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Historical Society to host ‘Stones that Speak: The Portsmouth Cemetery’

Historical Society to host ‘Stones that Speak: The Portsmouth Cemetery’

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Portsmouth Historical Society will hold “Stones that Speak: The Portsmouth Cemetery,” a lecture and workshop on the importance of preserving local cemeteries.

The special lecture and workshop, which will also show techniques for digitizing historic gravestones, will be held Saturday, May 13, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Portsmouth Cemetery on Turnpike Road near Dexter Street. 

In the event of rain, the lecture will be held Sunday, May 14. 

Under the direction of Historic Preservation Specialist Jacob Begin, participants will  learn about the history of the cemetery and the art of digitizing a gravestone.

Using simple tools, such as a digital camera or a cell phone, a mirror and an umbrella, you will learn how to take compelling images of gravestones.

Jacob Begin, an accomplished photographer and expert on Rhode Island gravestones, is a historic preservation specialist with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society.

This will be the first information session for members and other local volunteers who are interested in assisting the society and the Town Planning Department in creating a catalog of cemeteries and historic homes in Portsmouth in support of the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

If you would like to help out with these important and interesting projects, please contact us at for more information.

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