East Greenwich, Rhode Island

East Greenwich is an affluent town and the county seat of Kent County, Rhode Island, United States.[3] The population was 13,146 at the 2010 census. East Greenwich is the wealthiest municipality within the state of Rhode Island. It is part of the Providence metropolitan statistical area and the Greater Boston combined statistical area.

Formed as Greenwich in 1677, it was named for Greenwich, England.[4] It was renamed Dedford in 1686 but reverted to its original name in 1689. In 1741 the more rural western three-quarters of the town was set off as West Greenwich, the remaining quarter of it thenceforth being called East Greenwich. Until 1854, it was one of the five state capitals for Rhode Island. The General Assembly, when meeting in East Greenwich, used the local courthouse, which is today the town hall. East Greenwich Village is located in the northeastern part of the town and extends north about 0.93 mi (1.5 km) into the town of Warwick, Rhode Island. The town is now known for its waterfront, renowned school district, and downtown restaurant/shopping district.

East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Historic District in downtown East Greenwich
Historic District in downtown East Greenwich
Location in Kent County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Kent County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°39′N 71°29′W / 41.650°N 71.483°WCoordinates: 41°39′N 71°29′W / 41.650°N 71.483°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
 • TypeTown Council and Manager
 • Town CouncilMark Schwager, Council President (D)
Michael Donegan (D)
Caryn Corenthal (D)
Renu Englehart (D)
Michael Zarrella (D)
 • ManagerJoe Duarte (Acting)
 • Total16.71 sq mi (43.3 km2)
 • Land16.58 sq mi (42.9 km2)
 • Water0.14 sq mi (0.4 km2)
200 ft (61 m)
 • Total13,146
 • Density792.9/sq mi (306.1/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-22240[1]
GNIS feature ID1220085[2]


East Greenwich, the 8th oldest town in Rhode Island,[5] was founded in 1677 by the General Assembly in an attempt to solidify land claims against those of Connecticut and the Narragansett Proprietors. The Assembly designated 5000 acres to the new town and provided lots to settlers who would agree to live there. Locals quickly took the assembly up on this offer, and the quick establishment of the town helped hold back plans of Connecticut in pushing their border eastward.[6] East Greenwich was therefore the only Rhode Island town established by an act of government, not commercial interests.[7] In 1687, the Narragansett Proprietors attempted to settle land north of Wickford which overlapped with the land of East Greenwich; however, the Massachusetts governor Sir Edmund Andros, who had authority to settle the dispute, ruled in favor of the existing East Greenwich settlement.

In the 18th century, the government released previously reserved waterfront property in small lots. Beginning in 1711, the local government granted these lots to any person who would pay one shilling and promise to build a commercial building of a minimum size. By 1725, a community had developed, complete with a schoolhouse and a graveyard. However, citizens of the town complained that attending town meetings was too difficult due to the size of the town, which prompted the splitting of West Greenwich into its own town in 1741. The town erected a courthouse when East Greenwich was designated the shire town of the newly formed Kent County, which had been separated from Providence County in 1750. On June 12th, 1772, a resolution was passed by the Rhode Island State Assembly to form the United States' first Navy in East Greenwich, which included two ships, the Katy and the Washington. The Assembly put Captain Abraham Whipple in charge of this new military branch and these ships, with the formal title commodore.[8]

In its colonial days, the town was also home to followers of Jemima Wilkinson, an ex-Quaker who, after a severe illness, claimed to have died and been resurrected as the "Public Universal Friend". Followers financed a meeting-house within the town.[7]


East Greenwich is a coastal town, located on the western side of Narragansett Bay.[9] Of its total area of 16.71 square miles, 16.58 square miles is land and 0.14 square miles is water.[10] 20 percent of the land in East Greenwich consists of undeveloped woods and farmland, although development continues to bring this proportion down.[11]

Various roads form approximate borders with some of its neighboring towns. Division Street sits between East Greenwich and Warwick, to the north and west until Route 2. South and east is North Kingstown which is roughly separated from East Greenwich by Frenchtown Road.[12]


East Greenwich Town House
East Greenwich public schools central office at 111 Pierce Street

East Greenwich is home to six public schools in its school district. The district contains two zoning districts for its elementary schools. Students in one district, which primarily consists of households east of South County Trail, attend Meadowbrook Farms Elementary from kindergarten to second grade, then proceed to George R. Hanaford School for third grade to fifth grade. Most students who live west of South County Trail will attend Frenchtown Elementary for kindergarten to second grade before attending James H. Eldredge School for third grade to fifth grade.[13] All students in the public school district then attend Archie R. Cole Middle School for sixth grade to eighth grade. The district's single high school is East Greenwich High School.

In 2015, Newsweek magazine ranked East Greenwich High School first in Rhode Island and 186th in the US.

The town also contains the Our Lady Of Mercy Regional School, a private Catholic school serving students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. East Greenwich was also home to the East Greenwich Academy, an eminent preparatory school; however, the school closed in 1943.

