Friends of The Brown House

Volunteer Renovation Project 
Glen Farm - Portsmouth, RI 

"The Front Porch of Portsmouth"

What's been happening:

March 22, 2008 - Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Fun Day is a great success. Many families braved the brisk weather to come and hunt eggs, and enjoyed taking pony and hay rides.

January 2008 - The Friends of the Brown House are awarded a State of RI Legislative Grant for $2,500. Thank you to Rep. Amy Rice of Dist. 72 for securing this grant for us.

Summer 2007 - Work continues on the exterior of the house, repairs to the porch and front, windows replaced and main sections of the house repainted.

Summer 2006 - Work continues on the ell section of the house and the south wall is being repaired.

November 2005 - The Friends of the Brown House are awarded a State of RI Legislative Grant for $2,500. Thank you to Rep. Amy Rice of Dist. 72 for securing this grant for us

October, 2005 - The Prince Charitable Trusts make a grant donation of $25,000 to the Friends of the Brown House.

Summer / Fall 2005 - Work is ongoing inside the house. Two bathrooms have been framed out downstairs in a "vending" area. More cleanup has been done, windows covered over as frames are removed for stripping and repair.

Summer / Fall 2004 - Work is done on the back wall of the house, along with interior framing and building the replacement bulkhead to resemble what the back of the house once looked like.

Summer 2004 - The Friends of the Brown House are awarded a State of RI Legislative Grant for $5,000. Thank you to Rep. William Enos of Dist. 71 and Portsmouth Town Councilwoman Amy Rice for securing this grant for us.

February 28, 2004 - Our first try at FUN University! was held. A resounding success for the first time running this event. Thank you to all the volunteer speakers, presenters and artists and a huge thank you to Carolann Brown and her team of volunteers that made this event possible!

February 2004 - James Coll requests donations to the Friends of the Brown House in lieu of birthday presents this year. His family and friends donate $280! Thank you James!

December 9, 2003 - the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission announced the slate of State Preservation Grant awards, worth a total of $1.5 million, for capital preservation work at 26 museums and cultural art centers from around the state. The rebuilding effort of the Friends of the Brown House has been recognized with a grant award. We are expecting to get $22,000 from this award.

November, 2003 - the Coll brothers request donations to the Brown House in lieu of birthday gifts this year. Thank you to Andrew & Aidan Coll and their family and friends for the donation of  $620 !!!!

May, 2002 - the Portsmouth Garden Club has prepared and planted a flower and shrub garden at the Brown House. This will surely add to the beauty of the property as well as make it reminiscent of when it once was a home and farm.

3/30/02 - 3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Fun Day.

Fall/Winter 2001-2002 - Progress is being made in the construction end! The decking for the front porch is finished. Many of the windows are opened up and covered with Plexiglas. This brings a good deal of light into the house and seals it against the weather until new windows can be installed. Some corner posts, sills and siding are repaired and installed.

10/20/01 - 2nd Annual 5 K & Monster Dash was a great success. Many thanks to the Bank of Newport for sponsoring this event.

October, 2001 - The Friends of the Brown House are accepted into the Yankee Magazine Community Partners program.

4/26/01 - The Newport Daily News changes it's editorial stance and is now in favor of rebuilding the Brown House!

12/00 - White lights are strung on the house and will be lit for the holidays from 4:30pm to 11pm each evening. The lighted outline surrounded by the darkness of open space brings to mind what this area once looked like when it was a more rural farming community. The Friends of the Brown House are still working in our effort to renovate the historic Leonard Brown House as one of, if not the last, farm house standing alone amidst its open fields along East Main Rd.

10/29/00 - It may have snowed but they still came to the 1st Annual 5K & Monster Dash. Thanks again to the Bank of Newport for sponsoring this event.  The obstacle course was a big hit with the kids - as was the hot chocolate, brrrrr. 

