Smithfield, Rhode Island

Smithfield is located in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. It includes the historic villages of Esmond, Georgiaville, Mountaindale, Hanton City, Stillwater and Greenville. The population was 21,430 at the 2010 census. Smithfield is the home of Bryant University, a private four year college.

Smithfield, Rhode Island
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°55′18″N 71°32′58″W / 41.92167°N 71.54944°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • Town CouncilSuzanna L. Alba (D)
Sean M. Kilduff (D)
T. Michael Lawton (D)
Dina Cerra (D)
Maxine A. Cavanagh (R)
 • Town ManagerRandy Rossi
 • Total27.8 sq mi (71.9 km2)
 • Land26.6 sq mi (68.9 km2)
 • Water1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)
400 ft (122 m)
 • Total21,430
 • Density805.6/sq mi (311.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
02828, 02917
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-66200[1]
GNIS feature ID1219817[2]


Greenville Bank at the turn of the twentieth century

The area comprising modern-day Smithfield was first settled in 1660 by several British colonists, including John Steere as a farming community and named after Smithfield, London. The area was within the boundaries of Providence until 1731 when Smithfield was incorporated as a separate town. Chief Justice Peleg Arnold lived in early Smithfield, and his 1690 home stands today. There was an active Quaker community in early 18th century Smithfield that extended along the Great Road, from what is today Woonsocket, north into south Uxbridge, Massachusetts. This Quaker community, and its members, became influential in the abolition movement, with members such as Effingham Capron and Abby Kelley Foster, and also gave rise to other Quaker settlements including one at Adams, Massachusetts where Susan B. Anthony was born as an early member. Elizabeth Buffum Chace is a well-known person from Smithfield who was influential in both abolition of slavery, and the women's rights movement. In the 19th century several mills were built in the town. In the mid-19th century the towns of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Lincoln, Rhode Island, became separate towns. The colonial ghost town of Hanton City is located within the boundaries of present-day Smithfield, but was a completely separate community in the eighteenth century. A Revolutionary war soldier, from the Smithfield side of the Massachusetts border, Captain James Buxton,[3] ended up as a Massachusetts militiaman and Continental Army veteran, who was deeded 300 acres in Worcester County by Governor John Hancock. For this reason Buxton was lost to the history of Rhode Island Revolutionary soldiers.(see South Uxbridge history). Buxton served at Valley Forge among other battles.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 71.9 km² (27.8 mi²). 68.9 km² (26.6 mi²) of it is land and 3.1 km² (1.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.25% water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201521,632[4]0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the 2010 United States Census, Smithfield has 21,430 residents with a median age of 42 years and 16.9% of the population under the age of 18. The racial makeup as of 2010 was 95.7% White, 1.2% African Americans, 0.15% Native American, 1.31% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races and 1.03% of two or more races. Hispanic and Latino of any race made up 2.17% of the population.[6] The median household income is $71,305 and 4.1% of the population live below the poverty line.[7]


Smithfield contains four public elementary schools (Anna McCabe, Raymond LaPerche, Old County Road School, and William Winsor Elementary School), a middle school (Vincent J. Gallagher Middle School) and a public high school, Smithfield High School which was ranked 17th out of 52 high schools in Rhode Island in 2006.[8] St. Phillip's School, a private Roman Catholic academy offering education in grades K-8, is situated in Greenville.[9] Mater Ecclesiae College, a Catholic college, is also located in the town in a facility that was formerly the St. Aloysius Orphanage.[10]

Bryant University

Bryant Center
Bryant University's campus

Bryant University, a private university with programs in business and the arts and sciences, is located in Smithfield.

In 1971, the University moved to its current campus in Smithfield when the founder of Tupperware, Earl Silas Tupper, a Bryant alumnus, donated the current 428 acres (1.73 km2) of land to be the new campus. The famous Bryant Archway was also relocated. The old Emin Homestead and Captain Joseph Mowry homestead occupied much of the land that makes up the present day Smithfield campus. The land was purchased and farmed for three generations between the late 19th century and the mid-20th century. Today, many descendants of the original Emin settlers still live near the Bryant campus. The school also claims a handful of family members as alumni and offers a scholarship for accounting students as a tribute to the Emin family. Historical pictures of the Emin Homestead can still be found in the Alumni house.[11]


