North Smithfield, Rhode Island

North Smithfield is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States, settled as a farming community in 1666 and incorporated into its present form in 1871. North Smithfield includes the historic villages of Forestdale, Primrose, Waterford, Branch Village, Union Village, Park Square, and Slatersville. The population was 12,314 at the 2015 census.

North Smithfield, Rhode Island
Forestdale school house from the nineteenth century
Forestdale school house from the nineteenth century
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°59′17″N 71°33′7″W / 41.98806°N 71.55194°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
 • Town AdministratorPaulette D. Hamilton
 • Town CouncilPaul J. Zwolenski
Robert P. Boucher
Kimberly L. Alves
Roseanne Nadeau
Ernest H. Alter
 • Total24.7 sq mi (64.1 km2)
 • Land24.0 sq mi (62.3 km2)
 • Water0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
361 ft (110 m)
 • Total12,314
 • Density498.6/sq mi (192.1/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
02824, 02896
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-52480[1]
GNIS feature ID1219815[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.7 square miles (64 km2), of which 24.0 square miles (62 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (2.83%) is water. North Smithfield is in a New England upland region. The Branch River and Blackstone Rivers provided much of the power for the early mills in the town. The town consists mainly of temperate forests, with minor elevation changes. At 586 feet, Woonsocket Hill in North Smithfield is one of the highest points in Rhode Island. Residents can expect mild summers and harsh winters.


In the 17th century British colonists settled in North Smithfield developing a farming community that they named after Smithfield, London in England.[3] The town was part of Smithfield, Rhode Island until it was incorporated as North Smithfield in 1871.[3] The first colonization occurred after a Native American, "William Minnian" (also known as "Quashawannamut") a Praying Indian[4] from Punkkupage Massachusetts Bay, on May 14, 1666 and again in 1669 with the permission of King Philip,[5] deeded approximately 2,000 acres" to John Mowry and Edward Inman who partnered with Nathaniel Mowry, John Steere, and Thomas Walling in dividing up the purchased tract.[3] In the early 18th century, a Quaker colony developed in what is now North Smithfield (then Smithfield), which extended into south Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

Today North Smithfield is part of the John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The Blackstone Valley is the oldest industrialized region in the U.S. A local North Smithfield industry today, Berroco Yarns, is a continuation of an original family owned woolen company first established in this valley by Daniel Day in 1809.

Mowry home
A rare "stone-ender" known as the John Mowry, Jr. or Sayles House on Wesquadomeset (Sayles) Hill near Iron Mine Hill and Sayles Hill Roads in North Smithfield, demolished in the 20th century

The village of Slatersville was largely built by Samuel Slater and his brother John Slater beginning in 1803.[6] It is a well-preserved original New England mill village with worker housing and commercial buildings and a church on a village green. This village is in fact America's first planned industrial mill village.[7] Samuel and John's family owned this mill and the village until the turn of the 20th century.[6]

Union Village, along Rhode Island Route 146A achieved local prominence as an important stagecoach stop on the route along Great Road.[7] Union Village was also home to a hat shop, taverns, an academy and the Union Bank from which the village got its name.[7] The North Smithfield Public Library was founded in 1931 with the first branch in the Union Village school. In 1965 Fogarty Hospital was constructed in the town.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth-century, North Smithfield "was served by several trolley and railroad lines; now all are gone save one. A freight-only spur line of the Providence and Worcester Railroad extends from the main line in Woonsocket and terminates [in Slatersville] at the Providence Pike"[8] where it "primarily serves a single customer, a steel supplier called Denman and Davis,"[9] a company in Slatersville which is now part of O’Neal Steel, Inc.[10]

Mowry House ca. 1690 on Providence Pike in North Smithfield, Rhode Island

Mowry House ca. 1690, on Providence Pike in North Smithfield

North Smithfield

Albert Mowry farmhouse in North Smithfield in the 19th century

Rustic Drive In Movie Theater in North Smithfield Rhode Island

Rustic Drive In Movie Theater (1951) in North Smithfield, the last drive in surviving in the state


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201512,314[11]2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[12][13]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 10,618 people, 3,954 households, and 2,957 families residing in the town. The population density was 441.7 people per square mile (170.5/km²). There were 4,070 housing units at an average density of 169.3 per square mile (65.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.32% White, 0.42% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 0.47% of the population. 41% reported either French or French Canadian ancestry, 12% Irish, 12% Italian, and 8% English.[14]

Mosque North Smithfield RI
Masjid Al Islam mosque on Sayles Hill Road in North Smithfield

There were 3,954 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town, the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,602, and the median income for a family was $67,331. Males had a median income of $43,133 versus $30,748 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,031. About 1.9% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.

