Cranston, Rhode Island

Cranston, once known as Pawtuxet, is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. With a population of 81,202 at the 2017 census, it is the third largest city in the state. The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Cranston.[3] Cranston is a part of the Providence metropolitan area.

Cranston was named one of the "100 Best Places to Live" in the United States by Money magazine in 2006.[4] It is among the top 25 safest cities in the country, according to CQ Press's research. According to the survey done by 24/7 Wall St website, Cranston ranked 36th on the list of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live”[5]

The Town of Cranston was created in 1754 from a portion of Providence north of the Pawtuxet River. After losing much of its territory to neighboring towns and the city of Providence, Cranston itself became a city on 10 March 1910.

Cranston, Rhode Island
Aerial view of Cranston, December 2008
Aerial view of Cranston, December 2008
Official seal of Cranston, Rhode Island

Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°46′N 71°27′W / 41.767°N 71.450°WCoordinates: 41°46′N 71°27′W / 41.767°N 71.450°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
Incorporated (town)1754
Incorporated (city)1910
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorAllan Fung (R)
 • City CouncilMichael J. Farina (R)
John E. Lanni, Jr (D)
Kenneth J. Hopkins (R)
Steven A. Stycos (D)
Paul J. McAuley (D)
Paul H. Archetto (D)
Edward Brady (R)
Christopher G. Paplauskas (R)
Michael W. Favicchio (R)
 • Total29.9 sq mi (77.5 km2)
 • Land28.6 sq mi (74.0 km2)
 • Water1.4 sq mi (3.5 km2)
62 ft (19 m)
 • Total80,387
 • Density2,814/sq mi (1,086.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
02823, 02905, 02907, 02910, 02920, 02921
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-19180 [1]
GNIS feature ID1218689[2]


Much of the land was purchased by Roger Williams from the Narragansett Indians in 1638 as part of the Pawtuxet Purchase, and the first settler in the area was William Arnold, who was followed shortly by William Harris, William Carpenter and Zachariah Rhodes.[6] Stephen Arnold, a brother-in-law of Rhodes and William Arnold, built a gristmill on the Pawtuxet falls and laid out the "Arnold Road" (modern-day "Broad Street") connecting it to the Pequot Trail leading to Connecticut. Arnold's son, Benedict Arnold, became the first Governor of Rhode Island under the charter of 1663. After area residents were unable to agree upon a name for a new town for decades, the Town of Cranston was eventually created by the General Assembly in 1754 from a portion of Providence north of the Pawtuxet River. Historians debate whether the town was named after Governor Samuel Cranston, the longest-serving Rhode Island governor or his grandson, Thomas Cranston, who was serving as Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives at the time that the town was created. In the early 1770s town meetings were held at the taverns of Caleb Arnold and Nehemiah Knight where Cranstonians voted in favor of a resolution opposing the British Parliament's Coercive Acts, and the town heavily supported the Patriot cause during the Revolutionary War. After losing much of its territory to neighboring towns and the city of Providence over the nineteenth century, Cranston itself became a city on 10 March 1910.[7][8]


Cranston is located at 41°46′N 71°27′W / 41.767°N 71.450°W (41.7732, -71.4533).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.9 square miles (77 km2), of which, 28.6 square miles (74 km2) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) of it (4.54%) is water.

It is roughly three percent of Rhode Island's total land mass.[10]

The following neighborhoods and villages are located in Cranston:


  • Cranston High School East
  • Cranston High School West
  • Western Hills Middle School
  • Hugh B. Bain Middle School
  • Park View Middle School
  • Hope Highlands Middle School
  • Orchard Farms Elementary School

School Committee

The Cranston Public Schools School Committee consists of seven members; six representing each of the city wards and one citywide representative. Committee members are elected to a two-year term, and as of 2014, members are limited to five consecutive two-year terms.[11]

As of August 2018, the School Committee members are as follows:[12]

  • Citywide: Michael Traficante
  • Ward 1: Jeffrey K. Gale
  • Ward 2: Stephanie A. Giangrande Culhane
  • Ward 3: Domenic F. Fusco, Jr.
  • Ward 4: Vincent L. Turchetta, Jr.
  • Ward 5: Janice Ruggieri
  • Ward 6: Daniel R. Wall

Little League

  • 1996 United States Champions (CWLL)
  • 2015 New England Champions (CWLL)


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201781,202[13]1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]


As of the 2010 US Census, there were 80,387 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the village was 81.93% White, 5.26% African American, 0.32% Native American, 5.17% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.6% from other races, and 2.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.83% of the population.

