McCorrie Point

I live in the McCorrie Point area, so I was curious to know how it was named.  There was even a one room schoolhouse on Schoolhouse Lane that was named McCorrie, so that name had to have some importance.

First I went to old maps, and I couldn’t find a McCorrie connection.  West’s land grant maps list the area as being owned by the Borden family.  Revolutionary War era maps list the point as “Sandy Point” and what we call Sandy Point Beach as “Little Sandy Point.”  Maps from 1870 that list property owners have the point listed as “McCurry Point” and the land as owned by someone named Fales.

So then I began to look up “McCorrie” in Portsmouth History.  One of my first tasks as a volunteer for the Portsmouth Historical Society was to transcribe a document that recorded the vote in 1788 of Portsmouth citizens on adopting the Constitution.  Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen states to ratify it and it was a struggle to get to a “yes” vote.   An “Andrew McCorrie” was one of the very few citizens that initially voted to ratify the constitution.  On a genealogical resource I found the record of a marriage of Andrew McCorrie and Ann Chase.  One source listed 1756 as the date – another 1765.  Both sources have Andrew as being born in 1735.    This Andrew might be the right age to be our Constitution voter.  This Andrew McCorrie held town offices in the late 1780s and through the 1790s.

The name “Andrew McCorrie” was passed down to Andrew (1771-1828) who married Phebe Cook.  A third “Andrew McCorrie” (1803-1878) was married to Susan Borden.  Did Susan Borden inherit the land from her family?  The Borden Family Genealogy “Historical and Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Richard and Joan Borden” comments that the Borden’s son Matthew must have been born on land “since known as the MacCorrie Farm.”

Part of McCorrie Point’s history is that noted Congregational minister Ezra Stiles who lived in Newport during the Revolutionary Era, wrote about a special stone found on the beach.  Edmund Delabarre writes in an article for the Rhode Island Historical Society that in the fourth volume of Stiles’ manuscript “Itineraries” Stiles writes “Visited & copied a markt Rock about half a m above Fogland Ferry on Rh. I on shore against or just below Mr. McCory’s Farm.”  Looking at maps today, that would probably be a half a mile to the south of McCurry Point.  Delabarre states “This Point is part of an estate still known as the McCorrie Farms.  In 1920 Delabarre tried to find this stone.  Stile’s drawing of this McCory’s Farm rock no longer exists, but Stiles recognized the letter Z and the letter S marked on the stone.  Stiles recorded another Indian Cup stone that was located at Arnold’s Point.  You can see this rock outside the Old Town Hall at the Portsmouth Historical Society.  The large rock has what looks like the Big Dipper carved into it.

I can never be certain how McCorrie Point got its name, but I do enjoy walking to the beach and recalling family times there.  When my grandsons visit, it is our favorite place to collect shells.