the intersection of Westminster and Weybosset Street in Providence
Rhode Island is a site
that has puzzled many. It has been called the Turk's Head Building.
Rumors of secret organization, religious cults, and eccentric
men have been circulating around this fair city for as long as I can
remember. In my search for the truth, I discover that some of these
rumors contain a measure of truth.
The building is the source of one of Providence's most famous legends.
Unfortunately this tale has been pushed aside for more fantastic
stories to entertain the masses. The story tells of a Man named Jacob
Whitman who once owned a home on this site in the mid-eighteenth
century. His porch was adorn with a carving of a Turk. Over time the
corner was called Turk's Head
by locals. After Mr. Whitman passed away people continued to associate
that name to the area. Eventually a commercial building
replaced Mr. Whitman's home but the name still stuck. When the present
building was eventually built, a large-scale head of a Turk was
included in the design in reference to this legend. The story might
have some truth. The Historical society posses a carving of a
Turk's head which is said to be the very one from Whitman's front
As for the secret clubs, There is a club called the Turk's Head Club
which is based in the building. From what little information I could
find it seems to be a club of Brown University students or Alumni. I
found many other college clubs associating themselves with the Turk's
Head club but could find no exact detail concerning the club itself.
As so often in the past, as you peel away one layer of a mystery, it
revels new curiosities concealed within.