′03″W / 41.66972°N 71.30083°W / 41.66972; -71.30083 [1]
Area 464 acres (188 ha)
Dedicated 1968
Management Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Parks & Recreation
Location in Rhode Island
Website: Colt State Park

Colt State Park is public open space that occupies 464 acres (188 ha) on Poppasquash Neck in the township of Bristol, Rhode Island, once owned by industrialist Samuel P. Colt. The park is a major component of the Poppasquash Farms Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a stop on the East Bay Bike Path. The park includes trails, picnic groves, boat ramps, an observation tower, and an open air Chapel-by-the-Sea.[2]

History[edit]

Beginning in 1905, Samuel P. Colt purchased and consolidated the Chase, Church and Van Wickle farms.[3] He built a summer house, the "Casino," on the grounds as well as a magnificent stone barn to accommodate a prize herd of Jersey cattle. The summer house was demolished in the 1960s while the stone cow barn survives. A pair of life-size bull statues, named Conrad and Pomeroy, stand guard at the main entrance gate on Hope Street (RI Route 114). The marble bases which support the bronze bulls are believed to have been modeled after the approach gates to French King Louis XV's château Petit Trianon at Versailles and were unveiled in 1913. The gate bears the inscription: "Colt Farm. Private Property, Public Welcome."[4]

At Colt's death in 1921, the lands passed to his Industrial Trust Company at 111 Westminster Street in Providence. According to the provisions of Colt's will, the farm was to remain open to the public in perpetuity. Over the years, the grounds suffered from vandalism, and a number of statues were destroyed or stolen. Many of Colt Park's statues were relocated to Linden Place for safe keeping.

In 1965, the State of Rhode Island purchased Colt Farm, and on August 21, 1968, the lands were dedicated as Colt State Park by Rhode Island Governor John Chafee. A statue of Senator Chafee now stands in the park.[3]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park offers trails for hikers, joggers, bicyclers and equestrians, a skate park, and facilities for picnicking, boating and fishing.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Colt State Park". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Colt State Park". State of Rhode Island Division of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Colt State Park History". State of Rhode Island Division of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Poppasquash Farms Historic District". National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form. United States Department of the Interior Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • Colt State Park Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Parks & Recreation