December 21, 2014
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Historic Homes
Hopelands, Rocky Hill School 3
Don D'Amato and Terry Spencer

Hope and Thomas P. Ives built a large 2 ½-story, five-bay federal house alongside the original farmhouse. Hope lived a long life at her mansion. When she died in 1857m Hopelands went to her daughter, Charlotte, wife of professor William Giles Goddard. Their son, Moses Brown Ives Goddard, inherited the property in 1881. Mr. Goddard added beautiful gardens and buildings to his 120-acre estate. He made a number of changes and additions to the house in the Colonial Revival style. Upon the death of his widow, Elizabeth, Hopelands eventually passed to a niece, Charlotte Ives Goddard Shaw. She died in 1941 without heirs.

After a century of ownership by the Greenes and another century and a half by the Brown descendants, Hopelands was purchased by Cranston developer Nazarene Melecarre in 1941. In 1948 he sold it to the trustees of the Rocky Hill Country Day School.

The Rocky Hill School, founded in 1934 as a pre-primary school by Dorothy Marshall, has grown to include a series of programs from kindergarten through the 12th grade. The move from the original site in East Greenwich to Hopelands was the beginning of a great many changes and dynamic growth in curriculum. Under the present headmaster, Alan F. Flynn Jr., the school this year has 270 pupils, the largest enrollment in its history.

The school year 1983-84 is a special one for the school, as it marks its 50th anniversary. A number of events are scheduled as part of the celebration, and many of them will center on the Hopelands mansion, which is now the administrative center of the school. It is anticipated that sometime during this year the 1686 mansion will be selected for the National Register of Historic Places. This will be a most welcome event, as the school has undertaken a great deal of restoration on the buildings since 1981. The entire community has benefited, as Hopelands is certainly one of four historic homes.


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