2000 census

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 79,269 people, 30,954 households, and 20,243 families residing in the city of Cranston. The population density was 2,774.6 persons per square mile (1,071.3/km²). There were 32,068 housing units at an average density of 1,122.5 per square mile (433.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.19% White, 3.69% African American, 0.30% Native American, 3.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.93% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.56% of the population.

There were 30,954 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females of age 18 or over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,108, and the median income for a family was $55,241. Males had a median income of $40,031 versus $28,279 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,978. About 5.6 of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those ages 65 or older.


The Rhode Island Department of Corrections has its headquarters and its adult prison facilities in Cranston.[15] The Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families operates the Rhode Island Training School (RITS), a juvenile correctional facility, in Cranston. The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles is headquartered in Cranston.[16]

The City of Cranston operates under a mayor-council form of government. General city elections are held on the first Tuesday in November of every even-numbered year. Terms for elected officials begin on the first Monday in January of the year following their election.[17] The City Council consists of nine members: six representing each of the City wards, and three citywide representatives. Council members are elected to a two-year term, and are limited to five consecutive two-year terms.[18]. The current Cranston City Council President is Michael Farina and the council has a Republican majority.

The current mayor, Allan Fung was elected in 2008, and is the city's first Asian American mayor. As of 2012, mayors may be elected to no more than two consecutive four-year terms.[18]

In the Rhode Island Senate, Cranston is split into four senatorial districts, all represented by Democrats: Frank Lombardo III (District 26), Hanna M. Gallo (District 27), Joshua Miller (District 28), and Erin P. Lynch-Prata (District 31). At the federal level, Cranston is a part of Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district and is currently represented by Democrat James R. Langevin.

In presidential elections, Cranston is reliably Democratic as no Republican presidential nominee has won the city in over three decades.

Cranston city vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2016 43.30% 15,934 50.99% 18,763 5.70% 2,099
2012 37.20% 13,008 61.16% 21,388 1.64% 574
2008 37.72% 13,981 60.76% 22,520 1.51% 561
2004 40.95% 14,471 57.54% 20,331 1.51% 532
2000 31.00% 10,420 63.09% 21,204 5.90% 1,984
1996 26.71% 9,098 61.37% 20,901 11.92% 4,059
1992 31.45% 12,450 46.96% 18,589 21.59% 8,549
1988 46.33% 17,129 53.32% 19,711 0.35% 128


Companies with corporate headquarters in Cranston include jewelry maker Alex & Ani and Coastway Community Bank. The first Del's Lemonade stand was opened in Cranston back in 1948.[20]


Four freeways travel through Cranston: I-95, I-295, RI 10 (the Huntington Expressway) and RI 37. Other state-numbered roads in Cranston are U.S. 1, US 1A, RI 2, RI 5, RI 12, RI 33, RI 51, RI 115 and RI 117.

Cranston is served by Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) buses. Amtrak's Northeast Corridor passes through but has no station in the city. The MBTA's Providence/Stoughton Line also passes through but does not include a station in Cranston. However, a station stop has been proposed. Currently, the nearest MBTA stations are in Providence and Warwick at T.F. Green Airport, the former which is also served by Amtrak.


Howard Prison, Rhode Island (ca 1900)
"Howard Prison" in Cranston, Rhode Island at the turn of the 20th century

The first auto race track in the country, Narragansett Park, located off Park Avenue, opened at present-day Stadium Ball Field in September 1886 as a trotting track. Not to be confused with Narragansett Park a Thoroughbred horse track, located in Pawtucket, RI, which closed in 1978.[21]

Cranston is home to the Budlong Pool, one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in the country. Built in the 1940s as a Works Progress Administration project, it is a staple of the community. It is located at 198 Aqueduct Road, off Reservoir Avenue (part of RI 2).

