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The Western Rhode Island
Civic Historical Society

The Paine House Museum

The Paine House Museum
The Paine House Museum

Owned and operated by The Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society. A former Colonial home and Inn, restored and furnished in the period-style.

The Paine house originally was built around 1691 by Samuel Bennett. Samuel ran a saw mill at this site and it is believed that the house began as a one room shelter. The mode for travel at that time was the Pawtuxet River. The property was passed to his son Samuel and in 1741 the first town meeting and election took place here. In 1742 the property was sold to Francis Brayton who added to the house and was granted a license to sell spiritous liquors and the house became a house of entertainment, an inn or a tavern. After his death in 1783 the property passed to his son Francis Brayton Jr. In 1785 Francis Brayton Jr. In 1785 Francis Brayton Jr was granted a license to sell spiritous liquors and the house became a house of entertainment, an inn or a tavern. In 1797 it was sold to a Charles Holden and was known as the Holden tavern. Holden heirs sold it to Thomas Whipple April 9, 1849.

On April 25, 1866 the Whipple family sold the property to Phebe Paine and Mary Mathewson (Matteson). Mary sold her half to Phebe Paine Johnson. Through inheritance the property came to be in the Paine family for the next 87 years. Mr. Herbert F. Paine was the last of the family to live in the house and in 1946 after his death it passed to his half-sister Mrs. Zilpha W. Foster. The keys to the house were turned over to the President of the Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society on July 24, 1953 after being left by Mrs. Foster as a memorial to her mother Phebe Paine Johnson and sister Orvilla Paine. The house was added to the National Historic Register in 1974.