Historic places in North Smithfield

Peleg Arnold tavern North Smithfield RI
The Peleg Arnold Tavern, built around 1690, was home to Peleg Arnold.

Notable people

Judge Peleg Arnold by Arnold Steere 1815
Chief Justice Peleg Arnold was a resident of Union Village in North Smithfield.


North Smithfield Middle School 2017 Rhode Island
North Smithfield Middle School, opened in 2008-2009

The North Smithfield School District consists of four active schools:

Houses of worship

Slatersville Common and Church
Slatersville Green and the Congregational Church
  • Lighthouse Christian Church[20]
  • Masjid Al-Islam mosque[21]
  • Slatersville Congregational Church[22]
  • St. John the Evangelist Church[23]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ a b c Nebiker, Walter (1976). the History of North Smithfield. Somersworth, NH: New England History Press.
  4. ^ The Narragansett Historical Register, Volume 6 (1888), pg 73
  5. ^ The Providence Plantations for Two Hundred and Fifty Years: An Historical ...By Welcome Arnold Greene, pg 394
  6. ^ a b "Samuel Slater/The Mill Village, Slatersville/Woonsocket". Retrieved 2007-12-26.
  7. ^ a b c "Plan your visit/Valley sites/Cumberland, North Smithfield, Smithfield". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
  8. ^ North Smithfield Comprehensive Plan Five-Year Update Revised August 2007 J - Circulation –March 2006 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2013-01-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Frank Heppner, Railroads of Rhode Island: Shaping the Ocean State's Railways (The History Press, 2012) pg. 81
  10. ^ "121-Year-Old Metals Service Center Gets New Identity » O'Neal Industries". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  13. ^ Snow, Edwin M. (1867). Report upon the Census of Rhode Island 1865. Providence, RI: Providence Press Company.
  14. ^ "North Smithfield - North Smithfield - Ancestry & family history - ePodunk". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  15. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  16. ^ " Home Page". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased during the Year 1930-1931" (PDF). Bulletin of Yale University. December 1, 1931.
  18. ^ Wilkinson, Alec (2004-09-20). "The Ghostly Ones". The New Yorker. p. 78. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  19. ^ /, "Ranking of High Schools in Rhode Island". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Lighthouse Christian Church - North Smithfield, RI". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  21. ^ Masjid Al-Islam mosque Archived 2011-09-17 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Home". Slatersville Congregational Church-UCC. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  23. ^ "ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, SLATERSVILLE RI". Retrieved 9 April 2018.

External links

Coordinates: 41°58′00″N 71°32′58″W / 41.96667°N 71.54944°W

Andrews Mill Company Plant

The Andrews Mill Company Plant is a historic industrial complex at 761 Great Road in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. Built beginning in 1918, it was home to a maker of French worsted wool textiles, part of a major industrial development push in northern Rhode Island at the time. The complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.

Brian Newberry

Brian C. Newberry (born December 10, 1971) is an American politician and a Republican member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 48 since January 2009.

David Rawlings

David Todd Rawlings is an American guitarist, singer, and record producer. He is known for his partnership with singer and songwriter Gillian Welch. He and Welch were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 91st Academy Awards for "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Forestdale, Rhode Island

Forestdale is a village and historic district in North Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States, one-half mile from Slatersville, Rhode Island. The historic district runs east and west along Main Street and north on Maple Avenue. School Street is the primary road through the village, and the one-room school house for which the street is named still stands. The Branch River runs through the valley adjacent to the School Street. The Village Haven Restaurant and local VFW chapter are also located in the village.

Jeff Jillson

Jeffrey J. Jillson (born July 24, 1980) is an American former professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League for the San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres.

Joe Connolly (1910s outfielder)

Joseph Aloysius Connolly (February 1, 1884 – September 1, 1943) was a left fielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Boston Braves from 1913 through 1916. Listed at 5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m), 165 lb., Connolly batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

A native of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, Connolly was a prominent member of the 1914 Boston Braves World Champions. As for his defense at left field, the Boston Sunday Post wrote "he is fairly fast, the possessor of a strong wing (arm) and he covers a good extent of territory."

