July 4th Greetings & Remembering George M. Cohan

July 4th Greetings & Remembering George M. Cohan

Statue of George M. Cohan in Prov._photo from Irish America Mag

Photo credit: Irish America Magazine

July 4, 2022

Dear Members,

We hope you are all enjoying this lovely July 4 holiday weekend!

On July 3, 1878, one of Rhode Island’s most famous Irish-Americans, George M. Cohan, was born in Providence. According to this article from Irish America Magazine, Cohan’s grandparents changed their Gaelic surname, O’Caomhan, to Keohane, then changed it to Cohan when they immigrated to the United States.

Known for his patriotic songs, including “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” a statue honoring Cohan was installed in the summer of 2009 at the corner of Wickenden & Governor Streets in the Fox Point neighborhood, near his birthplace. Fittingly, the Cohan statue is by the same artist, Robert Shure, who sculpted the Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial.

Click this link to read Irish America Magazine‘s interesting article on this “Real live Nephew of his Uncle Sam,” who was almost — but not quite —  Born on the 4th of July!

Interpretive Center Operation in High Gear

Interpretive Center

Photo credit:Allan Millora

Thanks to our team of dedicated volunteer docents, the Museum’s Interpretive Center, shown above, is welcoming visitors from near and far for the 2022 Season.

Hours are 12 noon to 5 pm, Thursday through Sunday (closed Mon.-Tues.-Wed.), through the end of October.

Visitors to the Center will learn about Irish immigration to Newport County from the colonial era to the present, and of the many contributions made to our community by individuals of Irish descent. The exhibits and resources include maps, photographs, artwork, models, video, oral histories and artifacts, including some from the construction of nearby Fort Adams, which was built with Irish immigrant labor.

  • The Center is located at 648 Lower Thames Street, just south of Narragansett Avenue.
  • Free parking is available on the street (resident parking sticker not required until after 6pm).
  • Or leave your car and take the free “Hop On, Hop Off” trolley transportation via Bus Route 67, which leaves the 23 Americas Cup Ave. Transportation Center. Get off at Bellevue & Narragansett and walk 2 blocks west to Thames.

Note: Private visits to the Center on alternative days/times and in the off-season may be arranged with adequate lead time to arrange a docent. To inquire, please write to NewportIrishHistory@gmail.com


Volunteers gather for 2nd work session of the season

Many thanks to the below Museum members who came out the afternoon of Wed. June 15 to participate in the second work session of the 2022 Season at the Barney Street Cemetery. Under the leadership of board member and Cemetery Committee Chair, Jack McCormack, the team focused on weeding between the many perennial flowers.

Ann Arnold

Larry Bartley

Mary Ellen Bronson

Deanna Conheeny

Jonathan Davies

Larry Davis

Carolyn Evans-Carbery

Jack McCormack

Bill Shea

Please enjoy the below photos of the site, taken a couple days after the work was completed. 

The day lilies are at their peak at this time and the site looks beautiful, so stop by and visit the cemetery this week if you have a chance. 

Please join us!

If you would like to be added to the Cemetery Volunteer email list, to be invited to future work sessions, please sent an email to: newportirishhistory@gmail.com

cemetery June 17 2022_Tim May
June 17 2022_Tim May photo

Barney Street Cemetery, June 17, 2022 (photos by Tim May)

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To learn about the history of the cemetery site, check out the resources on the left side of this webpage, under the photo:  https://newportirishhistory.org/historic-cemetery-tours


As April 1 marked the start of the Museum’s new Fiscal Year, many of our members with Annual (vs. Life) Memberships, are due for renewal at this time.

A big “Thank You” to all who have submitted their renewal payments thus far. We have a ways to go,

with about 150 outstanding.

The annual fee for an Individual membership remains $20, and a Family/Household membership $30 (applies to all those living at the same address).

You may renew now online by clicking the below orange “Membership” button.

If you prefer to pay by check, please send payable to “MNIH” with “Membership” in the Memo line to us at PO Box 1378, Newport, RI, 02840

If you are unsure of your membership status — before making a payment — please email Ann at tpm1@earthlink.net or phone her at 401-841-5493 and she’ll get right back to you.



Please do not send payments or other correspondence to our seasonal Thames Street Interpretive Center address.


We are pleased to share that our new self-guided walking tour brochures have been very well received by members and others interested in Newport’s rich and interesting Irish history, and hundreds have already been sold.

Three tours have been developed, each covering a different neighborhood of “Irish Newport,” and each can be walked in approximately an hour to an hour and a half.

For more information, including how to obtain copies of the three brochures, please visit the “Self-Guided Walking Tour Brochure” page on our website, by clicking the below button.

Walking Tour Brochures

Museum of Newport Irish History

Established 1996

a 501c3 non-profit organization

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1378, Newport, RI 02840

Interpretive Center:

648 Lower Thames Street, Newport RI 02840


Click Here for Museum Board of Directors Contact Info. and list of deceased board members, fondly remembered.

The MISSION of the Museum of Newport Irish History is to tell the story of the Irish immigrants and their descendants in Newport County and the surrounding area from the colonial era to the present. It also seeks to preserve artifacts and mementos relating to their experiences and facilitate

research on Irish history and heritage.

Visit our Website