East Providence, Rhode Island

East Providence is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 47,037 at the 2010 census, making it the fifth largest city in the state.

East Providence, Rhode Island
City of East Providence
World War I Memorial and Taunton Plaza
World War I Memorial and Taunton Plaza
Flag of East Providence, Rhode Island

Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°48′49″N 71°22′12″W / 41.81361°N 71.37000°WCoordinates: 41°48′49″N 71°22′12″W / 41.81361°N 71.37000°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
Incorporated (town)1862
Incorporated (city)1958
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorRoberto DaSilva
 • City CouncilRobert Britto: Ward 1 (Council President)
Robert Rodericks: At-Large (Council Vice-President): Ward 1
Anna M. Sousa: Ward 2
Nathan Cahoon: Ward 3
Ricardo Mourato: Ward 4
 • Total16.61 sq mi (43.02 km2)
 • Land13.4 sq mi (34.7 km2)
 • Water3.2 sq mi (8.3 km2)
62 ft (19 m)
 • Total47,037
 • Density3,510.2/sq mi (1,355.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
02914, 02915, 02916
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-22960[1]
GNIS feature ID1219590[2]


East Providence is located at 41°48′5″N 71°21′39″W / 41.80139°N 71.36083°W (41.801500, -71.360824).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43 km2), of which, 13.4 square miles (35 km2) of it is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) of it (19.33%) is water.

The following villages are located in East Providence:[4]

The Mayor is Roberto "Bob" DaSilva.


In 1641, the Plymouth Colony purchased from the Indians a large tract of land which today includes the northern half of East Providence (from Watchemoket to Rumford), Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Seekonk, Massachusetts, and part of Pawtucket. Four years later, John Brown of Plymouth bought a considerably smaller piece of land from the Indians, which today comprises the southern part of East Providence (Riverside), Barrington, and a small part of Swansea. Finally, in 1661, Plymouth completed the "North Purchase" from which Attleboro, North Attleboro, and Cumberland were later formed. Over the whole the authorities gave the name 'Rehoboth'. The center of this large settlement, which is sometimes referred to as 'Old Rehoboth', is within the borders of modern East Providence. In 1812, the western half of Old Rehoboth was set off as a separate township called Seekonk, Massachusetts. Old Rehoboth's town center now became the heart of Old Seekonk. Finally, in 1862, the western part of Old Seekonk was ceded to Rhode Island and incorporated as East Providence.

Portuguese immigration

Phillips Street Restaurant, East Providence, Rhode Island
A Portuguese restaurant in East Providence

Beginning around 1900 and continuing until the onset of the Depression in 1930, large numbers of Portuguese from Providence, Fall River, New Bedford, and Portugal settled in East Providence. By 1905, there were over 400 Portuguese in the town, the third highest in the state. The Portuguese, like other ethnic groups, were drawn to East Providence primarily by the lure of jobs. Many employment opportunities were available in the Watchemoket area, where numerous immigrants settled.


Oddfellows' Hall, East Providence, RI 2012
Oddfellows Hall is a rare surviving element of Watchemoket Square

In decades preceding the Civil War, Watchemoket Point was little more than a farming and fishing area with perhaps a few hundred residents. Watchemoket was situated directly across from the thriving city of Providence and thus benefited from the expansion of that community. More importantly, two bridges across the Seekonk River gave easy access to Watchmemoket. By the 1860s, tolls were no longer being charged to cross the Washington and Central Bridges, giving further stimulus to the growth of Watchemoket and the transformation of the village from a sleepy fishing area to the vital core of East Providence in 1862. Perhaps the first businesses to come to Watchemoket were inns built to service the large numbers of people coming through. The residents of Watchemoket also had their own library by the early 1870s. At first the organizers named it Ladies Library Association, but in 1885 they changed the named to Watchemoket Free Public Library. Already the commercial and population center of East Providence, by the mid-1880s, Watchemoket next became the political center as well. The town hall was moved from Rumford to the heart of the community, so it was more accessible. They purchased a lot on Taunton Avenue for $11,500 and erected a two-story brick building which opened in 1889. That same year the East Providence Police Department opened its headquarters in the town hall.


For some time after the incorporation of the town in 1862, the area around the old "Ring of the Green" was referred to as East Providence Center. The official town hall was located here until 1889, as were several churches. Moreover, the village was the population center of East Providence, containing many farms and mills along the Ten Mile River. Many people migrated from East Providence Center to the new center at Watchemoket.


