Dog Days of Summer

During this heat wave, it's hard to complain about being inside in the air conditioning.  But one of the best parts of living in Rhode Island is getting to the beach.  And so I've spent some time this sunny Saturday while I'm stuck inside looking through our image collection at pictures of summer fun at the beach over time and daydreaming of tomorrow when I'll be out enjoying it myself.

I love this photograph of a crowded summer day at Easton's Beach in Newport in 1925.  While the upper class swam at the private Bailey's Beach, Easton's Beach was where most folks went for a swim and a day at the boardwalk.  The variety of attire is fantastic - women with bobbed hair and bathingsuits over their knees (considered somewhat scandalous at the time) next to men in suits with starched collars! 

You can also see how built up the boardwalk was at that time with the bathing pavilion and the roller coaster in the distance.  Most of the boardwalk and the roller coaster were destroyed in the Hurricane of '38 and were never rebuilt, but Easton's Beach remains an incredibly popular summer destination. 

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Kate Wells

As the Rhode Island Collection librarian at Providence Public Library, Kate Wells helps bring Rhode Island history to light by increasing access to the collection and providing research assistance to patrons. In the “Rhode Island Red” blog, Kate showcases interesting materials from the collection, provides research tip & techniques, and highlights local history. Feel free to contact her if you have any Rhode Island related questions; she is always happy to help. Email:


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