Old Buttonwoods
Buttonwoods Beach Historic District is a historic district bounded by Brush Neck Cove, Greenwich Bay, Cooper and Promenade Avenues in Warwick, Rhode Island. "Old Buttonwoods" is a bucolic neighborhood on the eastern limb of the Nausauket neck, located in the West Bay area of Warwick, Rhode Island. Buttonwoods is delimited by Nausauket and Apponaug to the west, Buttonwoods Cove to the north, Greenwich (aka Cowesett) Bay to the south and Oakland Beach to the east. The Old Buttonwoods section of Warwick was founded as a summer colony in 1871 by the Rev. Moses Bixby of Providence’s Cranston Street Baptist Church, who was looking for a place to establish a summer colony by the shore for his congregation. He envisioned a community that would be similar to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, where the Methodists established a summer campground in 1835. Today, this coastal neighborhood on Greenwich Bay is home to people from many different religious backgrounds.
The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Prior to locating to Cranston, RI in 1870, Moses Bixby spent ten years as a Christian missionary in Burma and Siam. He founded the First Shan Church in Toungoo, Burma in 1862 among the Tai people there (the Shan). This church has survived until modern times and is doing well. As of 2009, there are currently 92 Shan churches attributed to his efforts to build the First Missionary To The Shan Of Burma
Bixby and his fellow missionaries met with the King of Siam in 1862 and obtained his blessing to teach English to the Shan living in that kingdom. This was the year that Anna Leonowens was introduced to the king and became his Royal governess and English teacher. Local folklore attributes Bixby to have been the facilitator of that engagement documented in the book called Anna and The King of Siam.
Missionary records show that Mr. Bixby's assistant was Miss A. R. (Anna) Gage, Bixby's wife's sister. She stayed in Burma and founded a girls school there in 1873 to teach the Burmese girls the English language. Anna Gage stayed in Burma for many years giving Moses Bixby a family connection to his former mission. See The Baptist Missionary Magazine, Volume XLVII, Page 272, American Baptist Missionary Union, published in 1867 and The Golden Jubilee Report
When Bixby arrived in Cranston, he linked up with Lodowick Brayton. Brayton was a successful industrialist and investor who bought the old Friends (Quaker) Meeting House, said to be the first church in Cranston, in 1866. He set up a Sunday school in the building. This was also the location of the first May Breakfast in Rhode Island established one year later by Mrs. Ruby King to raise money for a new church. See Lodowick Brayton and the first May Breakfast
The Life and Works of Moses Bixby Jeannie Bixby Johnson, Silver Burdett and Company, 1904, shows that Bixby founded the Cranston Street Baptist Church in November, 1870, upon his return from Burma. Bixby expanded Brayton's Sunday school into a church of 50 or so members and relocated to Cranston Street. Within a year, three investors acting as trustees, Lodowick Brayton, The Rev. Jonathan Brayton, and Andrew Comstock purchased the Buttonwoods campground in Warwick for $10,000. An early plat of the campgrounds shows the laying out of 1,026 lots on 420 acres (1.7 km2) of land and a large tabernacle. According to the cartographer, this map "is advertising the sale of lots in Section No. 3." Rhode Island Historical Society, Call# Map 1393-1394, 1872-1873.
The Buttonwood Beach Association was incorporated in 1872 by a special act of the Rhode Island General Assembly. The trustees passed control of the running of the campground to the association. The association then started selling lots to individuals. It continues to sell lots from time to time and reserves the right to sell additional platted lots.
Many deeds include the provision that owners must first offer their property back to the association in the event of a sale. A few owners have refused to pass that provision on to the next owners.
In A Walking Tour of Buttonwoods Beach, written by Robert O. Jones of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, he reports that the “shore bordering the Greene Farms at Nassauket (actually Baker’s Creek) became a popular destination for excursions. Travelers came by steamboat or by wagon overland from the Apponaug train depot. In the 1830s the Kinnecom family, a group registered with the Narragansett Indian Tribe, started to hold clambakes on the Greene property, the earliest-known effort to make a commercial success of what had been a long-standing Rhode Island social and culinary tradition. The vicinity was also a favored place for church outings. The area was first called Buttonwoods at this time, named for the many buttonwood trees that once grew here.”
