The PERRON Family

A Little History

The land was deeded in 1680 and was actually surveyed by John Smith, one of the original Virginia colonists. It was a part of property dispersed among followers of Roger Williams, who founded the colony of Rhode Island. Few people outside the region know that Rhode Island is the smallest state with the largest name, officially dubbed, “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” in 1636. It was not the Arnold Estate, but was instead deeded to the Richardson family who followed Roger Williams after he was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a dissident because he dared to suggest that there should be both freedom of religious worship and a separation between church and state, the two primary principles he espoused in the founding of this new colony to the south, located on the Narragansett Bay. The best way to preserve the land he claimed was to deed large parcels to those who chose to follow him and his teachings. He did so to protect it from a rather overt encroachment from Connecticut and Massachusetts, as there were relatively numerous border skirmishes ongoing at that time. The original estate was quite extensive, encompassing more than a thousand acres, subsequently sold off in parcels to families in the area, some who are still there hundreds of years later. Because women had no rights to property at this time in history, their estate transferred through marriage from the first colonists, the Richardson family, to the Arnold family. As Quakers, they were likewise the abolitionists who used the property as a gateway to freedom for slaves along their path to Canada. The house as it now stands was completed in 1736, forty years before the signing of The Declaration of Independence, and endured the ravages of relentless storms which included the Hurricane of 1938 which destroyed so many homes (and barns) in southern New England. The barn on the property survived because it was built by a shipwright and was constructed with bowed beams that literally sway with the wind.

This magnificent homestead has survived The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, and the unbridled growth of the Industrial Age in America. It is a national treasure. The house is a testament to the need to preserve history. Eight generations of one extended family had lived and died in it and apparently some of them never left, or visit it with some frequency. Because the historical chronicles of the time were dispersed or what was recorded was not salvaged, it is impossible to know the fullest extent of its past, but one thing is known. The house speaks to those who know how to listen. History has a story to tell. We will never know all of it, some of which has been lost to the annuls of time, but one thing is certain. There are few places like it which remain intact on the planet, and it should be protected and defended at all cost. Thankfully, the farm is in good hands, owned by responsible and individuals who understand its intrinsic value, people willing to share it with the world.

Andrea Perron's First Hand Account

“Our family lived among the dead for a decade. The farm, known to us as the old Arnold Estate, was where we all came to understand that we are not alone, and there is something beyond our mortal existence, though none of us can tell you precisely what is or where we go after death. There are no “experts” in the field of the paranormal research, and anybody who claims otherwise is being disingenuous, lying to themselves, as well as others. If we do not know, no one else does. The mystery of life, death and the afterlife is something we might not ever comprehend fully in this realm, but it is the fascination, the curiosity about it that keeps us guessing and searching for answers to our most esoteric questions about human existence.

In June of 1970, my mother discovered the farm quite by accident though, as we looked back in retrospect, it seems to bear out the theory that our family was called to that place in the country. Harrisville, R.I. was a village that appeared familiar to me, yet my mother said we had not been there prior to the day we drove up to see it together, a few days after she had called the realtor then gone for a private viewing. That is when she met the owner of the property, Earl Kenyon. He was an elderly gentleman who captured our hearts with his kindness and generous spirit. My parents bought the place in December of 1970 and we lived there until June of 1980. Having graduated from Burrillville High School in 1976, I left the home I loved, attending Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA. Graduating in June of 1980 with an interdisciplinary degree in Philosophy and English, it was during a hectic senior year that my mother finally informed me that the sale of the farm was pending. I’d been utterly devastated, heartbroken by the news. In spite of the trials, it was “home” and I loved it. Returning to Rhode Island after my graduation, we were there only a few weeks before relocating to Georgia, long enough to pack up and say goodbye. It was over. Though we abandoned our place in the country, it never left us. Memory is poignant and powerful.

Georgia did not suit me, so I returned to Rhode Island after seven years, trying to find my way in the world, longing to be back at the farm. Though I visited the Round Top Road area frequently, it was always bittersweet, a treasure lost to me. Driving by hardly sufficed, but it was all I had left of the only place that has ever felt like home.

In 2007, I began writing the manuscript which later evolved into the trilogy “House of Darkness House of Light”, and I again relocated to Georgia to be with my family while embarking upon such a major project involving all of them, as well. This task has proved to be quite an excursion in its own right, spawning several nightmares while we exhumed our memories of the dead. Often painful, it has also been a healing process, as each of us revisited a past impacting our present, clearly mapping the future of a family. There was no escaping unscathed, though we thought we had successfully done so at the time. This is a memoir whose time has come. Many have spoken and written about fragments of our story. Now is the time to tell the whole truth about what happened in the farmhouse alive with death. We spent a very illuminating decade living among the spirits. It is a tale worth telling because it is true. We were finally prepared to disclose our secrets, and more than thirty years hence, the world is finally ready to receive the message contained within our experience. It is nothing less than a revelation.

I’ve spent my life since engaging in a variety of endeavors. Georgia didn’t suit me. After seven years, I went back home to R.I. Though I have always been a writer, I have likewise explored my other creative abilities. As a professional singer, songwriter, musician and actor, my lifetime has been full of adventures and interesting characters. For more than twenty years, I was a devoted cast member with The Theatre Company of Rhode Island, performing on the stage of The Assembly Theater, the historical centerpiece of Harrisville. For the final ten years I lived in R.I., I was employed as a youth counselor at Harmony Hill School in Chepachet, and lived in the village of Harmony, in a quaint little cottage on Waterman Lake, also known as paradise on a pond.

As it turns out, you can go home again. Thanks to Cory and Jennifer Heinzen, I have been afforded access to the place that will always be my home in heart.”