East Greenwich is also home to the main campus of the New England Institute of Technology, known informally as New England Tech. The site was purchased by the school in 2007, and opened to students in summer 2011.[14] A major expansion begun in 2014 added dormitories and new instructional space.[14] The campus includes a 265,000 square foot facility[15] dedicated to classrooms, technical labs, medical suites for training simulations, and administrative services.[14]


East Greenwich public library
East Greenwich public library

The current East Greenwich Free Library, at 82 Pierce Street, was endowed by Daniel Albert Peirce in 1913.[16] Pierce was a local resident and co-founder of the Narragansett Electric Company. The library building is built of granite from Coventry, Rhode Island, and was dedicated on June 29, 1915.[16] The library includes special collections on Rhode Island history and genealogy.[16]


Many restaurants, bars, and clubs sit on the waterfront. East Greenwich Cove also has ample boat parking. There is also a public dock good for fishing and eating, and a dock with a small beach. Across from the coast is Goddard Memorial State Park, which has many beaches including Sandy Point and has easy access from East Greenwich Cove.

Scalloptown Park has been completed at the southern end of Greenwich Cove, built atop the old town landfill.[17] However, it is not part of historical Scalloptown, which was another name for the waterfront in earlier times. Home to a poor community of squatters in the late nineteenth century to the earliest twentieth century, Scalloptown became a community untethered from the rest of East Greenwich.[18] In contrast to the other villages in East Greenwich, Scalloptown consisted primarily of poor whites and African Americans. The true Scalloptown goes from the town dock down past the clubs to Fin's Marina.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201513,128[19]−0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[20][21]

As of the United States Census[1] of 2000, there were 12,948 people, 4,960 households, and 3,541 families residing in the town. The population density was 781.0 people per square mile (301.5/km²). There were 5,226 housing units at an average density of 315.2 per square mile (121.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.64% White, 0.69% African American, 0.06% Native American, 2.50% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.90% of the population.

There were 4,960 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.5% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the town, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $98,063, and the median income for a family was $130,221. Males had a median income of $101,578 versus $90,934 for females. The per capita income for the town was $58,593. About 2.5% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 66 or over.

In 2012-2016, according to the Rhode Island Department of Labor, the median family income was $142,648, the highest in Rhode Island.

East Greenwich and the adjacent Warwick neighborhoods of Cowesett and Potowomut are served by several media outlets: East Greenwich News (daily) East Greenwich Patch (daily), The East Greenwich Pendulum (weekly), The North East Independent (weekly) and East Greenwich magazine (monthly).


East Greenwich town vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2016 40.60% 3,122 52.27% 4,019 7.13% 548
2012 49.93% 3,649 48.37% 3,535 1.70% 124
2008 46.95% 3,570 51.50% 3,916 1.55% 118
2004 51.72% 3,690 46.10% 3,289 2.19% 156
2000 46.99% 3,039 45.78% 2,961 7.24% 468
1996 44.59% 2,703 43.10% 2,613 12.31% 746
1992 41.98% 2,838 35.50% 2,400 22.52% 1,522
1988 60.17% 3,637 39.47% 2,386 0.36% 22

In the Rhode Island Senate, East Greenwich is split in terms of representation. Most of the town is in the 35th District, currently represented by Democrat Bridget Valverde, while a tiny sliver of the northwestern quadrant of the town is in the 33rd District, which is currently represented by Democrat Leonidas P. Raptakis. In the Rhode Island House of Representatives, East Greenwich is in the 30th district represented by Democrat Justine Caldwell. At the federal level, all of East Greenwich is included in Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district and is represented by Democrat James R. Langevin.

In presidential elections, East Greenwich is one of the very few towns in deep blue Rhode Island that has a tendency to lean Republican. Barack Obama managed to carry the town by just over 4.5 points in the Democratic wave year of 2008 and in 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton won East Greenwich by just under 12 points, marking the best performance for a Democratic presidential nominee in the town for three decades.

National Historic Places

Clement Weaver House Daniel Howland House in East Greenwich RI
Clement Weaver House, a historic stone ender, built 1679, is one of the oldest homes in Rhode Island.

See also


  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. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 112.
  5. ^ "History & Birth Place of the Navy | East Greenwich, RI". www.eastgreenwichri.com. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  6. ^ James, Sydney (1975). Colonial Rhode Island: A History. Kraus International Publications. p. 104. ISBN 9780527187200.
  7. ^ a b Daniels, Bruce C. (1983). Dissent and Conformity on Narragansett Bay: The Colonial Rhode Island Town. Wesleyan. p. 30. ISBN 9780819550835.
  8. ^ "History & Birth Place of the Navy | East Greenwich, RI". www.eastgreenwichri.com. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  9. ^ "About East Greenwich | East Greenwich, RI". www.eastgreenwichri.com. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  10. ^ "About East Greenwich | East Greenwich, RI". www.eastgreenwichri.com. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  11. ^ "East Greenwich Land Trust- Trends". East Greenwich Municipal Land Trust. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  12. ^ "About East Greenwich | East Greenwich, RI". www.eastgreenwichri.com. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  13. ^ "Map of East Greenwich School Zones" (PDF). East Greenwich School District. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  14. ^ a b c "New England Tech announces $120-million expansion of East Greenwich campus". The Providence Journal. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  15. ^ "East Greenwich Campus". New England Institute of Technology. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  16. ^ a b c "Library History". East Greenwich Free Library. East Greenwich Free Library. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Scallop Town Park". East Greenwich Cove. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  18. ^ Hess, Jeffrey A. (1970). "Black Settlement House, East Greenwich 1902 - 1914" (PDF). Rhode Island History.
  19. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  21. ^ Snow, Edwin M. (1867). Report upon the Census of Rhode Island 1865. Providence, RI: Providence Press Company.
  22. ^ http://www.elections.state.ri.us/elections/preresults/

