Barrington Heritage Hall of Fame
Barrington Heritage Hall of Fame recognizes present and former residents that have made significant contributions through civic service or philanthropic contributions. Posthumous selections are accepted. Please check this page for updates of when nominations are being accepted.
|Elizabeth "Bonnie" Warren (1929-2021)
|For years, “Bonnie” was synonymous with historic preservation in Barrington. A true steward of Barrington’s history and heritage, Bonnie spent most of the past two decades dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting Barrington’s past, with seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm.
Almost immediately after retiring in 2000 from her decades-long career in historic planning and preservation, Bonnie wasted no time in accepting a personal invitation from then BPS President Bernard Scola to join BPS. Soon after, Bonnie was elected to the Board of Trustees, where she served for about 15 years, including her terms as BPS President.
As a BPS volunteer, Bonnie was a singular tour de force. Her keen insight, practical know-how, and unwavering drive and determination, supported her often lofty and ambitious vision well. Bonnie organized and collaborated on house, bus and walking tours, lectures, educational events, museum exhibits, and fundraisers, just to name a few. As a long time Chair of the Plaquing Committee, Bonnie advanced the awareness and importance of restoring and preserving Barrington’s architectural heritage of both public buildings and privates homes, including her own beloved Peleg Richmond House.
Bonnie was one of the original organizers of Barrington 300, and an early collaborator in the effort to “save” Nockum Hill. She viewed the project as a “major opportunity to contribute to New England and American history.” And, as a recipient of a 2021 National Parks Service Battlefield Preservation Planning Grant (“A Place Called Nockum and the Inception of King Philip’s War), Bonnie’s vision of cementing the site’s significance is now assured.
Additionally, Bonnie’s prolific body of work includes contributions to:
- 1976, Belton Court/Frederick Peck Estate, National and State Registers of Historic Places.
- 1976, Barrington Civic Center Historic District (Town Hall, Leander R. Peck School, and Prince’s Hill Cemetery), National and State Registers of Historic Places.
- 2005, Alfred Drown Road Historic District, residential district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- 2008, Jennys Lane neighborhood, residential district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- 2013, Allen-West House, National Register of Historic Places.
Bonnie’s books on Barrington include:
- “Historic and Architectural Resources of Barrington, RI”, Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1993. (contributing author; survey and research; photography and graphics; and art direction.)
- “From World War II to the Millennium: The Transformation of Barrington”, The Barrington Preservation Society with Friends of the Barrington Public Library, 2001. (project coordinator, contributing editor).
- “Images of America, Barrington”, Barrington Preservation Society, Arcadia Publishing, 2017. (contributor, author).
In 2013, the Elizabeth Sargent Warren Historic Preservation Award was established in her honor to recognize “an individual or business for outstanding work in preserving the historic character of a property of landscape, or for exceptional effort in advocating for preservation or historic or community pride in Barrington.” As the first recipient of this award, Bonnie was recognized “for her many years of leadership and service in support of historic preservation in Barrington and in Rhode Island.”
|Father William Merrick Chapin (deceased)
|William Merrick Chapin is a distinguished figure whose contributions to Rhode Island the Town run deep. He contributed to three flagship Barrington institutions, including St. John's Episcopal Church, Saint Matthews and Mark Episcopal Church, and St. Andrew's School.
St. Andrew's School was officially incorporated in 1896 as St. Andrew's Industrial School, and it quickly became an almost self-sustaining community with students receiving an academic and technical education, while also tending to the school farm, running a printing press, and maintaining the developing campus. Chapin Chapel on campus is a favorite meeting place and central to the school's history and values, as it houses the "Little Sanctuary," a small room built by the original students who were educated and trained by Father Chapin. To this day, St. Andrew's School remains grounded in its "Chapin Tradition" of service, action, and inclusion.
In addition to his educational pursuits, Father Chapin made a significant impact in the religious community. At St. John's Episcopal Church he served as the fifth Rector and is their longest tenured Rector, serving for 41 years. He was also a lead figure in establishing St. Matthew's as a mission of St. John's, and he oversaw both churches.
|Mira Hoffman (deceased)
Founded the first Girl Scout Troop in Barrington (1920)
|Ian D. Malcolm (deceased)
Ian “Mal” Malcom came to Barrington in the mid-1950’s to serve as the Town’s Superintendent of schools in a time of unprecedented growth in the school population due to the post-World Ware II “baby boom”. Under his leadership, Barrington Schools met the challenge with new buildings, expanded resources and a commitment to excellence that continues to this day.
