Newport Historical Society invites the public to join them for “Newport in 1777: A History Space Event” on Saturday, July 15th, an event that will focus on life during the British army and navy’s presence in the city during the American Revolution, and feature the period artisanship of leather working expert Roy Najecki.

Leather was used in many products in the 18th century, such as saddles, shoes, trunks, harnesses and water buckets. Creating necessary equipment for soldiers was a specialized focus within this trade. Roy will demonstrate how to create leather ammunition cases and accessories used by New England militia soldiers. A seasoned living historian and Rhode Island native, Najecki has been producing 18th century military accoutrements since 1980 and has demonstrated his work at many historic sites across New England, including Minuteman National Historical Park.

Revolution House will also be open to guests for a special glimpse into the choices and challenges faced by free and enslaved Newport families, both loyalists and patriots, during the British occupation.  The experience will include interactive opportunities for visitors to place themselves in the historical moment.

Admission is free for both Revolution House activities, although donations are welcome. The House and demonstration will be available to visit from 10 am – 2 pm.

Finally, Newport History Tours will add context to the day’s theme by presenting the July Tour of the Month — “The British in Newport” — at 11am. In 1777 as the Revolutionary War officially began, 7,000 British and Hessian soldiers invaded Newport creating an occupation that lasted for nearly 3 years. The British in Newport tour explores the sites and stories of the soldiers and citizens effected during this time. Meet a costumed interpreter portraying Newport resident Mary Almy. Learn why the British targeted Newport, how their presence in the 1770s changed the city in the following decades, and how this impacted the colonial architecture that Newport is famous for today.

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.