The Rich History of Connors

Connors Memorial Funeral Home located at 55 West Main Road has a history that runs deep in the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Willow Brook Manor

Connors was originally the Willow Brook Manor, located at the top of Willow Lane. According to an original brochure about the manor it was in close to an old trolly line that ran from Providence to Newport. In a document held by the Portsmouth Historical Society it reads, “Willow Brook is pleasantly situated in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, about ten minutes’ walk from the station, fifteen minutes by train to Newport, which can also reached by a beautiful trolley ride. Electric cars within five minutes’ walk from the house.”

According to, Willow Brook Manor is believed to have been built around 1850. It is believed that it was owned by Asa Anthony who was Portsmouth’s coroner. After Asa’s passing it was sold to the Ballou family of Providence. According to the same website, by 1900 it was run as a guest house and was later turned into a nursing home.

In 1983, Memorial Funeral Home bought the building and moved Connors Funeral Home to this location. Connors was originally just around the corner at 81 Bristol Ferry Road.

“When we bought the business [Connors], almost immediately the 55 West Main Road property became available. We bought that and moved in there,” says Memorial Funeral Home Co-owner and Funeral Director, Kurt Edenbach. The Edenbach’s sold the Bristol Ferry Road property, which was the original funeral home to a non-profit that provides a foster home and transitional house for girls.

The new chapel and crematory were built in the mid 1990s. Over the years, the staff and owners of Memorial Funeral Home were able to preserve many of the original details inside, while modernizing the building for funeral services.

Plans for the future

“We hope to continue to serve the needs of the community, update our facilities and respect the history and context of the building and the property.” Says Kurt. Space on the ground level was increased in order to provide space for different types of gatherings and support groups.

Feel free to stop by

You are welcome to give us a call or stop by at 55 West Main Road. We still have many of the historical pictures and documents of the building on the walls. Call us at 401 683 2511.

Get a Free Printable

Planning Guide

Download Now