Portsmouth historian Edward West, in his article “The Lands of Portsmouth, R. I., and a Glimpse of Its People,” continues to take his readers from Bristol Ferry south to the West Shore. There was active buying and selling of these land grants.  For example, Samuel Wilbur acquired “Long Meadow” from several grantees.  At the mouth of the brook was another meadow – “Round Meadow” which was the property of John Porter.  The brook was called “First Brook” by the early settlers in 1643, but it became “Little Silver Brook” when it was the property of Robert Ballou.  We know it as Willow Brook and this property was sold to artist Sarah Eddy by the Ballou family.

West Shore South of Bristol Ferry

Going down the highway (known as the “King’s High Road” (we know it as West Main Road), was the property of William Baulston.  This was a large tract of 240 acres and there was a small stream through it.  West thinks it might have been larger in colonial days because it was called Mill River or sometimes Two Mill River.  George Lawton had a mill on this property in 1648.  Also on this river, located nearly down to Freeborn’s Creek, was the mill of James Sands and Samuel Wilbur.  They received a grant for this mill in 1642.  William Freeborn bought the mill in 1655 and the land remained in his family until 1800.  John Tyler also had a mill on this same river.

West Shore to Cory Lane

What we know as Cory’s Lane was laid out in 1683 as “highway 2 rods wide beginning at the sea side on the west side of the Island at the head of William Freeborn’s lot and so to run that breadth to the Common at the head of the land laid out to Ralph Earl, dec.”  In 1717 it was declared a “driftway” down to the water “for the benefit of His Majesties subjects to Pass and repass through, both for cattle, horses, carts, wagons or any carriage or creature whatsoe’er.”