Little Compton’s Cool Connection to ‘The Sound of Music’
Most movie watchers have seen the iconic film "The Sound of Music."
Julie Andrews with arms out wide singing at the top of her lungs from the mountaintops... What's not to love about this Best Picture winner?
But did you know the movie is based on a true story? And the family it depicts has a connection to Little Compton, Rhode Island?
"The Sound of Music" is the real-life tale of the Von Trapp Family singers, who were the most well-known traveling singing group of the time just before World War II. Though the movie ends with the family fleeing Austria when the Nazis annexed the country in 1938, their real lives ended up taking the entire family to the United States, ultimately settling in Stowe, Vermont.
For eldest son Rupert von Trapp, moving to the United States included fighting the war in the U.S. Army as a medic with the 10th Mountain Division. Medicine was his first love in pre-war Austria and after the war, Rupert returned to Vermont to finally earn his medical degree. He later completed his residency in Hartford, Connecticut, though there was pressure through it all to put aside medicine and return to the family singing group.
Rupert stayed on his path, however, and in 1949, settled in Rhode Island with his new wife Henriette Lajoie von Trapp. They bought a colonial home in Adamsville (a historic village in Little Compton) and started a family medical practice from the house.
Von Trapp also worked at both St. Anne's and Union hospitals in Fall River at this time, so many SouthCoast residents probably have family members who saw Dr. Rupert Von Trapp as a patient.
One can only imagine the popularity of the doctor when "The Sound of Music" was released in 1965. He was, after all, still working on the SouthCoast through the mid-1970s.
Though the eldest Von Trapp family singer eventually moved back up north to Vermont, his ex-wife and children remained in Little Compton. The historic family home was sold back in 2014, but Von Trapps are still in Rhode Island to this day.