Just how popular the Buttonwoods destination was for the public in the 1880s is made clear in a representation to the Warwick Town Council by John G. Bissell and others regarding the “Road used by Buttonwood Beach Ass’n for Horse railroad” on October 18, 1881. Apparently this railroad was being torn up at that time. Bissell and others quitclaimed their interest in this road so that it might continue to be “used by thousands for a carriage road.” Even in the old days there were traffic jams on the roads to the shore, it seems.
The plan for the Buttonwoods site now located at the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence called for 1,000 or so land parcels to be sold to Baptists from around the region. Lodowick joined with his brother Jonathan and with Andrew Comstock to secure the $10,000 in financing for this enterprise. This would be the equivalent of hundreds of millions in today's dollars, a large real estate development. Much of the cash investment came from the Brayton family (railroaders and steel dealers and investor in the Colvin loom. The Panic of 1873 set in shortly after this investment was made and few lots were actually sold for many years. The campgrounds were resurveyed in 1882 into much larger lots, many of remained unsold and were combined into a large tract of open space in recent years. Brayton died a rich man but his fortunes were much diminished in the real estate deflation that followed the panic. History of Rhode Island Manufacturers
Andrew Comstock, a beef shipper and merchant in Providence and founder of the Hammond Beef and Provision Company of Hammond, Indiana, Chicago and Omaha was the other significant investor. He remained a very rich man throughout his life. His Providence operation was located at a rail siding in what is now the Roger Williams National Memorial Park where the original Providence colony was established. The Hammond Beef companies along with several refrigerator rail car companies along with Armour and Company, Gustavus Swift, and Morris Beef Company were the subject of the "Beef Trust" trial of 1910. See Industries and Wealth of the Principal Points in Rhode Island
The main interest of these partners was to develop a rail link from Providence to the shore, with Buttonwoods as the terminus. First a horse railway was established and then steam trains were introduced. This then became the Suburban Railroad servicing Rocky Point, Oakland Beach, and Buttonwoods. It was wiped out in the 1938 hurricane.
This residential neighborhood is small, about 170 houses, and most of the houses are historic, with many Victorian cottages and larger shingled bungalows in the Arts and Crafts style. The waterfront along Promenade Avenue has many mature trees in their streets. Many of the original cottages have disappeared over the years, including the cottage at Buttonwoods Point, torn down in the 1980s, and the Moses Bixby cottage, which, except for the roof peak on the West side, was torn down during the real estate boom of the 2000s. These were two of the original cottages at the beach of seemingly historic value.
The above mentioned A Walking Tour of Buttonwoods Beach, written by Robert O. Jones, documents a few original cottages that survive to this day including the Smith S. Sweet house at 1078 Buttonwoods Avenue and a cottage at 12 12th Avenue which was also in the Sweet family. A cottage at 5 13th Avenue, across from the location of the original Moses Bixby house, built in 1872, was also leveled during the real estate boom of the 2000s upon the death of the former owner who had lived there for much of the 20th Century.
The Buttonwood Beach Association now organizes activities and celebrations for residents, many held at the Buttonwooods Fire District-owned building called the Casino. The Casino has a stage and two bowling alleys. Tennis courts and a playground are nearby. Potluck dinners, seasonal parties, and arts and crafts lessons for children take place there. Fire District residents and others can use the hall for private parties. The Buttonwood Beach Association owns a nondenominational chapel at Ninth Avenue and Janice Road.
Across Buttonwoods Cove, although not part of Old Buttonwoods, is Warwick City Park, which includes three baseball fields, picnic areas and shelters, three-miles (5 km) of paved bicycle paths, and tennis courts among other amenities.