Old Colony Riverside train station
The old Riverside station on the East Bay Bike Path

From the time of the Wannamoisett purchase in 1645 to the Civil War, the shore land from Watchemoket to Bullocks Point had remained a sparsely settled fishing and farming area. When East Providence was incorporated, no more than a few hundred of its residents made the coastal village their home. The white settlers had first learned of the plentiful supply of shellfish in the area from the Wampanoag Indians. More than two centuries later, the waters of Narragansett Bay, which washed the shores of Wannamoisett, still contained an abundant supply of edible sea treasures. Clams, quahogs, and oysters were harvested by Wannamoisett residents and sold in Providence. Arnold Medberry, for instance, brought his plow to the shoreline and began picking up clams by the handful. He loaded the shellfish on a cart and easily sold his entire day's catch in Providence. At that time, Medberry and his neighbors were referred to as "clamdiggers", a derogatory term comparable to the pejorative hayseed.

Already, by the early nineteenth century, individuals had begun to build summer homes, causing the population to double to about 500-600. During that time period, Cedar Grove, Lewis Station, Chimney Corners, Peck's Corner, Pleasant Bluffs, Sabin's Point, Sherman's Station, and Pomham were developed. New resort facilities were built, such as the Pomham House. Numbers of roads were lined with trees and houses, Christian Churches were formed, a library was built, and the Narragansett Engine Company was formed in 1878. By that time, the residents were no longer dismissed as "clamdiggers", but regarded as townspeople.

Looff family at Crescent Park mgr c.1905-1910
Charles Looff and family at the Crescent Park Looff Carousel, c. 1905

While many transactions were taking place, Charles I. D. Looff came to Riverside. He was a wood carver for a furniture business in New York, and spent spare time in his basement carving wooden horses as a hobby. After long years of hard work, he produced the first steam powered carousel and sold it to Crescent Park. He operated the carousel and designed a summer recreation area. By the early 1900s, New Englanders recognized Crescent Park as the leading amusement park in the region. Looff accomplished fantastic achievements and, after his death, his family continued to operate Crescent Park. The park closed in the 1970s and the land was used for condominiums. The Crescent Park Looff Carousel still remains.


Seal of East Providence, Rhode Island
Seal of East Providence
East Providence City Hall, Rhode Island
City Hall

The City of East Providence is governed by an elected Mayor and a five member City Council, with the Mayor and Counselors elected every four years. City Council members are elected one each from four wards and one elected at-large.

Executive Branch

The Mayor is both the ceremonial leader of the city and the chief executive officer. The Mayor runs the daily operations of the city, enforces the charter and ordinances of the city and appoints all department heads except the City Clerk. The current Mayor of East Providence is Roberto DaSilva who took office on January 9th, 2019.

Up until January 9th, 2019, the day-to-day operations were managed by a professional City Manager appointed by the City Council and the Mayor was the President of the City Council, acting ceremonially.

Legislative Branch

The City Council sets all city ordinances, sets the budget of the city (with recommendation from the Mayor) and provides legislative oversight for city operations.

The City Council elects a Council President and Council Vice-President to preside over meetings. The City Council also appoints the City Clerk.

Up until 2019, The City Council served two year terms and the City Council oversaw the entire city government under a Council-Manager system.

The current members of the East Providence City Council are:
- Robert Rodericks - At-Large (Council Vice-President), first took office in January 2019
- Robert Britto - Ward 1 (Council President), first took office in December, 2014 (third term)
- Anna Sousa - Ward 2, first took office in 2016 (second term)
- Nathan Cahoon - Ward 3, first took office in January 2019
- Ricardo Mourato - Ward 4, first took office in January 2019

Judicial Branch

The City of East Providence has a Municipal Court which hears cases regarding violations of municipal ordinances, housing code violations and minor traffic violations. The city also has a Probate Court which handles estates, name changes, guardianships and related matters.

Judges for both courts are appointed by the Mayor with confirmation by the City Council for a term of two years.

Municipal Court Judge - Lisette M. Gomes
Associate Municipal Court Judge - Vacant

Probate Judge - Maria Ferro-Deaton
Associate Probate Judge - Christine Engustian

Education Governance

The City also has an elected School Committee, elected for two year terms by the same ward system as the City Council. The School Committee has broad authority to manage the school system including setting all school system policies, setting the school system budget (within the general appropriation by the city, state and federal government) as well as selecting and overseeing the Superintendent of Schools.

School Committee Members are:
- Joel Monteiro - At-Large
- Charles Tsonos - Ward 1
- Anthony Ferreira - Ward 2
- Karen Oliveira - Ward 3
- Jessica Beauchaine - Ward 4

Other Boards & Commissions

The city has an appointed Library Board of Trustees which governs the city's library system and various other appointed governing and advisory boards and commissions.

