Washington Did a Lot More Than Just Sleep Here!

The James Mitchell Varnum House

Welcome to the 18th century

57 Peirce St., East. Greenwich, R.I., 02818 • 401-884-1776


For all other questions: contact John Harvey

We are currently applying for National Landmark Status for the Varnum House Museum through the National Register of Historic Places. For your reading pleasure, we're posting the two documents which form the backbone of this application. Read the Nomination Form [PDF]. Read the Statement of Architectural and Narritive Significance [PDF].


The year was 1773 and the town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, was still very much a part of English Colonial America.

The two-storied frame house being built just above the Kent Country Court House was the new home of a young lawyer, James Mitchell Varnum, and his bride, Martha. Built in keeping with the best architectural standards of the day, the new mansion had a hipped roof, modillioned cornices, heavily moulded caps, and a central pedimented doorway with columned porch. The two-storied ell was added sometime in the late 1800's.

The Varnum House commanded an excellent view of Greenwich Bay and was situated in the Northeast corner of a spacious, two-acre lot with lawns and formal gardens, just as it is today. In fact, the home and grounds have changed little for their two centuries.

A fine example of late 18th century Rhode Island architecture, the Varnum house is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been furnished throughout with notable pieces from the Revolutionary period. Several of the rooms were restored and furnished by individual Rhode Island familes.

Varnum Continentals
Design by Johndharvey.com