10/7/00 - The new sign is up in front of the house. We hope this will bring more visibility to the project by letting people know what is happening there.
    Thank you to Reynolds Signs of Portsmouth (847-6732) for helping us with it.

6/24/00 - The 1st Annual Aquidneck Island Strawberry Festival brought a good crowd to enjoy the festivities in the back yard. The Shortcake got rave reviews! The kids enjoyed the moonwalk, the strawberry piņatas and other games. The Portsmouth Town Howlers gave a square dancing demonstration and had some folks joining in!     
    We'd like to thank all the contestants who participated in the shortcake eating contest (photos on the events page)! The winners: William Nagle (6yrs to 10yrs), A tie between David Neal and Alex Lombard (11-18yrs) and Joanne Harvey won the over 18 category. Honorable mention to Jameson Harding in the bonus under 6 round.
    W. Smith of Portsmouth won the raffle and chose the Razor Scooter from Island Sports. We'd also like to thank Westport Bicycle for offering the 20" bicycle choice.
    The winning recipe was made by Marion Sheridan of Tiverton. 

Jell-O Strawberry Candies

2 boxes strawberry Jell-O
3/4 cups condensed milk
1 cup fine coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients & shape into strawberries.
Dip ends into green sugar to create leaves/stems.
Refrigerate on waxed paper overnight.
Optional: Ends may be dipped in melted chocolate

6/20/00 - The shingles are delivered! JT's of Middletown donated the roofing materials and the job has begun!

6/6/00 -  The Antiques Appraisal day put on for us by Aquidneck Place was outstanding! Rain again slowed the event but this was so well attended that perhaps that was a good thing? Thank you to Michael Westman & Associates, appraisers for their tireless work. They gave opinions on 209 items during the 3 hour session!
               Those who attended were treated to the wonderful hospitality of Aquidneck Place. The folks there not only provided publicity and hosted the event but served refreshments to those waiting. And they still donated all the proceeds to the Friends of the Brown House! Thank you Aquidneck Place!

5/13/00  - Spring Fling -The May 13th "Spring Fling" was held back again by foul weather, but those who did come visit enjoyed it! Several groups had tables at the yard sale. We hope to make the yard sale a frequent event.

4/22/00 - Easter Egg Hunt and Fun & Games Fundraiser - Rain put a damper on the festivities but about 60 people came out to join in. We had to cancel the games and the pony rides (postponed until 5/13) but the Bake Sale and the Hunt were held.     
                The kids enjoyed finding the nearly 1000 eggs all around the yard, when the eggs were returned to the bin, candy packs were given out and the eggs were hidden again.  Depending on who counted we did the hunt 4 or 5 times and each time we were greeted with smiling faces!
                The bake sale took shelter on the front porch and the house was open for folks to browse through. The jelly bean jar had 1237 beans in it - the contest went to Laura Greichen who gave the winning guess of 1207!  (see photos on events page)

3/25/00 - The Open House on March 25th saw some new faces and generated quite a bit of interest. The main front roof has been stripped and is ready for new shingles. The interior has been cleaned up, torn down, cleaned up again, shored up and we are getting ready to get things done there as well. (see photos on the photos page).

3/23/00 - We were informed that the project has been approved for a $5,000. grant from the Prince Charitable Trusts!

2/28 - 3/25/00- Scaffolds go up, the roof is stripped, the interior walls are stripped - saving all the wonderful architectural features that can be saved.

2/26/00 - Another cleanup day, this time the second floor is tackled and cleared.

2/12/00- The Friends hold a Valentine's party & dance at the Glen Manor House to celebrate the lease signing (and payment -$10) and the beginning fundraising! This event raised about $2,500!

2/2/00 - Friends of the Brown House is awarded a twenty year lease to operate the Brown House as a community center. 

12/99 - A cleanup day is held to get started. The first floor is pretty well cleared of debris and garbage.

11/99 - The Friends of the Brown House is organized as a non-profit corporation to raise the money necessary to stop the Brown House from being demolished. 

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