Recent development

The city has recently created a commission charged with facilitating the redevelopment of old industrial sites and brownfields along most of East Providence's 14-mile coastline on the Seekonk River as mixed use residential, commercial, and light industrial zones.[5][6]

East Prov. Water
Off Warren Ave. Connector in East Providence, facing the capital.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201647,337[7]0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 48,688 people, 20,530 households, and 12,851 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,632.1 people per square mile (1,401.8/km²). There were 21,309 housing units at an average density of 1,589.6 per square mile (613.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.49% White, 5.02% African American, 0.46% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.80% from other races, and 4.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.89% of the population.

There were 20,530 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,108, and the median income for a family was $48,463. Males had a median income of $34,342 versus $26,423 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,527. About 6.3% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those aged 65 or over.

The population has large immigrant communities from Portugal, the Azores, Madeira and Cape Verde.


A.B. Hennessey School on Fort Street

East Providence has 13 public and 5 non-public schools:

Public schools


  • Agnes B. "Hennessey"
  • Alice M. "Waddington"
  • Emma G. "Whiteknact"
  • James R.D. "Oldham"
  • Kent Heights
  • Myron J. "Francis"
  • Orlo Avenue School
  • Silver Spring

Middle schools

  • Edward R. Martin Middle School
  • Riverside Middle School

High school

Non-public elementary and junior-high schools

  • St. Mary "Bayview" Academy
  • Sacred Heart School
  • St. Margaret School
  • The Gordon School
  • Providence Country Day (P.C.D.).

Non-public high schools

  • St. Mary "Bayview" Academy
  • Providence Country Day (P.C.D.).

National Register of Historic Places listings in East Providence

Notable people

See also

  • Flag of Rhode Island.svg Rhode Island portal


  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. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  4. ^ RIGIS Villages data layer Archived 2006-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ East Providence | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal
  6. ^ East Providence Waterfront Commission
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  10. ^ Anonymous. "Claudia Jordan". Miss USA. Miss Universe L.P., LLLP. Retrieved 27 June 2013.

Further reading

  • Our Heritage: A History of East Providence, Joseph Conforti

External links

1931 PGA Championship

The 1931 PGA Championship was the 14th PGA Championship, held September 14–19 at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, Rhode Island, northeast of Providence. Then a match play championship, Tom Creavy, age 20, defeated Gene Sarazen 5 & 3 in the semifinals and Denny Shute 2 & 1 in the finals.This was the first year the defending champion was exempt from qualifying; Tommy Armour lost in the quarterfinals to Shute, 3 & 1. Sarazen was the medalist in the qualifying with 145 (+5).Through 2016, Sarazen remains the youngest winner of a modern major title at age 20 (in 1922) and Creavy was just 2 months older. Finalist Shute won consecutive titles in 1936 and 1937.

Bicknell–Armington Lightning Splitter House

The Bicknell–Armington Lightning Splitter House is a historic house at 3591 Pawtucket Avenue in East Providence, Rhode Island. The house is of a distinctive type, a "Lightning Splitter", of which only a few instances exist in the Providence area. It is a wood-frame structure with a steep two-story gable roof. Records suggest that the house was constructed about 1827, but architectural evidence suggests it was extensively altered in the 1850s. The main entrance and the interior has a simplified Greek Revival styling. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 28, 1980.

Coles Brook

Coles Brook is a small stream that begins east of Pine Street in Rehoboth MA, and flows in a southwest direction to Central Pond and the James V. Turner Reservoir and the on the border of Seekonk, Massachusetts and East Providence, Rhode Island. It is a tributary of the Ten Mile River.The brook is 5.3 miles long and has three small dams along its course. The brook flows through the Caratunk wildlife reservation in Seekonk, which has large portions of open space and wildlife, and is the site of Native American Camps, where artifact have been uncovered.

The Coles Brook is on the list of impaired waterways, due to pathogens, although it has still been rated a Class B waterway fishable, swimmable.

Gregg Amore

Gregg Amore (born October 28, 1966) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 65 since January 1, 2013.

James Dennis House

The James Dennis House is an historic house located at 3120 Pawtucket Avenue in East Providence, Rhode Island. This two-story wood-frame house was built sometime in the 1870s, and is a fine local example of Queen Anne Victorian style. Its most prominent features are a square tower with pyramidal roof, and a decorated porch that wraps around three sides. Although Pawtucket Avenue once had a significant number of such houses lining it, most have been demolished or significantly altered.The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 28, 1980.

Jamie Silva

James J. Silva (born December 14, 1984) is an American former college and professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League (NFL) for three seasons. He played college football for Boston College, and earned consensus All-American honors. He was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2008.

Katherine Kazarian

Katherine S. Kazarian (born June 25, 1990 in East Providence, Rhode Island) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 63 since January 1, 2013.