During her days as a Barrington High School student-athletes when girls sports were not "All-State" recognized for their athletic abilities, Karen McAvoy strove to be the best that she could be. In 1971, her dedication earned her the Barrington Girls Athletic Association Top Athlete Award. Her interests in athletics spaned from her participation in NHS Girls Basketball - Captain and MVP of the State Championship team in both 1970 and 1971 and then on to the BHS Girls Track Team which won the State Championship in 1970. In the fall of her senior year, Karen led the NHS Field Hockey Team to an undefeated season and another State Championship win. She earned te title of Captain on her basketball team at the University of Bridgeport and Springfield College while also playing field hockey.
While a member of the Barrington High School faculty as a Physical Education teacher for many years, Karen coached the BHS Field Hockey Team to three State Championships and eight Divisional Championships in the 1970’, 1980’s and 1990’s. In addition to this, she also coached the BHS Softball and Basketball Teams to a total of five Divisional Championships. As a results of these accomplishments, Karen was inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic Hall of Fame and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. She also received the Rhode Island Schoolgirl Association Field Hockey Coach of the Year recognition in both 1994 and 1995. Karen also earned the RI Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year honors in 1999. Karen retired from Barrington High School in 2008.
|Peter has been a tremendous asset to Barrington. He has contributed endless hours at the Rayner Wildlife Refuge and has been Chair of the Rayner Wildlife Refuge Management Committee and Manager of the refuge since 1994. This has included work protecting the Diamondback terrapin's nesting and assisting in research efforts. He is an Honorary member of the Barrington Garden Club, member of the Barrington Land Trust, and has previously served on the Barrington Conservation Commission.
|Frank Murgo (deceased)
|In 1957, Frank Murgo was named Head Football Coach at Barrington High School, and with that title, he went on to secure three Class C State Championships this team in 1960, 1962, and 1963 and a Class B State Championship in 1967. Frank was the founder of the Barrington Letterman’s Club as well as holing the position of Athletic Trainer and Physical Education teacher at Barrington High School from 1960 until the early 1990’s. While in this position at BHS, he served on the State Board Executive Committee for Health, Physical Education and Recreation. In 1986, he received the Rhode3 Island Athletic Director’s Association Outstanding Citizen Award and, in 1987, he received the Jack Martin Sportsmanship Award. His name has been preserved at Barrington High School by the presenting of the Frank J. Murgo Physical Education Award each year to a graduating senior. In addition, in 2019, the high school gym was dedicated to him and how bears the name, Frank J. Murgo Gymnasium.
|Robert Shadd (deceased)
|Mr. Shadd was a popular figure in Barrington politics for many years, serving two stints as moderator from 1962 to 1966 and again from 1972 to 1988. In the interim, he was elected president of the Town Council for four years, from 1966 to 1970, and served as chairman of the Barrington Charter Commission from 1970 to 1972. He also served as a member of the Republican Town Committee. At the 1988 Town Meeting, he was named Moderator Emeritus by acclamation. If politics became an abiding interest for him, charitable and religious activities were an equal if not greater part of his life.
|Deb and Pat Sullivan
|Founders and heads of the East Bay Rowing
(EBR), and are celebrating its 10th year. Founded in 2011, EBR began with 4 boats on a designed trailer that carried the boats, oars and a coach’s launch filled with life jackets. The trailer would be driven to Walker Farm daily for rowing camps that summer. Now, 10 years later, over 3,500 youths and adults have learned to row – some erging (indoor rowing) at our indoor facility and on the water. Some of the teens have continued their careers and rowed on college teams. EBR has been widely recognized for bringing rowing to the East Bay. In addition to rowing on the beautiful waters of the Barrington River and Hundred Acre Cove, EBR has traveled up and down the east coast to race in regattas. From Maryland to New Hampshire, EBR represented the East Bay. The ages of rowers span from 13-75 currently with EBR. We are pleased to be able to meet the desire to row for all ages in the greater East Bay area.
|FOUNDERS OF TAP-IN
|In 1983, six Barrington women identified the need for a new organization to help those who did not know where to turn for assistance. Whether it was for emergency food, help for the elderly, resources for drug abuse, transportation to medical appointments, or basic information on social service agencies, a central system to find these services was certainly necessary. Soon this immensely qualified group was knee-deep in a year-long feasibility study. They were “tapping into this” and “tapping into that” and before long this little nub of an idea became “Tap-In.”
