Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission 

Historic stone wall theft: It’s a crime in Rhode Island

“Is this the RIHPHC? I am calling to report that someone has been sneaking onto my property and stealing one of my old stone walls!”

As bizarre as this complaint may sound, historic stone wall theft has presented enough of a problem in Rhode Island that it was criminalized under the 

Leona Kelley Act (RIGL § 11-41-32 

Leona McElroy Kelley (1919-2000) was a pioneering Representative from South County who worked on behalf of many causes, including environmental and historic preservation, the teaching of Rhode Island history at every grade level, strict penalties for drunk drivers, and a more open government.

Thanks to her, when a citizen asks RIHPHC for advice regarding historic stone wall theft we can state confidently that “the law is on your side.”

Come Back to the Future in April 2021


RIHPHC is planning our first-ever virtual conference. You can look forward to many of the programs we planned for 2020 as well as opportunities to explore new topics in an engaging new format. More details to come in the new year.

Hard hats off to the Rhody Award winners

Everybody’s buzzing about the Rhody Awards! Watch the presentation and individual award videos.


Congratulations to preservationists Mary Anthony of The 1772 Foundation and Henry A.L. Brown of Warwick–as well as project winners from left to right:

ROW 1: Hopkins Hollow Church (Coventry), State House Legislative Chambers (House Chamber), Southeast Lighthouse (Block Island)

ROW 2: Miss Lorraine Diner (Pawtucket), Sunnyside (Newport), Edward King House Senior Center (Newport)

ROW 3:Hope Artiste Village (Pawtucket), State House Legislative Chambers (Senate), Church Hill Grammar School (Pawtucket)