Rhode Island Tercentenary Issue First Day Cover
300th Anniversary of the Settlement of Rhode Island
Issued on May 4, 1936 in Providence, RI - Scott #777

Unofficial Town Cancel - Block Island , RI
Rhode Island Tercentenary Commission - Planty #777-18

The first New Shoreham Post Office, (New Shoreham Township, Newport County) was established on December 13, 1832 under Postmaster William L. Wright. This post office was disestablished on November 7, 1879 and the name changed to Block Island. The first postmaster of the second Block Island Post Office was Charles W. Willis. The Post Office is currently in operation under Postmaster Frederick Leeder III appointed on April 27, 1996.

Charles W. Willis was born in 1845 on Block Island, RI and is listed on the census of 1880 as a dry goods merchant and Post Master.

Block Island was first sighted by the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524. The island was named for the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block who landed there in 1614. The first settlers landed on the island from Massachusetts in 1661 and it became a part of the colony of Rhode Island in 1664.

Block Island is in New Shoreham Township and is located off the southern coast of Rhode Island. There are two villages on Block Island; New Shoreham and Isaacs Corner. Today, the Island plays host to a booming tourist industry.

The island is reached by one of three regular and two part time ferries  from  Providence, RI; Newport, RI; Point Judith, RI; New London, CT; and Montauk, Long Island, NY.

Source: Rhode Island Postal History: The Post Offices - Merolla, Jackson & Crowther

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