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Experience history, explore the land
Explore this 265-acre property that has a remarkable history of continuous cultivation. For millennia, Indigenous people lived well on Conanicut Island, using controlled burning to clear the land for hunting and growing. European colonizers sought the resulting grasslands for their animals. After 1657, the land was owned by three governors and worked by enslaved people and tenant farmers. In 1789, Job Watson purchased Watson Farmthat would be passed down through five generations as a livestock farm.
Today, this 265-acre working farm is managed using innovative, sustainable practices that continue the tradition of pastoral husbandry, raising heritage Red Devon cattle and multi-colored sheep. On a self-guided walking tour, explore the open fields and pastures, see commanding views of Narragansett Bay, stroll along the shore, and observe wildlife and seasonal farming activities. The 1796 house, still used as the farmers’ residence, may be viewed from the exterior only.
455 North Road, Jamestown, R.I.
Hours of Operation:
June 1 to October 15, Thursdays and Saturdays, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
All group tours must be scheduled by appointment. In addition to open days, group tours may be scheduled at times the farm is closed to the public.
We are happy to work with you to customize your experience.
Guided Farm History Tour: This in-depth tour takes you on a hike through the extensive seaside farm. A knowledgeable guide will lead your group from the front lawn past the farmhouse and barns, through the fields and pastures with grazing animals, to the shore and back; please allow two hours for your visit. Learn how the evolution of the farm relates to the local island community and Rhode Island history. Discover stories about the land, people, and natural resources of Narragansett Bay and learn how preserving our historic landscapes positively impacts local food production.
Medicinal Plant Tour: Join herbalist Kristin Minto on a 90-minute walking tour to discover which plants can help relieve common ailments and promote well-being. Discover the history of herbal plant use, identification, and medicinal uses. Learn simple techniques for using herbs in your daily life.
Farmers Tour: Farm Managers Max Sherman and Hunter Barto give an insider’s view of agriculture on this 265-acre sustainable livestock farm. As they lead a two-hour walk of the farm they will share their knowledge of rotational grazing, heirloom breeds, haying fields, and the deep connections between the historic landscape and progressive farming practices.
We can accommodate up to 35 visitors at one time.
Please note that the tour requires a considerable amount of walking. If members of your group need special assistance, please let the museum know in advance.
Guided Landscape Tour: $10 per adult and $6 per student. Additional rates and a guaranteed fee of $100 apply for all other tours. Prices subject to change.
Receptive tour operator rates available upon request.
Tour leader and bus driver are welcome to a complimentary tour with the group.
A non-refundable deposit based on your maximum number is due upon booking. The outstanding balance must be paid when the group arrives for the tour.
Please call two weeks in advance to confirm a guaranteed number of visitors.
Enjoy shopping and restaurants in nearby Historic Wickford Village and scenic downtown Jamestown.
Explore nearby local historic sites such as Gilbert Stuart Birthplace, Smith’s Castle, and South County Museum.
Nearby Newport offers many restaurants, shops, and attractions including the Newport Mansions on Bellevue Avenue.
Visit another Historic New England property nearby. Package discounts available
Casey Farm, Saunderstown – Visit a working certified organic farm, established in the eighteenth century as a plantation to grow food for Newport and other coastal markets, and learn about the role of farming in colonial Rhode Island. Tour the farmyard and the family cemetery, where six generations of Caseys are buried.
Two restrooms located on the grounds.
A picnic area available for use.
Plenty of on-site parking is available for both cars and buses.
This is an extensive seaside landscape and working farm. Please wear appropriate shoes and expect cooler windy conditions.