HHA Video Library

HHA Video Library

Links To Videos Of Interest To Our Visitors

By HHA Member Tom Helmer

HHA has searched and selected educational videos that relate to the content of our site. We all learn from various media forms, and we are tapping into the extraordinary potential of a world full of video information.

We hope this page will be a “One Stop Source” to explore the interests that brought you to our site.

Videos are organized by the following outline structure:

  • Indigenous History, Culture and Archaeology
  • Colonial History, Culture and Archaeology
  • Rhode Island/New England/American History
  • Natural History Of Local Species
  • Genealogy Research & Archives
  • HHA Produced Videos
  • Miscellaneous

Each Video will have a brief text description of it’s contents.New videos will be added to the end of the page, so scroll all the way down. When enough new content accumulates, I will reconstruct the page and get everything in it’s proper category. Added “Identifying Trees, Parts 1 & 2”; “Light Pollution”.

Video Tally is 43, as of 3/4/14

Indigenous History, Culture and Archaeology

The HHA website has promoted the view that the best way to preserve the historic legacy of the Narragansett Archaeology which remains in our woodlands, under our stewardship, is by educating people to learn how to “See” the Indigenous Archaeological Features, and distinguish them from Colonial Archaeological Features and Glacial distribution of stones.

In the process, by seeing these things in the wild, not in a museum, a modern day person will develop a respect for preserving these fragile treasures. This video, “Visit With Respect- A Native American Stewardship Message”, was filmed in the Southwest, and concerns itself with preserving the legacy of the Pueblo and Hopi Indians. But in the big picture, the message is the same for us in the Northeast. Learn to see the Spiritual and Cultural Landscapes found in Hopkinton, and throughout the Northeast.

A good place to start your own learning to “See” is on our page “Seeing The Narragansett Presence”, and then following your curiosity on the SITE MAP’s “INDIGENOUS” and “HISTORICAL FICTION” sections

Colonial History, Culture and Archaeology

If this video doesn’t match what you were taught in school, there is a reason for that. Now that you’re out of school, do a little reading on your own to distinguish Historic History from “feel good” Pabulum History.

Starting at the beginning in the Northeast, here is “The Plymouth Colony”, with the video starting us off in Europe, and ending with “King Phillip’s War”.

Rhode Island/New England/American History

The European Colonization of North America introduced new technology, born of the Industrial Revolution, into the fabric of life on this continent. One of these imported inventions was the water powered Mill. Mills sprang up everywhere there was terrain suitable for creating a “head” of water to turn a water wheel.

As a result, it was water power that ground grain into flour and meal, not a woman grinding at home. We have grist mill ruins in our town

It was water power that sawed the trees into lumber, not two sweaty men, caked with saw dust, breaking their backs at a pit saw. We have at least one pit saw ruin in our town.

In the Hopkinton area, there are seven small mill ruins that I know of, not counting the larger abandoned brick buildings slipping into ruins, and Ashaway Line and Twine, now electric, but not so back in the day.

These videos show us working Water Wheel Mills across the nation, all similar to what once was in our woods. One even shows a grist mill powered by a single cylinder gasoline engine, also in use today.

Natural History Of Local Species

While these videos were shot all around the world, all the animals featured have a presence in Hopkinton.

Genealogy Research & Archives

On the HHA web site, the pages with the most “hits” are usually in our Genealogy section.

Hopkinton is rare among Rhode Island towns in that we have an unbroken chain of records dating back to 1757, when Hopkinton was formed. Today they reside in a limited access, fire proof vault, but in times past, the Town Clerk kept the records in their home or place of business. Anecdotal accounts say the records were traditionally kept near a door, so the Town Clerk could drag them out to safety in the event of fire. Many towns lost portions of their irreplaceable records due to fire.

Please excuse a bit of Local Pride, but the National Archives in Washington begin their Genealogical Records in 1790, while Hopkinton begins ours in 1757.

As the Web Master, I can see from the Web Site Statistics that Genealogy Researchers visiting our site know what they are looking for. They hit a page or two of our well organized content, find what they need, and move on.

The History and Historical Fiction pages produce the longest “duration” stats on their pages. These visitors come to browse amid the site’s varied content, often reading many pages.

As an aid to both groups of site visitors, I have chosen videos to help guide Genealogy Researchers, as well as being interesting viewing for those “Just Looking”.

HHA Produced Videos

What these videos lack in “Slick”, they provide in being “Local”. To appreciate the full context of the video, please visit the web page for the complete story. All pages are listed on the “SITE MAP” Navigation Page. Click “SITE MAP” in the upper Left of the Home Page.


I well remember this commercial. (Yes, I chose to include a commercial!) Many people of a certain age also remember this one. Apparently, it was first broadcast to promote the very first “Earth Day”, held April 22, 1970. Back then, the Buzzword was “Ecology”, now it’s “Green”. Personally, I like the broader implications of Ecology, but at last check, no one was paying me for my opinions, so call Environmental Stewardship what you will.

