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Dr. Elisha Bartlett House

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c. 1850. Later additions to the rear. 2 Green St.

The “big house” at the village center appropriately occupies a dominant site and is conspicuously adorned with Greek Revival regalia: a distyle (paired-columned) Doric entrance porch; a row of six more Doric columns supporting the entablatured roof of the sitting porch on the North Main Street side of the house under an attic pediment; two-story, paneled Doric pilasters as decorative corner posts for another entablature under the eaves; and pedimented gable ends.

Elisha Bartlett deserves a parenthesis. A Brown University graduate, he was a famous physician who held professorships in no less than nine medical schools during his career, the first mayor of Lowell, Massachusetts, and a member of the Massachusetts state legislature. His History of the Diagnosis and Treatment of Typhoid and Typhus Fever (1842) was the first comprehensive account of the disease in the English language. In An Essay on the Philosophy of Medicine (1844) he emphasized the impact of environmental factors on human illness. He had married Elizabeth Slater, daughter of John Slater, and ill health forced his retirement around 1850. They came to the family village, moving her father's house ( NS22) to build their own more impressive replacement. Shortly after its completion, Dr. Bartlett died in 1855 at the age of fifty-one. He is buried in the Slatersville Cemetery.

Across the street from the Bartlett House, the brick North Smithfield Town Hall (1921) is rightly placed to enhance the village symbolism, but is architecturally too inconsequential to hold the eye.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Dr. Elisha Bartlett House", [North Smithfield, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 247-247.

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