Connolly made his professional debut as a pitcher in 1906 with the Putnam, Connecticut team of the New England League. From 1908 to 1912, he divided his playing time with Class-A Little Rock and Class-B Zanesville teams, playing some outfield when he was not pitching. In 1909, while in Zanesville, he posted a 23–8 record and hit .308 during the season. The following year, despite he pitched for a sixth-place team that ended 16 games below .500, he went 16–17, including a no-hitter, a one-hitter, a two-hitter, and four three-hitters, but he was beginning to experience arm trouble. In 1911 he played exclusively at left field, but financial problems forced Zanesville to send him to Terre Haute of the Central League, as he led the league hitters with a .355 batting average, adding 27 stolen bases. The Chicago Cubs signed Connolly and then traded him to the Montreal Royals of the International League, where he hit .316 in 1912. Drafted by the Washington Senators of Clark Griffith in 1913, he was sold immediately to the Boston Braves, to become the team's regular left fielder. Thought his rookie Major League season ended prematurely when he broke his ankle, Connolly led the Braves in average (.281), runs (79), RBI (57), triples (11), and slugging percentage (.410), in 126 games played.

In 1914, Connolly was a member of the Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. He was the offensive star of the 1914 Braves, playing predominantly against right-handed pitching and usually batting third in the order at bat. He led his team with a .306 average (the only regular to hit .300), 28 doubles (fourth in the National League), nine home runs (fifth in the league), and a .494 slugging percentage (third in the league). He hit .111 (1-9) with a run and one RBI during the 1914 World Series, as the Braves defeated Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in four games.

The 1915 Braves challenged for the National League and Connolly hit .298, but the following year his production and playing time decreased even more significantly, ending with a .227 average (25-for-110) in just 62 games. Boston's contract offer to Connolly for 1917 slashed his salary in half, and when he refused to sign, the Braves sold him to the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association. Realizing that his combined income from farming and playing semipro ball locally would exceed his salary under his professional contract, he decided to retire.

In a four-season career, Connolly was a .288 hitter (358-for-1241) with 14 home runs and 157 RBI in 412 games, including 202 runs, 65 doubles, 31 triples, and 48 stolen bases.

Following his baseball career, Connelly served in the Rhode Island State Legislature. He died in his home town of North Smithfield, Rhode Island at the age of 59.

Lake Bel Air

Lake Bel Air is a lake in the town of North Smithfield, in Providence County, Rhode Island.

National Register of Historic Places listings in North Smithfield, Rhode Island

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

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

Peleg Arnold Tavern

The Peleg Arnold Tavern off Great Road in Union Village in North Smithfield, Rhode Island was built around 1690 and is one of the oldest homes in North Smithfield. The oldest part of house was built in the late 17th century by Richard Arnold, one of the earliest settlers in the area. His descendant, Peleg Arnold, greatly expanded the building a century later. Peleg Arnold was a justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and representative to the Continental Congress. Arnold's popular tavern served as center of American military operations in the town during the American Revolution. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island

The Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island (also known as Fogarty Hospital) is a private rehabilitation hospital at 116 Eddie Dowling Highway (Route 146A) in the Park Square area of North Smithfield, Rhode Island and with another unit, Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The Rehabilitation Hospital "is the only free-standing hospital in Rhode Island devoted exclusively to inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation" and provides treatment for "acute illness, traumatic injury, major surgery or life-altering disease."The John E. Fogarty Memorial Hospital in North Smithfield was built in 1965 and named after U.S. Congressman John E. Fogarty. In 1988 Fogarty Hospital of North Smithfield merged with Landmark Hospital of Woonosocket to become of the Fogarty Unit of Landmark Medical Center. In 2013 Prime Healthcare Services acquired the hospital.

Rhode Island Route 102

Route 102 is a numbered state highway running 44.4 miles (71.5 km) in Rhode Island. Route 102 serves as a non-freeway beltway around the Providence metro area. It begins in the village of Wickford and travels through less developed areas of western Rhode Island. The route ends in the village of Slatersville.

Route 102 is one of the longer Rhode Island state highways, and is longer than the portion of Interstate 95 that runs through the state (43.5 miles).

