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History of AHARI


The Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island (AHARI) is dedicated to those Armenian immigrants and refugees who settled in Rhode Island and contributed directly to their new state and country.  We see this as a way to express our gratitude to our ancestors.  Our aim is to establish a vital avenue of information for our descendants and fellow Rhode Islanders about the heritage of the Armenians.

AHARI was organized in 1997 to participate in the Heritage Harbor Museum and Library.  The concept of Heritage Harbor was to focus on how the various ethnic and racial groups came to Rhode Island, lived, worked and contributed to Rhode Island history.  Although the Heritage Harbor Museum did not materialize, the AHARI organization continues to pursue its dream of telling the story of Armenian immigrants, past and present, and their contribution to Rhode Island history.

AHARI is a consortium of approximately 30 cultural, political and religious groups that have representation as board members of the Association plus 12 non-affiliated elected individuals.  AHARI is a non-profit, non-sectarian, non-political corporation organized exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of section 501 © 3 of the IRS Code. Thus, making it a tax exempt corporation under Rhode Island and federal law and tax deductible for contributions.
   
AHARI opened its doors – for the first time – on May 13, 2017 with an eclectic exhibition showing our Armenian past through the donations and collections of many Rhode Islanders.  Our current exhibit Rhode Island Armenians: Rediscovering the Past and Looking to the Future was designed and curated in collaboration with Dr. Hayk Demoyan, PhD and his wife Lucine Matevosian, graphic designer.

The museum is located in the Bliss Building on Providence’s East Side – at 245 Waterman Street, Suite 204. On-site parking is usually available evenings and weekends.

Chronology of Rhode Island Armenians

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2000
2000
First Armenian elected as mayor of a Rhode Island city.
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1999
1999
Armenian flag flies over the Rhode Island Statehouse.
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1992
1992
Independent State of Armenia established.
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1977
1977
Martyrs’ Memorial Monument constructed at North Burial Grounds.
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1960
1960
First visit of Supreme Patriarch of the Armenian Church to Rhode Island.


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1940
1940
Sts. Vartanantz Church purchased from Episcopalians.
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1936
1936
Rhode Island Armenians participate in 300-year Providence anniversary.
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1933
1933
Armenian Apostolic Church splits.
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1918
1918
First Republic of Armenia established.
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1917
1917
A hundred and five Rhode Island volunteers join Legion de Orient to fight Turks.


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1915
1915
Beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
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1913
1913
Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Church purchased from Baptists.
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1906
1906
Largest Armenian political rally is held in Providence.
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1891
1891
First Armenian graduates from Brown University.
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1891
1891
Antecedent of the Euphrates Evangelical Armenian Church organized.


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1889
1889
First Armenian religious ceremony performed in Providence.
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1882
1882
First established business in Rhode Island.
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1877
1877
Founder of the Armenian Community arrives in Providence.
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1657
1657
Colonial Newport hints of Armenian names.



(Source: Mitchnapert: The Citadel – A History of the Armenians of Rhode Island by Varoujan Karentz,  iUniversity, Inc. New York 2004)