Sprague Mansion, an 18th-century homestead, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[22] The Thomas Fenner House, built around 1677, is one of the oldest houses in Rhode Island. Edgewood Yacht Club which is no longer standing was a notable structure on the National Register of Historic Places located on the Providence River.

Flood of 2010

In March 2010, after an overwhelming amount of rain, the Pawtuxet River overflowed. This caused many major sites such as the Warwick Mall, Contour Dental Laboratories, and the CLCF Building to be shut down and repaired.[23]

In popular culture

Sister cities


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-22. Retrieved 2008-12-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "MONEY Magazine: Best places to live 2006: Cranston, RI snapshot". Retrieved 2009-12-11.
  5. ^ "America's 50 Best Cities to Live". Retrieved 2014-09-17.
  6. ^ Moyer, Sandra M.; Worthington, Thomas A. (2014). Cranston Revisited. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781467120791.
  7. ^ Steven Frias, Cranston and Its Mayors: A History (The History Press, 2011) pg. 10-20
  8. ^ Historic District Commission "History of Cranston"
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ Tempera, Jacqueline (10 April 2016). Phipps, Peter (ed.). "Rhode Island is small, but not that small". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Municode Library". Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  12. ^ " Election Results". Retrieved 2015-10-05.
  13. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Contact Us." Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Retrieved on December 7, 2009.
  16. ^ "DLLR's Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning." Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Retrieved on August 23, 2010.
  17. ^ "Municode Library". Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  18. ^ a b "Municode Library". Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  21. ^ Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America by Charles Leerhsen
  22. ^ "Sprague Mansion, Cranston, RI". Archived from the original on 2006-03-26. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
  23. ^ [= "WPRO Newscast"] Check |url= value (help).
  24. ^ "Family Guy writer at Bryant". The Providence Journal.

External links

1996 Little League World Series

The 1996 Little League World Series took place between August 19 and August 24 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Fu-Hsing Little League of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, defeated Cranston Western Little League of Cranston, Rhode Island, in the championship game of the 50th Little League World Series.

Charlene Lima

Charlene M. Lima (born August 18, 1953) is an American politician who is a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing the 14th District since 1993. During the 2009-2010 sessions, she served on the House Committees on Corporations, Separation of Powers, and Oversight. She also served as Chairperson of the Special House Commission to Examine the Issue of Licensing of Builders and Contractors. Lima is currently the Deputy Speaker of the House.

Cranston High School West

Cranston High School West (often called West, Cranston West or abbreviated as CHSW) is a public high school located in Cranston, Rhode Island.

The school comprises five buildings; one of these buildings is the Cranston Area Career and Technical Center. The school grounds include six tennis courts, a baseball field, and a track and football field. West has 155 staff members who work with the student population of approximately 1850 daily. The program of studies encompasses 203 different courses. The Cranston Area Career and Technical Center offers 17 different courses. All courses are geared toward student academic abilities. Fifty-two percent of graduates go on to pursue a four-year degree while twenty-two percent pursue a 2-year degree.

Numerous athletic teams have won championship titles for the school, more recently being the 2004 varsity football team, 2006 varsity wrestling team, 2007 varsity wrestling team, 2008 varsity wrestling team, 2009 varsity wrestling team, 2006 varsity baseball team, 2007 varsity baseball team, 2009 varsity hockey team, 2011 varsity baseball team, and 2012 varsity boys tennis team. Also the varsity boys volleyball team made it to the semifinals of the State turtles in back to back years in 2011 and 2012 as well. The 2017 boys swim team won division three dual meet champions. It is also the high school of former NFL Pro Bowl running back Mark Van Eeghen.

David Quinn (ice hockey)

David Quinn (born July 30, 1966 in Cranston, Rhode Island) is an American professional ice hockey coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was formerly head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and head coach of Boston University.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Elisabeth DelPadre Hasselbeck (née Filarski; born May 28, 1977) is a retired American television personality and talk show host. Hasselbeck was born and raised in Cranston, Rhode Island. She attended St. Mary Academy – Bay View as a teenager and graduated from Boston College in 1999. In January 2001, Hasselbeck rose to prominence as a contestant on the second season of the American version of Survivor, where she finished in fourth place. She married NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck in July 2002.