Abutting Old Buttonwoods directly to the west is Budlong Farm, on which land is located the summer colony of the Buttonwoods Campers Association, established around the turn of the 20th century. The Budlong/Greene families were among the original colonists and founders of Warwick, Rhode Island, along with the Gorton, Lippitt and Potter families et al. The Greenes owned a huge portion of the Nausauket neck, which was divided up among the generations of Budlong/Greene heirs. The original Greene/Budlong farm homestead, built in 1776, still stands today and can be seen from Buttonwoods Avenue. Over time, tracts of land were sold off, among them, the tract sold to the Buttonwoods Beach Association (see above, purchase of land by Lodowick Brayton, The Rev. Jonathan Brayton, and Andrew Comstock). When Henry Warner Budlong inheirited what remained of the Greene family lands, he was approached to establish a summer colony similar to that of Buttonwoods Beach, but dedicated to middle-class families. At that time the Buttonwoods Campgrounds was established (circa 1899) allowing families to erect long tents (said to have been army surplus from the Civil War) and spend summers on the shore of Greenwich Bay. Henry Warner Budlong, whose memorial building sits next to Warwick City Hall in Apponaug, was a bachelor with no heirs. In his last will and testament, Budlong bequeathed the majority of his material assets to his housekeeper, Emily I. Hohler. The Buttonwoods Campers Association, currently consisting of 120 cottages, continued uninterrupted to lease the land. Budlong's will drawn up in 1928 (he died in 1929) specified that upon Mrs. Hohler's passing, the Budlong Farm land would not pass to her heirs, but would go to the Metropolitan Park Commission of the State of RI to be made into a memorial park named The Greene Park after his mother, Rhody Knight Greene. When Mrs. Hohler died Oct. 31, 1964, the Hohler daughters, Alice Hohler and Hope Maynard joined with the summer resident "campers" to contest the Budlong will. One camper, William McCaughey Jr., was key in obtaining a stay of the state's possession by then-governor John Chafee, who said the campers could remain on the contested land until a solution had been reached. The Hohler/Maynard families, with financial support from the summer residents, purchased an identical tract of waterfront land which was given to the state (and then the City of Warwick) to satisfy the Budlong will. That land was added to other land the City of Warwick owned, and became Warwick City Park. Today, the Buttonwoods Campers Association, Inc. continues to lease lands (about 25 acres) from the Hohler/Maynard families. The association members have a community hall where various social functions and activities are held for the benefit of residents of all ages. The association has made capital improvements, including a basketball court, soft sand volleyball court, bocce court and playground. Despite considerable erosion of its once pristine beach (due directly to the FEMA-financed construction of a massive seawall to protect Old Buttonwoods' shoreline) the summer community continues to be populated by families with youngsters and by snowbird seniors. The entire Budlong Farm sits on about 60 acres. A good portion is used to grow corn by Confreda Farms. Recently, the land was put under the Rhode Island Farm, Forest, and Open Space Act, with a pledge not to be developed. It remains a bucolic snapshot of colonial times and of the late Victorian era.

This is an excerpt from the article Old Buttonwoods from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. A list of authors is available at Wikipedia.
The article Old Buttonwoods at en.wikipedia.org was accessed 38 times in the last 30 days. (as of: 07/24/2013)
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Buttonwoods Beach Historic District - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Old Buttonwoods" is a bucolic neighborhood on the eastern limb of the Nausauket neck, located in the West Bay area of Warwick, Rhode Island. Buttonwoods is ...
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Old Buttonwoods | Facebook
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Old Buttonwoods Book.indb - Warwick Historical Society
over 20 years ago, I have to admit that I had never ventured to Old Buttonwoods, traveling all over Rhode Island and including the islands out in the Atlantic, ...
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A Jubilee Event: Nichole & Tim, A Vintage Old Buttonwoods ...
May 1, 2012 ... We were married in the charming neighborhood of Old Buttonwoods in Warwick, Rhode Island and all of our events took place within walking ...
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nichole and tim's buttonwoods rhode island wedding - Carla Ten Eyck
Jan 28, 2011 ... Ok. So Old Buttonwoods is a cute little community that is nestled in the seaside town of Warwick Rhode Island … it is like you are transported ...
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Our Story. Beginning in 1975, The Button Family built a dairy set-up using timber grown on the land, and an old sawmill to mill the lumber. Since that time, the farm ...
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Apr 4, 2010 ... Buttonwoods/Old Buttonwoods Neighborhood Located in the West Bay area of Warwick is a neighborhood known as Old Buttonwoods.
[PDF]Conocarpus erectus - Lee County Extension - University of Florida
Buttonwood is native to Bermuda, both coasts of south Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean ( .... Old green buttonwood on Bokeelia with the Gulf of Mexico in the.
