5. Block Island Historical Society
The Block Island Historical Museum Gallery and Shop is located at the four-way intersection in Old Harbor across from the bank and bagel shop (18 Old Town Road/Bridgegate Square). The Society headquarters– a white three-story building with a cupola and red mansard roof -- was originally built around 1871 and was known as the Woonsocket House. Originally the homestead of Gideon Rose and later rebuilt as a boarding house (rooms were rented to summer visitors up until the 1970s), it was purchased by the Society in 1945. Today, it’s a museum covering island history from the Manniseans, who lived on the island well before Giovanni da Verrazzano spotted it in 1524 (he named it “Claudia”) to more modern history, like the moving of the Southeast Lighthouse to its new location in 1993. Museum admission is $6 per person.
To get to the next stop take a left out of the Historical Society (towards the 4-way intersection), and go straight across the intersection onto Corn Neck Road. The Solviken Preseve is about 100 yards up on your left, just past the Beachead Restaurant.