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Williams Family Cemetery

Historical Significance

This site served as the family cemetery of the Williams family, descendents of Roger Williams, Rhode Island’s founder, from 1710 to 1871.  The cemetery is located in the Roger Williams Park & Zoo, a 4.5-acre urban park in the historic district of Providence.  Roger Williams was a controversial figure whose preachings idealizing freedom of religious worship set him at odds with the Puritans of Massachusetts, who banished him from their state.  He founded Rhode Island as a colony which welcomed the religious of all persuasions, and served as the colony’s Governor from 1654-1658.  His descendents continued to take active civic roles in Providence and Rhode Island history.  The land for the park – which had been farmed by generations of Williams descendents – was bequeathed to the city of Providence by Roger Williams’ great-great-great-granddaughter, Betsy Williams, in 1871, at which time it ceased to be used as an active burial ground for the Williams family.  The Roger Williams Park was designed by landscape architect Horace Cleveland in 1878, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.


Conservation Treatment

Slate Markers

  • ŸStone cleaning.
  • ŸCrack injection using dispersed hydrated lime.
  • ŸFills in water traps and along mendlines using Edison System 45 mortar mixed with color matched slate aggregate.
  • ŸRepairs of broken sections of markers using structural epoxy and stainless steel pins where appropriate.

Marble Markers

  • ŸStone cleaning.
  • ŸInjection of surface cracks with dispersed hydrated lime injection grout.
  • ŸPatching of losses with Jahn marble patching compound.
  • ŸRejoining of broken markers with stainless steel pins and structural epoxy.
  • ŸResetting of markers in leveled, gravel-lined beds.

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