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Hannah Robinson Tower

Hannah Robinson Tower is a 40 feet tall wooden tower at the interchange between U.S. Route 1 and Route 138 in the community of South Kingstown, South County, Rhode Island. It is a short drive from Green Hill beach, about 15 minutes North on Route 1, and with an easy access from the highway. More stunning than the views at the top of the tower, is the story behind the women for which the tower was named, Hannah Robinson.

We arrived to check out this location on a bright February Sunday afternoon to climb the tower and learn about the story of young Hannah, a young girl born into a wealthy Narragansett family that lived from 1746-1773. In her short 27 years on this earth, she lived a life of good fortune, then poverty, gave birth to 9 children, and experienced both the exuberance of love and the crushing weight of betrayal and heartbreak.

February is a month where we celebrate love, so here’s an account of Hannah Robinson’s life as published on the Preserve Rhode Island website. Today the site is independently operated and managed by RI Department of Environmental Management:

Hannah Robinson Tower is found on Route 1 in South Kingstown.

This natural outlook over Boston Neck and Narragansett Bay is traditionally associated with the tragic tale of Hannah Robinson, which is a major feature in the folklore of Rhode Island.  Hannah was the beautiful daughter of Rowland Robinson, a prominent member of the wealthy Narragansett planter society of the mid-eighteenth century.  Her story, which has been frequently retold since the mid-nineteenth century, tells of her love affair with a suitor who was judged unsuitable by her father.  In the face of her father’s opposition, Hannah eloped and settled with her husband in Providence.

Estranged from her family, beset by poverty and perhaps plagued by an unfaithful husband (accounts vary), Hannah lapsed into a fatal decline.  Finally relenting in his opposition, Rowland Robinson journeyed to Providence to bring his daughter home to Boston Neck.  As the travelers reached McSparran Hill, Hannah asked to be set down for a while to enjoy her favorite view over her homeland.  Shortly thereafter she died, but she and her romantic history continue to be commemorated in the overlook which bears her name.

We look forward to returning again and finding the trail that leads to Hannah’s Rock. The trails are unmarked and we ran out of time!

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