About Quahog.org

About Quahog.org

Don Bousquet cartoon: Entering Rhode Island, the Ocean State. Keep your smart remarks to yourself.
(©1983 Don Bousquet. Used with permission).

Welcome to Quahog.org, Rhode Island History Exhumed!

This site is a guide to the Ocean State's history, culture, and quirks. Here you will find articles on much of what makes Rhode Island Rhode Island.

Quahog.org began as a travel guide based on the idea that people always seem to go elsewhere for their vacations and seldom bother to see what's in their own back yards. We call this Statue of Liberty Syndrome. While our focus has shifted over the years to include a lot more of the history of our favorite state, the basic premise remains the same—only in addition to taking our readers on a trip through geography, we strive to take them through time, as well.

Germ of an Obsession
Back during the summer of 1999 we realized that we'd never really taken advantage of all there is to see and do in our beloved Biggest Little. What better way, we thought, than with a comprehensive road trip—one in which we would attempt to hit every site of interest in the state in a single weekend? It was an ambitious idea, yet we might very well have succeeded if only we hadn't taken the time to do a little research. A little research soon turned into a lot of research and before we knew it (despite witty comments from several individuals to the effect that Rhode Island could be sufficiently covered in a single afternoon), we had found far more items of interest than we could hope to see in a mere two days. Bogged down as we were by minutiae, it was not until the fall of 1999 that we were finally able to begin exploring the near-flung corners of the state.

Over four successive weekends, we drove the state's highways and dirt roads, squinted at memorial plaques and statues, interacted with friendly locals, and ate lots and lots of clam cakes. As much as we saw, there was always something else. Over time it became obvious that this Rhode Trip would never be completed, that it would continue to be a chaotic, organic thing, constantly growing. One word sprang into our collective minds: Website.

Originally our ambition was to emulate RoadsideAmerica.com and point out all the goofy stuff that one could find only in Rhode Island. To that end we developed a complex and robust methodology for picking the sights to be included in our guide: they had to be cool. We endeavored mightily to steer away from the boring and ordinary. But cool could be a lot of things, and we spent a lot of time bickering amongst ourselves about whether a topic was Quahog-worthy or not. Basically the stuff fell into the following categories:

  • Goofy or Fun (silly monuments, odd buildings, giant bugs)
  • Grisly (cemeteries, massacre sites, death in all its forms)
  • Obscure, forgotten or esoteric, yet remarkable (famous headgear, neglected memorials)
  • Superlative (first, highest, oldest, only, tallest)
  • Uniquely Rhode Island (food, animals)

These categories were, and are, not mutually exclusive.

Of course any idiot can make a list of things he thinks are cool. But it takes a truly warped individual to go to the trouble of actually researching the history of the Condom Hut or delving into the origin of coffee milk. Especially when that idiot isn't even being paid.

We've tried our best to make sure that if we're going to send strangers traipsing across the countryside there should always be some sort of artifact for them to look at, whether it be a gravestone, a historical marker, a building, or a giant fiberglass insect. But despite our best efforts, there are still a few entries that have little or no payoff. You pays yer money and you takes yer chances (well, actually you don't pay any money—it's free). In those cases where there's really nothing to see we try at least to give you a good story.

Our madness is your gain. Browse through the Facts and Folklore, Attractions, or Cuisine sections, or use the Search function to track down the object of your specific interest. What you see on Quahog is only the tip of the iceberg, though, so if you can't find your answer here, drop us a note at stuffie@quahog.org and we'll do our best to enlighten you. But be warned: we reserve the right to be snippy if you ask something that could easily be found with a simple Google search, or that has nothing to do with Rhode Island.

For your enjoyment and edification we've included a number of extra features. Use our hand-picked Calendar of Rhode Island events to plan your weekend. Rhode Island Facts and Trivia will give you a quick fix of data to dazzle 'em with at the next cocktail party. Notable Rhode Islanders will acquaint you with our famous and infamous sons and daughters. Rhode Island in the Limelight lists movies, television shows, fiction, and music that have some local connection, however tenuous. Check out Rhode Island as a Unit of Measure to learn just how small Little Rhody really is. For Family Guy fans who've stumbled in here hoping to find out where the city of Quahog is located, we've compiled a Family Guy Concordance. And if you're still not satisfied, browse our collection of Links and Resources for dozens of historical links to start your own research.

Now go! Make friends with the Ocean State. Caress its topography, learn its rich history, meet its inhabitants, and sample its strange and delicious cuisines. Stare agape at its oddities, contemplate its architecture, shake your head over its politics, and admire its attractive natural attributes. Rhode Island may be small, but it contains a world of experience and memory. Enjoy it!

Red tinted quahog shell.
Quahog also quahaug
(ko-hog, or kwa-hog) n.1. An edible clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) of the Atlantic coast of North America, having a hard, rounded shell. Also called hard-shell clam or round clam. [Narragansett poquahock]
n. 1. Rhode Island history exhumed.

While we have tried to be as accurate as possible in presenting the information contained on this website, we cannot and do not claim to be infallible. We therefore assume no liability for you getting lost, being underwhelmed, peeing your pants, finding an attraction closed, being spat on by a llama, eating too many gaggers or stuffies, being shredded by briars, being murdered by your traveling companions, spending all your money on dumb souvenirs, tripping over gravestones, running out of gas, receiving unwanted propositions, or getting shot at by angry property owners, nor will we be responsible for damages arising from errors or omissions. Use this guide at your own risk. Keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times while the ride is in motion. Please direct comments, corrections or additions to stuffie@quahog.org.

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