For our site’s older visitors, here is “The Crying Indian” to refresh your memory.

For our younger visitors, here are 60 seconds that changed how an entire nation thought.





Besides grinding corn, the early saw mills converted the traditional “Two Man” saw technology to a beefier version powered by a water wheel. This first Sawmill Video was shot at nearby Ledyard, CT. This is the oldest operational “Up/Down” sawmill, using it’s original machinery, on it’s original location in the United States.

After the tree was sawn into boards, and after the boards were “Stickered”, with air drying gaps between each course of the stacked boards, and after “Air Drying for a period of time, the rough lumber was sent through a “Planing Mill”, which made all four sides of the finished board smooth and of a uniform size. This took a lot of power to accomplish. Here is a planing mill that is completely operated by Steam Power, the “Next Great Thing” in the advancement of the Industrial Revolution after water and wind powered mills. Steam was only gradually replaced by electricity. In my life, I recall working steam locomotives growing up.

Now little kids have no idea what a “Choo-Choo Train” is.

Ain’t Progress Grand!













Final Score: Squirrel 1, Hawk 0

A spectacular & dramatic video of a grey squirrel being pursued by a red tailed hawk.

This BBC video about beavers is long, but is entertaining and complete.

No Fisher Cat is visible, but the sound they make is unforgettable. Turn up your volume!






“The Avondale Shell Burn” page, found under “Modern History” in the SITE MAP, documents how the Colonials made plaster and cement back in the day: Get a 10 cord pile of wood arranged in an open field, shovel on 1.5 tons of oyster shells on top, and light ‘er off.

Then, “Haste ye, Squire, stand back a goodly piece!”



“The Historic Stones Of Woodville Culvert” page documents the demolition of a failed Colonial bridge “Grandfathered under the pavement of a road, then it’s replacement by a modern culvert. The 400+ photos on this page will give you a new perspective on Highway Construction. This page is found under “Modern History” in the SITE MAP



“How To Cut Stone” page documents the Colonial “Feathers & Wedge” method of cutting stone, adapted to modern electric drills. Only 3 of the page’s many videos are shown here. This page is found under “Modern History” in the SITE MAP



“Video Evidence For The Hand Of Man” page documents the geometric and facial features sculpted into what is believed to be a rare Monumental Indigenous Archaeological Feature located in Tomaquag Valley, Hopkinton. Besides this page, which contains 4 videos, there are other pages associated with this Feature beginning with web page “The High Cliff Cougar”. The rock outcrop jutting from a 22’ vertical cliff contains two sculptured surfaces, “The High Cliff Cougar” and “The Man”. These multiple pages are found under “Indigenous History” in the SITE MAP


“Making The Hoxsie Trail” page documents the start to finish construction of a brand new Looped Trail System on The Nature Conservancy’s “Canonchet Preserves” in Hopkinton. A cold snap produced the unique conditions of “Lace Ice”, with the mill stream’s waters flowing and splashing through the openings. This page is found under “Modern History” in the SITE MAP.

“Four Season Community Recreation On Tomaquag Trail” page documents one of the practical benefits the numerous Public Access Properties bring to our Community and surrounding areas. Even in the brutal February weather of 2014, many people left their boot, snow shoe and ski tracks as they “Day Vacationed” locally on the Hopkinton Land Trust’s Grills Sanctuary. The video is a deep snow view of the 55 foot long bridge, centerpiece of a 275 foot long elevated boardwalk across the flood plain of Tomaquag brook, panning across the brook from bank to bank. This page is found under “Community” in the SITE MAP.

This is a link to the Nature Conservancy’s web site slide show “The Birds Of Winter”, displaying a dozen Winter residents found in and around Hopkinton. Maybe you have seen some of these birds out at your feeder this Winter

The Birds Of A Rhode Island Winter

“Tree Identification, parts 1 & 2” are an easy to follow tutorial to help you identify the various species of trees that are out there cluttering up our forests.:) Part 1 gives a general classification of trees, Part 2 demonstrates exactly how easy it is to use the “Peterson Field Guide To Eastern Trees”.

If you follow along carefully, and have the book, should a tree fall in the forest, and you and your Peterson Field Guide are out there, not only will you hear it, but you will know exactly what kind of tree it is!

NOTE: This assumes that it didn’t land on you! : B


“Light Pollution” begins with a simple question: Have you ever seen the Milky Way in the night sky?

To which I would add: Recently?

In Hopkinton we have an example of the positive effect of installing parking lot lighting that reduces sky illumination while still giving needed illumination for the company’s parking lot. You have to see this in person to realize how much money gets thrown away lighting up the clouds. The location is on Wellstown Road, near the Junction with Rt. 3. It’s the first industrial building on the Right, (The Rt 3 side of Wellstown Rd.)