Joy Homestead
Cranston Historical Society




This is the original home of Joy Job.

Built c.1754. 

The French were here in June 1781

In 1780, as part of the alliance with the 13 colonies seeking to overthrow British rule, France sent an army of 5028 soldiers of our ally His Most Christian Majesty, Louis XV to the aid of General George Washington as he prepared for a decisive campaign against General Charles Lord Cornwallis. General Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de (Count) Rochambeau sailed into Newport, Rhode Island, at the head of the Expedition Particuliere, an army of 450 officers and 5,300 men. After wintering in Newport, Rochambeau's army marched through Rhode Island. On June 18th in the early hours of the morning as to avoid heat the first regiment broke camp.  


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Joy Homestead



Joytown and the Joy Homestead

Gladys W. Brayton
The name Joy is what we call a "place name" and comes from a section in northern France called Jouy. In the early days when people began to use surnames, some distinguished themselves by using the name of the place where they lived, and thus Jouy became a family name. It was later taken to England and Ireland by the Normans and, although it appears spelled many different way, it came to America in 1635 as Joy.

That year Thomas Joy (1) and we will call him Thomas one said to be the progenitor of all New England Joys, sailed from Gravesend England for Virginia on the ship Constance. From Virginia he made his way to Massachusetts, Boston where he arrived soon after that town's settlement. There he married Joan Gallop in 1637 and became the owner of considerable property.

He was an architect and builder by profession and constructed houses, wharves, bridges and warehouses at Boston, and was most successful. But he was a man of great independence and seems to have gotten into trouble with the authorities thereby. Only church members could vote at that time in Boston and apparently Thomas Joy was not a member of the church, so was not eligible to vote. He voiced his opinions of these narrow minded restrictions and finally found himself in irons for his non-conformity.

When released he moved to Hingham around 1646, brought land there, built a grist and saw mill and a bridge and other buildings and stayed there until Boston's views became more liberal.

By 1656 he had resumed his social and business relations with Boston in 1657, and he was commissioned to built the first town house there. This was said to be the most ambitious architectural undertaking in New England at that time and was made possible by a legacy from Capt. Robert Keanye, augmented by popular subscriptions. The contract called for a very substantial and comely building 61 ft. in length and 36 ft. in breadth. Thomas Joy completed it in 1658 on a site at the head of the present State Street near his property. (There is still a Joy Street in Boston, which runs off of Beacon Street close by the present state house, which was named for this Thomas Joy and which marks the location of his Boston property.)


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The Cranston Historical Society is a private, non-profit educational and historic preservation organization. The Cranston Historical Society is categorized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and membership donations and other contributions are deductible for Federal income tax purposes to the extent permitted by law

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