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

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

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

Oddfellows' Hall (East Providence, Rhode Island)

The Oddfellows' Hall is an historic fraternal society building on Warren Avenue in East Providence, Rhode Island. The 2½-story wood frame structure was designed by the Providence firm Gould & Angell, and was built in 1889. It is a rare surviving element of Watchemoket Square, a significant community center in East Providence in the late 19th century, which was significantly harmed by the construction of I-195 through the heart of the square. It is also a high-quality example of Shingle style architecture.The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Pomham Rocks Light

Pomham Rocks Light (also known as "Pomham Lighthouse") is a historic lighthouse in the Providence River about 200 yards (180 m) off the shoreline of the Riverside neighborhood of the city of East Providence, Rhode Island.

The light was established in 1871. The light was one of a group of New England lighthouses built to the same plan after an award-winning design by a Vermont architect. Nearly identical lights were constructed at Sabin Point, Rose Island, and Colchester Reef. It was deactivated in 1974, but relighted on July 30, 2006. The light was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Pomham Rocks Light Station on July 9, 1979. In the 1970s the light was sold to The American Lighthouse Foundation, and is today managed by the Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse.

Providence Country Day School

The Providence Country Day School (often abbreviated to the initials PCD) is a private middle and high school, founded in 1923. Located in East Providence, Rhode Island, United States, it serves approximately 200 students in grades 6 through 12. The school has no religious affiliation and has been co-ed since 1991.

Rumford, Rhode Island

Rumford, Rhode Island is the northern section of the city of East Providence, Rhode Island. It borders Seekonk, Massachusetts, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and the Ten Mile River (Seekonk River). Rumford has been part of three towns and two states: Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Seekonk, Massachusetts, and East Providence, Rhode Island. It became part of Rhode Island in 1862. Rumford Baking Powder was made in the town at the Rumford Chemical Works and was named after Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford.

Wannamoisett Country Club was established in Rumford in 1898 on land rented from Rumford Chemical Works, and it hosts the Northeast Amateur Invitational Golf Tournament each year. The 1931 PGA Championship was played here.About 150 acres (61 ha) of the Rumford area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, encompassing the historic heart of old Seekonk and the 19th-century center of East Providence.

Seekonk River

The Seekonk River is a tidal extension of the Providence River in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows approximately 8 km (5 mi). Most historical scholars agree that the name is derived from two Native American words, sucki (meaning black) and honc (meaning goose). The river is home to the Brown University men's rowing team, India Point Park, Blackstone Park, Crook Point Bascule Bridge, Narragansett Boat Club (the oldest rowing club in the country), Swan Point Cemetery, and the Bucklin Point waste-water treatment facility. The River is listed by RIDEM as an impaired waterway.

Squantum Association

The Squantum Association is a private club in East Providence, Rhode Island on 947 Veterans Memorial Parkway. Its Colonial Revival building was constructed in 1870 by Martin & Hall and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church (East Providence, Rhode Island)

St. Mary's Episcopal Church is an historic church at 83 Warren Avenue in East Providence, Rhode Island.

The congregation traces its history to a Bible school formed in 1867. It was admitted into union with the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island in 1871, and became an independent parish in 1894. In 1878, St. Mary's Orphanage, now known as St. Mary's Home was opened; it remains in operation in North Providence.The Carpenter Gothic church, by George E. Harney, was constructed from 1870 to 1872. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Ten Mile River (Seekonk River tributary)

The Ten Mile River is a river within the U.S. states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It flows approximately 22 miles (35 km) and drains a watershed of 54 square miles (140 km2).The North Attleborough National Fish Hatchery is located in its upper reaches, and the river offers stocked trout fishing in the spring.

The Ten Mile River was badly polluted in the mid 1900s but has subsequently been remediated. Although there are still issues with metals and sediments in the water, the river and nearly all its tributaries are now designated as Class B waters (fishable, swimmable).


WPMZ (1110 AM, "Poder 1110") is a radio station licensed to serve East Providence, Rhode Island. The station is owned by Video Mundo Broadcasting Co., LLC. It airs a Spanish Tropical format. WPMZ is relayed on an FM translator: W271CR on 102.1 MHz. The station has been assigned the callsign WPMZ by the Federal Communications Commission since November 1, 1995.

William Conley Jr.

William J. Conley Jr. (born March 2, 1953) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate representing District 18 since January 2013.

World War I Memorial (East Providence, Rhode Island)

The World War I Memorial is a bronze sculpture by Pietro Montana and is located at the intersection of Taunton Avenue, Whelden Avenue, and John Street in East Providence, Rhode Island, United States. The sculpture is modeled on Charles Atlas and depicts a dynamically posed soldier standing on a granite base. Montana's original design was modified by the East Providence Memorial Committee for being "too brutal". Dedicated on July 30, 1927, Major General Charles Pelot Summerall gave an address which highlighted the handicap placed upon the soldiers by a lack of preparedness and "invoked the fighting ideal embodied by Montana's doughboy." The World War I Memorial was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

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

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