External links

Albert C. Greene

Albert Collins Greene (April 15, 1792 – January 8, 1863) was an American lawyer and politician from Rhode Island. He served as a United States Senator and Attorney General of Rhode Island.

Armory of the Kentish Guards

The Armory of the Kentish Guards is a historic armory at Armory and Peirce Streets in East Greenwich, Rhode Island and is currently home to the Kentish Guards, a historic state militia organization.

East Greenwich Academy

The East Greenwich Academy (originally known as Kent Academy) was a private Methodist boarding school in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, USA that was in existence from 1802 until 1943.

East Greenwich School Department

The East Greenwich School Department (EGSD) or East Greenwich Public Schools is a public school district located in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. It is made up of six different schools.

Gideon Olin

Gideon Olin (November 2, 1743 – January 21, 1823) was an American politician. He served as a United States Representative from Vermont.

Greenwich Bay (Rhode Island)

Greenwich Bay, is a bay on the coast of Rhode Island in the United States near East Greenwich, Rhode Island off of Narragansett Bay.The United States Navy seaplane tender USS Greenwich Bay, in commission from 1945 to 1966, was named for the bay.

Hunt River (Rhode Island)

The Hunt River is a river in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows approximately 11 km (7 mi). There is a small stone dam just upstream from the Davisville Road bridge that powered a woolen mill active in the period 1811-1924.

J. Michael Lenihan

J. Michael "Mike" Lenihan (August 30, 1943 – February 28, 2015) was an American politician.

From East Greenwich, Rhode Island, Lenihan received his bachelor's degree from Rhode Island College and his master's degree from Brown University. Lenihan served in the Rhode Island State Senate from 1990 to 2010 and was a Democrat. He died of cancer in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

Jimmy Baron (basketball)

James Edward Baron, Jr. (born May 23, 1986) is an American professional basketball player for Champagne Châlons-Reims of the LNB Pro A.

Justine Caldwell

Justine Caldwell is an American politician and is a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 30 (East Greenwich, Rhode Island and West Greenwich, Rhode Island).

Mark Thompson (reporter)

Mark Thompson (born 1953) is an American investigative reporter whose work for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was recognized with the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Maskerchugg River

The Maskerchugg River is a river in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows approximately 6 km (4 mi). There are four dams along the river's length.

National Register of Historic Places listings in East Greenwich, Rhode Island

List of Registered Historic Places in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, which has been transferred from and is an integral part of National Register of Historic Places listings in Kent County, Rhode Island

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.

New England Institute of Technology

New England Institute of Technology (New England Tech or NEIT) is a private university with its main campus in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Established in 1940, it operates on a four-quarter per year program at ten weeks per quarter. Richard I. Gouse has been the president of the school since 1971.

Potowomut River

The Potowomut River is a tidal extension of the Hunt River in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It runs approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km).

Rocky Hill School

Rocky Hill School is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school located on 84 acres along the Potowomut River and Narragansett Bay in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. It educates in grades nursery through grade 12.


WRJI (91.5 FM) was a radio station licensed to serve East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The station was owned by Educational Radio For the Public of the New Millennium. It aired Spanish religious programming during hours that WCVY was not broadcasting (14:00-22:00 weekdays during the school year except holidays and vacation).

The station had been assigned the WRJI callsign by the Federal Communications Commission from January 18, 2006-January 19, 2011.

Wilma Briggs

Wilma Briggs [Briggsie] (born November 6, 1930) is a former left fielder who played from 1948 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5' 4", 138 lb., she batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

Baseball historians rank Briggs among the most stellar hitters in AAGPBL history. She led the league in home runs during the 1953 season, ranks second in the all-time home runs list (43) behind Eleanor Callow (55) and over Dorothy Schroeder (42) and Jean Geissinger (41), and was one of only 14 players to collect 300 or more career runs batted in, yet she was never selected to the All-Star team.

Windmill Cottage

Windmill Cottage is a historic house and former windmill at 144 Division Street in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. It was the home of George Washington Greene, a former American consul to Rome and historian. It was purchased for Greene by his friend, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Places adjacent to East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Municipalities and communities of Kent County, Rhode Island, United States
Major rivers
Cities & towns
Major cities
Cities and towns
Cities and towns
Cities and towns

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