Gaspee Mace

Published 05/15/2018

The Gaspee Days Committee is pleased to announce the honor of carrying The mace at the head of this years parade has been given to Col. Ron Barnes of the Pawtuxet Rangers.  

For the first time, no one will be in front of the Pawtuxet Rangers as the Gaspee Days parade kicks off.  Col Barnes is “ excited for the parade” may give you an idea of the scope of this honor. Col Barnes family genealogy has turned up he is a decendant of the Fenner family. The Mace has a family tie!!

The Rhode Island Mace has been carried at the head of the Gaspee Days Parade every year since the first observance of Gaspee Days in June, 1966.  The Mace is traditionally followed by the Pawtuxet Rangers.  This season, Col. Barnes will be first!

Col. Ron Barnes, assumed command of the Pawtuxet Rangers R.I.M. in 2004 and has been a member for 31 years.  He was instrumental in obtaining a copy of the original Pawtuxet Rangers charter and organizing a community museum within the Rangers Armory in Warwick.

Colonel Barnes, recently completed a two-year term as national Commander of The Centennial Legion of Historic Military Commands.Ron barnes

The Rangers were chartered in 1774 to protect the village of Pawtuxet (Cranston/Warwick line) in Rhode Island. The primary mission of the company today is to perpetuate history by participating in school programs, parades, battle reenactments, encampments, ceremonial programs and more.  

The Rhode Island mace has been used in inaugural ceremonies for Governors by the High Sheriff of Providence County since Governor Charles D. Kimball was sworn in on January 7, 1902. The Mace, made of historic fragments of wood, is closely associated with the historical backgrounds of the state and the nation.  The eagle on the top of the mace was carried through the Civil War on top of a staff which wore a Union battle flag. Part of the wood was once taken from the much hated British revenue schooner, H.M.S. Gaspee which was burned after being caught on a sand bar off Gaspee Point on the evening of June 9, 1772. Another portion of the wood came from the colonial Governor Arthur Fenner’s homestead in Cranston, which was built in 1680.

For information regarding the Gaspee Days events visit