Welcome to the BH&PS web site. 
We also have a Facebook page so please don't forget to "Like" us at


1:00 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays - Fridays
1:00 to 3 p.m. Summer Saturdays

Downtown Bristol Historic Walking Tours
with historian Rei Battcher
3:00 p.m. on Thursdays
(May through September)

Our Museum and Library are open year around on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.; and from May through October the Society is also open on Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m.  And we are open by special appointment.  Call ahead for special tours of our collections or for access to our research library.  Free to members and $2 for non members. Bring your out-of-town guests for a tour. Books on Bristol history, historic maps, prints and other items are available for sale in our Museum Corner Gift Shop during open hours.


Society members will receive direct mailings of upcoming events 
and this site will provide updates as they occur.  To become a
 member, stop by the Society during open hours or click on 
the membership page to your left.




Sunday, May 22nd, 2 p.m.  

Meet at the Society, 48 Court Street

Captain Simeon Potter (aka Rei Battcher)

“Bombed and Burned” is a Revolutionary War walking tour along the edge of the Bristol Harbor.  Librarian and local historian Rei Battcher will lead the tour in the persona of Captain Simeon Potter who lived from 1720 to 1806. Rei Battcher, through the eyes of Captain Potter, will recount the bombing of Bristol by the British in 1775 and the burning three years later when the British marched through town destroying many houses.  At the time, Captain Potter was considered to be one of the most influential men in the Colony because of his great wealth amassed from money and plundered treasure when he was a young man on the high seas as both a pirate and a privateer.   In 1775, when the British sailed into the Bristol Harbor and started bombing the Town, it was Captain Potter who led the negotiations with them to stop.   Captain Potter had already earned a reputation as a Patriot in 1772 by taking a boatload of men from Bristol across the Bay to Pawtuxet Cove where they joined others to burn the anchored HMS Gaspee, a hated British revenue schooner.

The tour will end at the Society where light refreshments will be served.   $10 per person.  Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by parents or other supervising adults.  


Next Meeting:  Saturday, June 4, 2016, at 9 a.m.
Society Headquarters, 48 Court Street, Bristol

Open To All - Just Walk In and Join the Group

The Club meets regularly on the 1st Saturday of the month except for July and August. If the Saturday falls on a holiday weekend, the group will meet the following Saturday.

The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2016, at 9 a.m. at 48 Court Street. 

                   Individual Review of Research Problems

We have a very lively group and we devote a portion of each meeting to our "brick wall roundtable" to help members with their individual research problems.  The idea is for members to present their latest "brick wall" so others can help decide what to do next.  The purpose of this short session is not to review an entire family history nor is it to actually solve the entire brick wall but is instead to give ideas on HOW to solve it.

As of December 2015, Fire, Burglar and Security systems at the BHPS are fully installed due to the receipt of a generous $15,000 matching grant from The 1772 Foundation.  The BHPS has motion alarms and security cameras throughout the building, has a secured entry alarm system and a fire alarm system that is directly linked to the Town of Bristol Fire Department.  As part of its 2015 Matching Grants for Historic Preservation made available to organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, The 1772 Foundation Grant has enabled the Society to protect its unique research library, its extensive paper document room, the significant portrait collection, and all of the other artifacts throughout the building.

Founded in 1936 to promote interest in historical research and preservation, to stimulate the study of the history of Southern New England, especially the Town of Bristol, to collect and preserve whatever pertains thereto, and to provide museum quarters for the exhibition of the same and a meeting space for our members.

Website Builder