KINGSTON — Though often requested, after-dark entry into the Colonial-era cell block in the Old Washington County Jail is not usually permitted.
But for three weekends this October, the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society will make an exception.
The society will present its historically-based evening village tours, The Haunts of Little Rest Hill, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, allowing participants a chance to experience the unedited, chillingly-silent vibe of the cold granite jail cells after dark.
The Haunts of Little Rest Hill tour bears a double meaning: the “haunts,” or places frequented by residents of Colonial times, and the places they allegedly come back to “haunt” today.
The stories will be based on the legitimate history of Kingston Village kept by the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society, and recorded by local authors past and present; as well as the anecdotes of living residents who tell of unexplained and unexpected phenomena suggesting the continued presence of historical figures in buildings in the village, including the Old Jail.
The program’s intent is to appeal to those who relish this darker side of history as a way to raise interest in the region’s past, and the work of the society to preserve it.
The 75-minute, lamp-lit walking tours will cover approximately one mile, and will include discussion about noted historic places where renowned citizens lived, died, and seemingly still dwell.
Led by historians with knowledge of the area, the program offers an educational element as well as an eerie feel. Tours begin at the pillory in the jail yard, and circle through Little Rest and two burial grounds, ending inside the unlit stone cells where notorious Washington County criminals were once imprisoned.
Tickets are $15 per adult, $10 per child 12 and younger. Tours are 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday nights; 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday nights, and run from Friday, Oct. 10, through Halloween night, Oct. 31. For families with young children, 7:30 tours are best.
Participants should dress for weather and walking because only severe weather will cancel the tours. All proceeds benefit the society. Reservations are recommended and are now being accepted by calling 401-783-1328.
For more information, visit www.washingtoncountyhistory.com.