#4  Jerimoth Hill, Rhode Island (812 ft.)

Jerimoth Hill is named after Jerimoth Brown, who in the late 1800s owned the summit area and much of the surrounding land. According to local historian Viola Ulm, the name "Jerimoth" is biblical in origin, might mean “fat belly,” and should be pronounced “Jer-EYE-muth.” 

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The site was long considered one of the most inaccessible highpoints, but not by virtue of latitude or altitude. The actual summit clearing, you see, was long owned by Brown University, but until 2011 the path to reach it from Route 101 passed through private property. The owner of that property, Henry Richardson, a music teacher, was by most accounts not a highpointing enthusiast. Whether that characterization is fair or not, Richardson was long rumored to be hostile to visitors, especially highpointers, owing to the frequent traffic to the site and a few unfortunate encounters with less enlightened curiosity seeker. Stories range from Richardson and his "allies" allegedly letting air out of peoples' tires and threatening them with guns to more benign confrontations. What is fairly certain is that the Highpointers Club was instrumental in calming the situation and eventually negotiating limited days of  access to the site.

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Richardson died in 2001, and the land, including the summit clearing, was sold to a husband and wife who were more amenable to the noble pursuit of highpointing. It was they, in fact, who built the current sliver of path through the pines to reach the summit rock.

Long ago the university built a small observatory on the summit. One of the telescope mounts is now a nursery for wild ferns, and the machinery shed hosts a brood of buzzing insects. In December 2011, the entire Richardson property was sold to the State of Rhode Island, virtually guaranteeing open access to Jerimoth Hill in perpetuity. We can all sleep easy now. 

Across the street from the former Richardson property (and still there as of 2012, albeit in an increasingly decrepit state) are an old FM radio-station tower and a ruined structure that once housed the greasy-spoon Goodies.


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Vanilla Bean Cafe, Putnam, CT

If you're in the vicinity of this Rhode Island apex and are feeling peckish, make sure to stop by the Vanilla Bean Cafe in Putnam, a true gem of Connecticut's Quiet Corner and the real goodies of this highpointing excursion.



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