Surrounded by Sea: Block Island Stories

Maryann Gobern Mathews

Explore the Native history — and present — of Block Island in Still Here: A Conversation with Maryann Gobern Mathews.

Block Island Oral History 2000–2001

Coordinators: Jane Musky and Nina Stack

Interviewers: Nina Stack, Jane Musky, Kim Gaffett, Pam Gasner, Martha Ball, Margarite Donnelly


“Family histories and memories of generations of Block Island that have lived and worked on the island for at least 100 years.”


When possible, 2-3 family members representing different generations were present for the interview

In 1661, 16 families were granted the right to settle Block Island.
Today, several of those original families are still represented on the island.

“The people of today repeat the words, the acts, the feelings, habits and manners of those who lived centuries ago.”

S.T. Livermore

1877, "History of Block Island"

Project completed via grant to Block Island Historical Society from RI Council for the Humanities

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