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“No idea”

John Brown House Museum
Ranked #35 of 134 things to do in Providence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The premier 18th-century house and museum in the state, presenting important aspects of the social and cultural history of the period when our country was new. The Museum is maintained by the Rhode Island Historical Society.
Reviewed December 11, 2011

We would love to say how nice this home was, but the day we visited Providence (a Tuesday), it was not open. What a shame. We were not the only ones walking around trying to get in.

1  Thank Angela O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"audio tour"
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"slave trade"
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"excellent tour"
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52 - 56 of 60 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2011

This review is for the tour of the John Brown House Museum. (I agree that it's not worth paying a tour guide for the Benefit Street tour. You can purchase a booklet and take a self-guided tour). Every time I visit the John Brown Mansion, I feel like I stepped back in time to an era where opulence and elegance ruled. Each room on the ground floor is decorated as if the 18th century Browns were about to step inside. Mannequins wearing period clothing pose as the Browns servants. You will learn about architectural history and the history of furniture, food, and anything else relating to a gentleman's life. Upstairs you can peek into the family's bedchambers and see some more modern home improvements. Other rooms are decorated with artifacts and clothing from the 19th and early 20th century. You can also view a whole room of items from China and see some original Gorham silver. This museum is well worth a visit.

2  Thank QNPoohBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2011

The historical society has a 90 min. tour of Benefit street. Yes, I said a tour of a street for 90 mins. Save your money and visit the street on your own. The historic homes have placards that you can read for yourself. We went into the first Baptist church in the US but other than that we spent most of the time walking down a street while the tour guide pointed out historical homes. She was pleasant and knowledgable.

Thank 231Liz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2011

The tour costs $8 per adult (discounts for seniors, students, etc.). We walked into the house just before a tour started (1330, the next was at 1500, you should check the Rhode Island Historical website, http://www.rihs.org/museums_jbh.html, for tour times since they vary by season. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave a very informative tour of all three floors of the house interspersed with Colonial history and that of the Brown family. There are lots of books and pamphlets available for sale in the lobby. This is really a good use of your time.

Thank Ralph S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 30, 2009

We took a historical walking tour of Providence offered by the Rhode Island Historical Society that left from the Society’s John Brown House Museum. Since the walking tour isn’t included elsewhere on TA, I’ll report on our tour here, under the Museum, its home base.

The 90-minute tour ($12/adult), called “Benefit Street: A Mile of History,” was excellent. Our volunteer guide was pleasant and well-informed. Her enthusiasm for the preservation efforts that have revitalized Providence was readily apparent! She was happy to answer questions and at the same time quite willing to admit she didn’t know answers to some of them. The tour focused on Benefit Street, but also included some surrounding streets and a brief stop at the First Baptist Church in America (admission charge apparently included with the walking tour). The Church was the only building that we went inside, although we also visited a few lovely gardens on private properties, at least one of which we wouldn’t even have noticed from the sidewalk. Along the route, we saw several of the homes once occupied by the Brown family and learned a bit about the family, including their involvement in the slave trade. We also learned about the architecture of the period as well as the policies for (and politics of!) preservation.

One thing to know is that (at least on our tour) the walk was NOT a circuit ending back at the Brown House Museum. Instead when the tour concluded, we had to walk 10-15 minutes back to the Museum where we’d parked our car. This wasn’t a problem for us, but if you’re on a tight schedule and need to return to the Museum, be sure to factor in this additional time.

I thought the historical walking tour was a great way to see some of the city’s architecture and learn about its history. I recommend this tour to those with such interests.

7  Thank Route128North
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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