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Prescott Farm (Overing House)

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Overing House
c. 1710. 1812, windmill. West Main Rd. (owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation)
  • Prescott Farm (Overing House) (John M. Miller)

Prescott Farm, partially in Portsmouth but mostly in Middletown, is so known because General Richard Prescott, commander of British forces in Rhode Island, was headquartered here when, on the night of July 9, 1777, he was captured in a daring clandestine operation by a force of some forty Americans. His capture occurred in the large house adjacent to what is now called Prescott Farm. But it is the early-nineteenth-century shingled windmill that is the center of attention here. Originally in Warren, it was moved twice to different hillside sites in Portsmouth and then just over the Middletown side of the boundary between the two towns. It is one of three still surviving in the state—others are in Jamestown and Middletown—which celebrate a sight once common along the Rhode Island coast, wherever abundant breeze had to make up for the lack of swift-moving streams as a power source. The other spectacle here is, of course, the farm animals, especially the gaggle of geese—and the triumph of amateur photographers when house, windmill, and geese all come together in a passable composition.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Prescott Farm (Overing House)", [Middletown, 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, 507-507.

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