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Greene Memorial House


The Greene Memorial House
Apponaug, Rhode Island

The Historic Greene Homestead

Extensive alterations and repairs of the old home of General George S. Greene were made early in 1900, under the Supervision of his nephew, the late Albert R. Greene of Coweset; the selection of the antique furnishings and all details of the domestic arrangements being in charge of Mrs. Greene. Upon the door was placed a large and elaborate brass plate bearing the words, 'The Greene Memorial House'; and below, a brass knocker with the name, 'George Sears Greene'. The rooms are made attractive and artistic in their arrangements, and give evidence of thoughtful care and consideration. One of the upper apartments is known as 'The General's Room'.

On April 26, 1900, the habitual quiet of the village of Apponaug was broken by an occurrence of unusual significance. The interest centered around the old, historic home of Gen. George Sears Greene, which, on this date, in the presence of a distinguished company from Providence, was formally presented by his youngest son, General Francis V. Greene, to the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, for the special use of St. Barnabas Church at Apponaug.

The services at the house, attending the consecration and presentation of the property, were presided over by Rev. Dr. Henshaw, President of the Standing Committee of the Diocese; and many of the Episcopal clergy of Rhode Island were present. General Greene, whose generosity and reverence for the memory of his father prompted him to make this munificent gift to the Diocese of the State, in making the presentation, referred to the influences which led him to decide upon this special disposition of the birthplace of his father. In this connection he dwelt upon the great affection which the old General cherished for his boyhood's home, his intense pride of ancestry, and his fervent devotion to the Protestant Episcopal Church. Reference was also made to the old Greene burial plot, located upon a picturesque eminence at the rear of the old homestead, where the old General rests with his fathers. 'These were the reasons,' said General Greene, 'which led me to decide to purchase the homestead from my sister and fit it up as a lasting memorial to my father'.

Dr. Henshaw responded to General Greene as follows: 'Sir, it is a great and good work, and I am sure that hereafter you will have cause to be deeply thankful that God put it into your heart to do this thing. Your ancestors have distinguished themselves in this country in times of peace and war. I remember your honored father and your brother, Mr. Dana Greene, both of whom distinguished themselves in the service of their country. I remember, too, their strong attachment to all that concerned the church and its interests'.

Mr. E. D. Bassett echoed the sentiments of Dr. Henshaw, saying that the name of the donor of the Memorial House was one which every Rhode Islander revered and honored. It is a source of congratulation to all of us that this memorial stands here in Apponaug today.

Rev. Samuel H. Webb also spoke briefly, and said: 'Since my residence in this State, I have long heard of the Rhode Island family of Greenes, and this act is what I should have expected of one of its members'.

The consecration service followed, which was sacred and impressive. Later, the rooms of the house were inspected and part of the company visited the old Greene burial ground to view the grave of General George S. Greene, with the monument, a huge boulder brought from the scene of the hero's fight at Gettysburg; and also were attracted by the large granite stone erected by the old General in memory of his father, which bears the genealogical record of the family, as follows:

In Memory of
Caleb Greene, Esquire, of Apponaug
Born July 17, 1772
Died Dec. 4, 1853
Erected by his children.
He was the son of Caleb, of Samuel, of Samuel, all of
Apponaug, which last was son of John Greene, Esquire,
Duputy Governor of this Colony, son of John Greene of
Salisbury, England, and original proprietor of this town
in 1643, who was son of Richard, son of Richard, son of
Robert Greene, Esq., which last were all of Gillingham,
Dorsetshire, England.