Swansea Historical Society

Barbara Newell McCann Ashton


No Place To Go Cover

Barbara Ashton was a local journalist who was born in Fall River but lived in Swansea for 52 years. She was born March 14th, 1926 and passed away February 24th, 1995. She is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery. (source findagrave.com)

Mrs. Ashton was a 1948 graduate of Syracuse University, with a bachelor's degree in sociology. She received her master of science degree from Simmons College in communications management in 1985.

Mrs. Ashton was owner and president of Grassroots, a public relations and marketing firm in Fall River, founded in 1986. She was the author of "No Place to Go: A History of the Stevens-Children's Home."

A few more of her lifetime achievements (source: the Providence Journal):

  • - public relations director for Bristol Community College (BCC) from 1978-84
  • - BCC Women's Center director from 1975-78. From 1971-74
  • - director of public relations for the Bristol County Development Council
  • - feature writer for the New Bedford Standard Times from 1967-1969
  • - freelance writer for more than 30 years with published articles in Yankee Magazine and National Fisherman. In celebration of its 150th anniversary, she wrote Of Men and Money, a history of the former Fall River National Bank
  • - wrote several articles on various aspects of the Fall River Lizzie Borden murder (see one of the articles below)
  • - district director of the Providence-Cranston Council of Girl Scouts from 1948-50
  • - immediate past president of the Fall River Historical Society, and a trustee and founding editor of its newsletter
  • - member of the board of Women's Union
  • - member of the Fortnightly Club of Fall River
  • - member of the Coles River Club
  • - founding member of the Fall River Marine Museum
  • - member of the Swansea and Rhode Island Historical Societies and the Swansea Land Trust
  • - former member of the Swansea Garden Club
  • - member of the Fall River Junior League
  • - an incorporator for the Home for the Aged
  • - participated in the creation of the White Church Cook book "Come Savor Swansea"

Lizzie Borden Slept Here Article