|| The interior of the Meeting House today.
Compare it to the picture below - most of it has remained unchanged!
|| This picture was taken of the interior of the Meeting House in 1909.
There is a stove that is in the very back of the building that is no
longer there. The benches are also arranged in a different fashion.
|| The single large room downstairs dates from the 1745 addition. The frame
of heavy oak posts, beams, and curved braces is still visible - hand
hewn, mortised, pegged, and chamfered (i.e. beveled). Rough plaster
covers the walls and ceiling.
The large room is used for weekly worship. Since Quakers have no clergy,
there is no pulpit. A facing bench is on the low dais. The same benches
have been in use from at least 1909.
The 1745 addition was built during the height of Quaker influence.
Originally, the large room was open to upstairs galleries on three
sides. More than 100 people could be seated in the downstairs room and
in the galleries.
Scores of weddings and memorial services have been held in the large
downstairs room. Governor Stephen Hopkins (Rhode Island's signer of the
Declaration of Independence) married his second wife, Anne Smith of
Smithfield in that room in 1755. Moses Brown worshipped in that room.
Interior windows, now curtained, separate the large room from the
smaller 1703 section of the building. At one point, large shutters
mounted from above with iron strap hinges closed those windows. The
ceiling hook in the old section is believed to be part of that window
The one-story 1703 section, at the back of the Meeting House, is now
used as a kitchen. The wide plank floors are visible.
The upstairs of the Meeting House has a number of small rooms created by
closing in the galleries. One of the rooms was used for Sunday school
and houses a small library.
At the top of the stairs is a small stove, used until the 1900's to heat
the Meeting House. Henry Ford reported offered $1,000 for the antique
stove - but the Friends refused to sell!