• Replica of Roger Williams' compass

    Roger Williams

    National Memorial Rhode Island

Bernon Grove

Bernon Grove Monument in the winter
The Bernon Grove is the grassy area south of the Antram-Gray House which was given to the City of Providence in 1942 as a memorial to Gabriel Bernon, early Providence resident, founder of King's Chapel (today, St. John's Cathedral located across the street from the memorial), and owner of the lot containing the Roger Williams Spring. Bernon's house was purportedly on or near this area of the park.

The grove was initially established by Bernon descendents and parishoners of St. John's Cathedral who conceived it as an extension of the newly-created green space of Roger Williams Spring Park just to the south. Today, the memorial to Bernon contains a grove of Norway maples planted by the city in 1953, a stone retaining wall along North Main Street that is a foundation of buildings demolished in the late 1930s, and the Gabriel Bernon monument.

The monument, originally placed c. 1953 probably by the city and relocated approximately ninety feet to the north in 1981, is a small upright granite tablet with the following inscription:

Near This Spot Lived
Gabriel Bernon
A Huguenot Refugee
Born LaRochelle France
April 6, 1644
Died Providence
February 1, 1736
Merchant, Colonizer, Churchman

Did You Know?

Roger Williams & the Narragansett leaders

Did you know that Roger Williams was a linguist? Along with speaking six languages, he learned the Narragansett language and wrote the book A Key into the Language of America which is a rare insight into the customs and ways of communicating with in the Native Americans. More...