During the Revolutionary War, an incursion by English and Hessian troops in 1778 resulted in the destruction of the majority of Bristol's original buildings. Because of the destruction Bristol is left with an unusually consistent collection of houses constructed in the ensuing period between 1780 and 1820.
The compact part of Bristol has a rich variety of historic buildings and, at the same time, a remarkable image of unity that is evident because of the regular and continuous alignment of structures set close to the street line. The use of wood as the principal building material, and the repetition of gable and shallow hip roof treatments; all this visual excitement brings joy to the eye of the perceptive viewer.
The citizens of the Town of Bristol, Rhode Island are justifiably proud of the town's architectural heritage. To a great measure, Bristol's pride is in its legacy of hundreds of restored Federal-era homes-classic gems generally preserved as originally built for future generations to admire.
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About the Author
Bristol historian Richard V. Simpson is a prolific writer who since 1967 has penned nineteen liberally illustrated East Bay Rhode Island history books, twelve of which deal with Bristol or a Bristol related subject. In this volume Simpson explores changes in the physical appearance of Bristol through circa 1880 stereo view card photos, and photographs snapped in 1903 by kitty Herreshoff DeWolf, which are juxtaposed with contemporary photos by himself and Dr. Zsolt Orban.