Slatersville, Rhode Island

Slatersville is a village on the Branch River in the town of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, United States. It includes the Slatersville Historic District, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic district has been included as part of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. The North Smithfield Public Library is located in Slatersville.

Slatersville was associated with and named for Samuel Slater and John Slater, members of the well-known Slater family.

In the late nineteenth century, the Woonsocket and Pascoag Railroad was built through the village, and the line is now owned and operated by the Providence and Worcester Railroad. The freight rail line now terminates in Slatersville near a steel distributor by the Slater Mill, rather than its former endpoint in Pascoag.

Smithfield Road Historic District

The Smithfield Road Historic District is a rural historic district in North Smithfield, Rhode Island along Old Smithfield Road (Rhode Island Route 146A). It extends along Old Smithfield Road north from its junction with Sayles Hill Road, and is roughly bisected by Spring Brook. It includes eight historic houses or farmsteads, two 19th-century cemeteries, and a dam (whose construction date is unknown) on Spring Brook just east of the road. The district encompasses a cross-section of the development of agricultural properties in North Smithfield over the 19th century, with properties dating from 1811 (1034 Old Smithfield Road) to 1932 (1172 Old Smithfield Road). The district covers 170 acres (69 ha), which includes lands currently and formerly in agricultural use.The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Tim McNamara

Timothy Augustine McNamara (November 20, 1898 in Millville, Massachusetts – November 5, 1994 in North Smithfield, Rhode Island) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1922 through 1926 for the Boston Braves and New York Giants.

Todd Farm (North Smithfield, Rhode Island)

The Todd Farm (also known as the Smith-Andrews-Taft-Todd Farm) is an historic farm at 670 Farnum Pike (Greenville Road) in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA. The farm includes a house dating to 1740, as well as a collection of outbuildings dating to the early 20th century. The main block of the house is a 2-1/2 story wood frame structure, five bays wide, with a gable roof and a large central chimney. The main block has been added to numerous times, with full-size additions to both sides as well as a sloping addition to the rear, giving the house a saltbox appearance in the rear and a total width of 11 bays. Behind and beside the house are arrayed a number of small outbuildings, and a barn which has been converted into residential space. The house was probably built by Noah Smith around 1740, around the time he established a sawmill on Cherry Brook, which runs behind the house and is dammed to form Todd Pond.The farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Tyler Mowry House

The Tyler Mowry House is an historic house at 112 Sayles Hill Road in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. It is a 2-1/2 story wood frame structure, five bays wide, with a gable roof and two interior chimneys. The entry is centered on the main (south-facing) facade, with sidelight windows and pilasters supporting a complex entablature and cornice. A 1-1/2 story ell extends to the east. The interior of the house has retained much of the original Federal-period woodwork, plasterwork, doors, and hardware. The house is distinctive as a remarkably unaltered house from the early 19th century, lacking modernizing alterations such as electricity and plumbing.The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Union Village, Rhode Island

Union Village or "Bank Village" is a village and historic district located in North Smithfield and Woonsocket, Rhode Island on Rhode Island Route 146A. Union Village developed because it was at the cross roads of old Great Road (Smithfield Road Historic District) (connecting Providence and Worcester, Massachusetts) and Pound Hill Road (connecting the Blackstone River falls to Chepachet and Connecticut).

William Mowry House

The William Mowry House is an historic farm house on Farnum Pike (622 Greenville Road) in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. It is a 2-1/2 story plank-framed house, five bays wide, with a gable roof and a large central chimney. The main entrance is centered on the main (south-facing) entry, and is enclosed within a single-story hip-roof vestibule of 20th-century construction. A small single-story ell extends to the west of the main block. The interior follows a typical center-chimney plan, with the kitchen and parlor in the front of the house, and the dining room flanked by a small pantry and bathroom in the rear. The house was built c. 1802-05 by William Mowry, whose family has owned land in the area since the 17th century.The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Woonsocket Hill

Woonsocket Hill (originally Niswasocket) is one of the highest points in the state of Rhode Island and is the highest point in the town of North Smithfield, Rhode Island at 586 feet. The hill is located near the center of the town and "contained a highly refractory stone used for hearth stones."

Places adjacent to North Smithfield, Rhode Island
Municipalities and communities of Providence County, Rhode Island, United States

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