You are here

Captain Robert Gray House

-A A +A
18th century. 3622 Main Rd.
  • (Courtesy Providence Public Library, Rhode Island Collection)

Captain Robert Gray apparently built this tiny two-and-one-half-story five-bay shingled house for himself. Utterly unpretentious, its central chimney lost, its window sash replaced, and badly crowded by later houses, it is mostly of historical interest, for the colorful background of one of the owners of the house. Of all the nautical derring-do of Tiverton's seaman, none was as consequential as Captain Gray's sailing in the Columbia to the coast of the present-day state of Washington and there discovering the great river which he named for his vessel. Braving the dangerous shoals and fast currents in its mouth, he “took possession” of it, and thereby established the basis for American claims, in later negotiations with England, to ownership of the Oregon Country, which today comprises the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.



  • 1700


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Captain Robert Gray House", [Tiverton, 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, 484-485.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.