Founder of Rhode Island Memorialized on Souvenir Magnetic Photo of Providence
Theologian Roger Williams is known for helping to establish the colony of Rhode Island and also for being a founder of the Baptist faith in America. His legacy has been honored with a statue of the man seemingly gazing out over his beloved city of Providence. The spectacular view shown in the Worldwide Fridge Magnet Souvenir of Rhode Island is that of the city’s downtown area as seen from College Hill and Prospect Terrace Park, where Roger Williams’ statue and tomb are located.
Some of the landmark Providence buildings that are seen in the photograph include the steeple of the First Baptist Church of Providence, which was founded by Roger Williams and built in 1775. Also depicted are some of the tallest buildings in the city of Providence, such as the Bank of America Building, and 50 Kennedy Plaza, which used to be called Fleet Center.
Interesting Historical Footnote Regarding the Final Resting Place of Roger Williams
A fifteen foot high granite statue of Roger Williams was erected over his tomb in 1939, but this is not the original burial site of the important historical figure. Williams’ original grave was overgrown by the roots of an apple tree. When his body was exhumed and relocated to its current resting place, it was discovered that the tree roots had grown closely around his body. When the bones were removed and placed in a bronze casket for reburial, the tree roots retained the shape of his body. The roots were preserved and are now on display in the John Brown House Museum in east Providence. The exhibit is entitled “Williams’ Root.”
It does seem fitting that the statue honoring this man shows him looking out over the city he helped to build. It’s almost as if he is still keeping watch on his legacy.