Valentine-Whitman house still has a story to tell

Valentine-Whitman house still has a story to tell

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the future of the Valentine Whitman House and its preservation. As one of the last stone ender houses in Rhode Island, it deserves the best possible future; one that I believe includes Preserve Rhode Island.

Growing up in the Blackstone Valley, I’ve spent most of my life volunteering or employed at museums both big and small. I have seen the struggles of preservation first hand and know that finding new and innovative ways of preserving can be difficult but also rewarding.

Both big and small museums struggle with preserving the collections and properties they have been left in charge of. There is constant questioning of what should be should be saved and to what extent, and most importantly how is it going to be paid for. Not everything makes the cut, ultimately what is saved are the objects (or houses!) that best tell a story. The Valentine-Whitman house still has a story to tell and we need to find the best way to tell it. This is an opportunity to have a first-class restoration by a reputable organization, that has already done great work all over the State of Rhode Island. It is an organization that is willing to take a large project and is dedicated to saving a piece of history unique to Rhode Island.

History is preserved in many ways. It might not always be as a house museum but maybe as a place that people can walk and live surrounded by the past. Maybe it will be another family in a long line of families who have called the Whitman House home or visitors seeing and staying in this wonderful town. This the best chance for this house to survive another 300 years and to save our local history.

Jenna Alessandro

Pawtucket