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Buttonwoods Beach Historic District - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Old Buttonwoods" is a bucolic neighborhood on the eastern limb of the Nausauket neck, located in the West Bay area of Warwick, Rhode Island. Buttonwoods is ...
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Neighborhoods in Rhode Island: Old Buttonwoods, Easton's Point, ...
Neighborhoods in Rhode Island: Old Buttonwoods, Easton's Point, ...
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The Blessed House
The Blessed House
Barbara Malone
Chapter. 6. Old. Buttonwoods. Religion by the Sea “I now pronounce you husband and wife. May I present for the first time, Mr. & Mrs. ... We were in the Buttonwoods Beach Chapel, the corner stone of our special Old Buttonwoods community.
Warwick
Warwick
Donald A. D'Amato, 2003
(Henry A.L. Brown Collection.) The Buttonwoods House, or Old Buttonwoods. This house on the corner of Hemlock and Promenade Avenues was the site of the Kinnecom family clambakes. One of the most famous was given for William Henry ...
The Jews of Rhode Island
The Jews of Rhode Island
George M. Goodwin, Ellen Smith, 2004
BEGINNINGS One summer around 1910, Ethel Reffkin Gertsacov accepted the invitation of Bess Finberg to visit with her children for a few weeks at Old Buttonwoods.1 On the last day of her stay, she decided to take a walk along the shore ...
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Old Buttonwoods
A Jubilee Event: Nichole & Tim, A Vintage Old Buttonwoods Wedding in Warwick, Rhode Island | a jubilee event :: wedding inspiration for the jubilant bride
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nichole and tim’s buttonwoods rhode island wedding
Strap yourself in for a giant, emotion and detail filled post filled to the BRIM with ... emotion and detail! ta-da! This past October I had the honor to
carlateneyck.com/weddings/nichole-tims-buttonwood-rhode-island-wedding.html
Zoe: Buttonwoods Part I
I used to live in the most idyllic place on earth.  Or at least in Rhode island.
jessdavenport.blogspot.com/2009/01/buttonwoods-part-i.html
Hawks Nest: Buttonwoods
Grandma left yesterday but not before we snapped some pictures and ate some ice-cream at Buttonwoods Farm. Good news we see Grandma AND Grandpa again in a month :).
babyhawksnest.blogspot.com/2012/08/buttonwoods.html
926 BUTTONWOODS AV, Warwick, Rhode Island 02886 | Nick Slocum, Slocum Realty, Warwick, RI 02886
Become the stewards of the home that has hosted some of the best parties in the neighborhood for the last 44 yrs. Sprawling layout, decks & patios
www.nickslocum.com/areas/926-buttonwoods-av-warwick-rhode-island-02886/
Jillian & Ryan: Married « brad smith photography
Jillian and Ryan were married last week in the Old Buttonwoods section of Warwick.  The fabulous weather, great people and cozy location of Buttonwoods in Warwick made for some fantastic images! From getting ready to the reception’s end, the energy was high.
blog.smithbrad.com/index.php/2011/10/20/jillian-ryan-married/
A charming bowling wedding: Nichole + Tim | Pretty Paper, Real Weddings | 100 Layer Cake
Gorgeous gorgeous wedding nestled in the Old Buttonwoods neighborhood of Warwick, Rhode Island. Old Buttonwoods? How adorable is that! The whole wedding is just so pretty and thoughtful and detailed… and the invites and paper are divine.
www.100layercake.com/blog/2011/01/27/real-wedding-nichole-tim/
relivin’ our wedding | Coral Pheasant
Recently I’ve been wrap­ping up invi­ta­tion projects for brides whose wed­dings will be cel­e­brated this Fall. I can’t help but feel a lit­tle envi­ous of them.
www.coralpheasant.com/blog/real-wedding/relivin-our-wedding/
my first experience with Button Woods | The Lostinjersey Blog
In 1994 my wife & I had just moved out of my father's house & moved into a cute little basement apartment. We had nothing better to do so we started driving aimlessly. Isn't life wonderful and carefree before you have kids? We saw an open house & checked it out. Intrigued, we decided to…
lostinjersey.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/my-first-experience-with-button-woods/
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