Read about the house and its inhabitants in Newspaper Articles, Books and Reports.
First owned by Caleb Carr, Colonial Rhode Governor, this property was inherited by his son Francis and in turn by his only child Sarah Carr. Sarah and her husband George Pigot moved here from 1722 - 1727.
Pierre LeValley traded his Marblehead Mass. property with Sarah Carr and George Pigot for what would become the LeValley Homestead. According to the 1989 research of Paul LeValley, "by The house stayed in the LeValley family ownership 221 years.
"To accommodate his growing family of eleven children, John did a massive remodeling of the house." Research of Paul LeValley, 1989.
"Peter's three unmarried daughters continued to live in the house, and bought up two of the shares. Mary, the last surviving daughter thus owned half of the original estate, which she passed on to her daughter Amanda. Amanda--known as the eccentric Amanda for her views on women's liberation." Research of Paul Levalley, 1989.
Matilda M. (LeValley) Spencer inherited her family's homestead from her cousin Amanda. According to Paul LeValley's research, "She...added a low wing to the big barn to shelter her undertaker-husband's funeral carriages".
After the death of Matilda Spencer, her family's homestead was rented to two families from 1920-1948.
William and Mary Watts rented the LeValley Homestead from the Spencer family from 1920 until the early 1940's. They purchased their own home c.1941.
Pictured to the left are Mr. and Mrs. Watts in 2015, the year they were married.
Pictured at right is Mr. Watts and his daughter, who grew up in this house.
Harris and Gilda Broadhursts first rented the house from the Spencer family for several years before puchasing it. Mrs. Broadhurst would recall her husband's service in the Army during WWII; that he would write home and send her rose seeds in the same envelope; and that he was wounded in Germany. Mr. Broadhurst eventually returned stateside and joined the Fuller Brush Company. At some point they lived for a brief time in Virginia for the Fuller Brush Company.
It's uncertain exactly when they began living in the house. This aurthor, having heard some of her old stories, recalls Jill saying they rented for five years before they made the purchase. They even may have lived in the old homestead before and after their stint in Virginia. The specific timing of their pre-purchase residency remains unknown.
In 1948, the Broadhursts purchased the home and raised their two children there. The Providence Journal wrote a memorable article about the old homestead when it changed hands. Mrs. Broadhurst, fondly known as Jill to her neighbors, lived there until close to her death in 2009. The house has been unoccupied since then.
Jill Broadhurst, is pictured here at about age 96. She was thrilled to have returned home after a long recovery in rehab. Jill adored her home and was able to remain there, on her own, until very close to the end of her life thanks to the help of devoted relatives. She kept her living quarters in impeccable condition and after all her years of living there, she was still excited by her home's history and warmed by it's quaintness.
Mr. and Mrs. Guillemette purchased the property from Gilda Broadhurst's estate hoping to renovate it as a residence. The wall and floor coverings were removed to expose historical features. The repeated advise they received was to demolish the old house and to build at least two new houses on the land. Unfortunately, Mr. Guillemette's health failed before he was able to find a feasible solution.
With the launch of this website, the Guillemette family on behalf of Mrs. Guillemette, is seeking guidance on how to preserve this precious and unique piece of Rhode Island history. By collecting as much information as possible about the house and it's residents, we are hoping that a solution will reveal itself from the community at large.
Our hope is that ownership of the property will change hands with the assurance that it will be preserved in a meaningful and sustainable way.