Tap-In was located in Barrington, with its availability of volunteers and resources. In November 1983, the Town Administrator offered temporary space in the former Maple Avenue School and a permanent place at the former Peck School, then undergoing renovations. With its core group, Tap-In was up and running. It was soon recognized as a tax exempt 501 (c) 3 organization by the State of Rhode Island.
In the spring of 1985, the move to the Peck Center created an expansion of services to the entire East Bay area, with more food choices and household items. Volunteer numbers grew. A local university gave 100 beds for those who needed them. An innovative group worked with volunteer tradesmen to build a Habitat for Humanity house. The local supermarket donated food. In-kind and monetary donations increased. In 1995, Tap-In qualified to be a member agency of the RI Food Bank.
Since its beginning 38 years ago, Tap-In changed with the times. From six founding members it grew to a small army of dedicated volunteers. In 2020, a record amount of food was distributed, and thousands of needy East Bay households received assistance. The renovation of its Peck space and the circumstances of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges and new ways to help. Most recently, a Champlin grant meant a wish list reality– a new commercial refrigerator and freezer that opened doors to unimagined possibilities.
Over the years, the organization has been supported and honored by many, including the RI Legislature, the JC Penny Golden Rule Award, the Shaw’s Nourishing Neighbor Award, the CVS Charity Classic, the Diocese of Providence, and the Champlain Foundation.
Visit the TAP-IN website for more information.
|Tap-In’s first president and advocate for many Rhode Island causes has a history of leadership roles. Among her achievements, Pamela Faulkner was board president and a longtime trustee of St. Andrews School, president of the Junior League of Rhode Island, trustee of the Providence Public Library, chairman of the Volunteers for the Providence American Red Cross and mentor for abused women as a dedicated volunteer at St. John’s vestry outreach Researching areas where the church could take a role with fellow Tap-In founder Janet Dreier led them to the idea of Tap-In. 38 years after the founding of Tap-In, Pam still volunteers weekly at the Peck Center, remains on the board and is always on the lookout for volunteers for the organization. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to fulfill a lifelong passion as an actor at Second Story Theatre.
|A co-founder of Tap-In, Janet Dreier has been an energetic participant in many organizations. She is a former president of Tap-In, served on the executive committee for many years and has consistently volunteered at the organization. At St. John’s Church vestry outreach, where the idea of Tap-In was conceived, Janet was involved in many causes, including mentoring abused women. She led a church effort to provide support for the South Dakota Oglala Native Americans who lived on one of the nation’s poorest reservations, successfully raising funds for an alcohol treatment/therapy center and school initiatives, that included the education for the tribe’s future director. In early years, she served on PTA boards at the Middle and High Schools and created the first pamphlet on available after-school activities for students.
|Madeline (Mudge) Anderson
|Mudge’s volunteer career as a founding member of Tap-In was the ideal foundation for her 12-year position as the Barrington Senior Center’s first outreach coordinator, helping homebound elders find needed services. There she initiated the town wide emergency dialer program with Joe Pine of the Barrington Police Department. She also formed the Friends of Seniors program, encouraging high school students to befriend and help elderly neighbors. She will soon join the Senior Governing board. As a member of the League of Women Voters, Mudge was a vigorous supporter of the passage of the Rhode Island Clean Air Act. With husband, Phil, she spearheaded the fundraising efforts for Common Cause RI. As a trustee for the Friends of the Barrington Library for many years, she chaired its membership committee. Her participation was a big plus for Tap-In’s formation
|Julie Hamblett (deceased)
|When Julie became part of the early Tap-In founder team, she joined an amazing group of overachievers. She fit right in, with a background of start-ups and skills that was a boon to the fledgling organization. Already, Julie had created the St. John’s Memorial Garden and helped to found Encore, the church’s still successful consignment shop. She also had started a successful catering company, The Moveable Feast. Even with all these ventures, Julie , a skilled needle pointer, managed to teach many beginners the art of the craft. With three sons, she was, of course, a cub scout leader. She found time to support many fundraising efforts for the local PBS station. When the name Tap-In was created, it was Julie who came up with the acronym -- Touch A Person In Need. It aptly described Tap-In’s mission. Her death in 1985, as Tap-In was settling into its new Peck Center space, was a sad loss to all.