In November 2003, Hasselbeck replaced Lisa Ling as the fourth co-host on The View. With her co-hosts Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, and Barbara Walters, she was awarded the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host during the 36th Daytime Emmy Awards. After ten years on the show, Hasselbeck’s contract was not renewed and she left the series in July 2013. She became the co-host of Fox & Friends that September. In November 2015, Hasselbeck announced she would retire and leave Fox & Friends in order to spend more time with her family; December 22, 2015 was her last day on the show before her retirement.

Frank Lombardi

Frank Lombardi (born in Providence, Rhode Island) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate representing District 26 since January 2013.

Henry Howard (Rhode Island politician)

Henry Howard (April 2, 1826 – September 22, 1905) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as the 32nd Governor of Rhode Island from 1873 to 1875.

Jack Capuano

Jack C. Capuano Jr. (born July 7, 1966 in Cranston, Rhode Island) is an American ice hockey coach and former player. He is a former head coach of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is currently an associate coach for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL) . Capuano played as a defenseman and spent parts of three seasons in the NHL in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is the brother of former NHL hockey player Dave Capuano. Known mostly for a 2015 viral video of him crushing a 16 inch Italian meatball double decker sub during the 3rd period of a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh.

Jessica Graf

Jessica Furtado Nickson (née Graf; born December 11, 1990) is an American reality television personality, actress, and model. She first came to national prominence after competing in Big Brother 19, where she placed twelfth. After Big Brother, she went on to win The Amazing Race 30 with her fellow Big Brother competitor and then-fiancé (now husband) Cody Nickson.

Johnny Cooney

John Walter Cooney (March 18, 1901 – July 8, 1986) was an American professional baseball player. He was a pitcher, outfielder and first baseman, then a longtime coach, in Major League Baseball. Listed at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) (178 cm) and 165 pounds (75 kg), Cooney batted right-handed but threw left-handed. He was born in Cranston, Rhode Island.

Logan Marshall-Green

Logan Marshall-Green (born November 1, 1976) is an American actor. He is known for his roles in the television series 24, The O.C., Traveler, Dark Blue and Quarry, as well as his roles in the films Prometheus, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Upgrade.

Mark van Eeghen

Mark van Eeghen (born April 19, 1952)

is a former American football running back who played ten years in the National Football League, including making two Super Bowl appearances. He played eight seasons for the Oakland Raiders (1974–1981) and then two with the New England Patriots (1982–1983). Van Eeghen rushed for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons from 1976-1978.

Monty Are I

Monty Are I (formerly known as Monty's Fan Club and Monty) is an American rock band from Cranston, Rhode Island. Monty Are I is titled after the band instructor, Arthur Montanaro. The "Are I" portion of the name is a pun on "RI", Rhode Island's postal abbreviation.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Cranston, Rhode Island

This is a list of Registered Historic Places in Cranston, Rhode Island.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 7, 2019.

Nicholas Mattiello

Nicholas A. Mattiello (born 1963) is an American politician and Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing the 15th District since 2007. He currently serves as the Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives since March 25, 2014.

Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson

Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson (born August 8, 1951), known commonly as O. Rogeriee Thompson, is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and a former Rhode Island Superior Court justice.

Olivia Culpo

Olivia Frances Culpo (born May 8, 1992) is an American model, actress and former beauty pageant title holder. After winning the Miss Rhode Island USA competition, the first pageant she entered, she went on to be crowned Miss USA, and then Miss Universe in 2012 becoming the first winner from the United States since Brook Lee in 1997.

Pawtuxet Village

Pawtuxet Village is a section of the New England cities of Warwick and Cranston, Rhode Island. It is located at the point where the Pawtuxet River flows into the Providence River and Narragansett Bay.

Saint Paul Church (Cranston, Rhode Island)

Saint Paul Church, located in Cranston, Rhode Island, is a parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island.

Municipalities and communities of Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Major rivers
Cities & towns
Major cities
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