Principal employers

According to Smithfield's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[12] the principal employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Fidelity Investments 3,900
2 Bryant University 656
3 Town of Smithfield 494
4 Citizens Bank 400
5 FGX International 385
6 Alexion Pharmaceuticals 300
7 The Village at Waterman Lake 300
8 Stop & Shop 300
9 Target 200
10 Sperian Protection Americas 195

Notable people

See also

  • Flag of Rhode Island.svg Rhode Island portal


  1. ^ "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. ^ *The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume, 15 page 7 Mrs. Ella S. Anderson Freeman. DAR ID Number: 149020 4 James Buxton (1745–1817) commanded a company in Col. Benjamin Tupper's regiment, Massachusetts troops. He was born and died in Smithfield, R. I. Also No. 127831. View full context
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Archived from the original on July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "Rhode Island: 2010 Summary Population and Housing Characteristics" (PDF). Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  7. ^ "Census Community Facts". Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  8. ^ /, "Ranking of High Schools in Rhode Island". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Saint Philip School".
  10. ^ "Me College – College vs. Job Experience options". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  11. ^ " Local & World News, Sports & Entertainment in Providence, RI". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Town of Smithfield CAFR" (PDF). Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  13. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967.
  14. ^ "ARNOLD, Peleg, (1751 - 1820)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  15. ^ "Sullivan Ballou Letter". PBS. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  16. ^ "CAPRON, Adin Ballou, (1841 - 1911)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "Elizabeth Buffum Chace and Lillie Chace Wyman". Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  18. ^ "MACHTLEY, Ronald K., (1948 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  19. ^ "MOWRY, Daniel, Jr., (1729 - 1806)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  20. ^ "Don Orsillo is right at home in the kitchen". Boston Globe. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  21. ^ "State of Rhode Island, Office of the Governor". Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  22. ^ "Biographical Sketches". Wisconsin Blue Book. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  23. ^ J.H. Beers & Company (1908). Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island: Genealogical Records and Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and of Many of the Old Families. J.H. Beers & Company. p. 1643.
  24. ^ "David Wilkinson". ASME. Retrieved March 28, 2014.

External links

Coordinates: 41°54′N 71°32′W / 41.900°N 71.533°W

281st Combat Communications Group

The United States Air Force's 281st Combat Communications Group was a Rhode Island Air National Guard combat communications unit located at Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA.

Adam Comstock

Adam Comstock (Jan 18, 1740–Apr 10, 1819) was an officer in the American Revolution, and a politician from New York.

Comstock was born on January 18, 1740 in Smithfield, Rhode Island. On April 10, 1763 he married Margaret MacGregor (Sep 8, 1745–Mar 3, 1807) in Cranston, Rhode Island. They had ten children.

Adam Comstock enlisted in 1776 as a Major in Christopher Greene's Rhode Island Regiment and was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel . At the Battle of Red Bank in New Jersey he assumed command when the commanding officer was wounded and won the battle. He also served with Washington's army at Valley Forge.After the Revolution Comstock moved with his family in 1786 to Corinth, New York and built the first frame house in the town. He was elected to the New York State Assembly from Saratoga County in 1791 and served twelve years. In 1805 he was elected to the New York State Senate and served for four years. He also served as justice of the peace, associate judge of the New York Court of Common Pleas, had a seat on the Council of Appointment, and served as a presidential elector.Adam Comstock died on April 10, 1819 in South Corinth, New York and is buried in the Comstock Cemetery there.

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.

Chace Athletic Center

Elizabeth and Malcolm Chace Wellness and Athletic Center is a 2,700-seat multi-purpose arena in Smithfield, Rhode Island. It is home to the Bryant University Bulldogs men's and women's basketball teams as well as the women's volleyball team. The arena opened in 2001.

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.

Eddie Dowling

Eddie Dowling (December 11, 1889 — February 18, 1976) was an American actor, screenwriter, playwright, director, producer, songwriter, and composer.

Elizabeth Buffum Chace

Elizabeth Buffum Chace (9 December 1806 – 12 December 1899) was an American activist in the Anti-Slavery, Women's Rights, and Prison Reform Movements of the mid-to-late 19th century.

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.

Georgiaville, Rhode Island

Georgiaville is a village in Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The village was named after the Georgia Cotton Manufacturing Company mill located in the area. The Georgiaville Pond Beach is located in the village and is a popular recreation spot. In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan was active in the area, and Klan rallies were held in Georgiaville.[1] The village, which has retained many features of its origin as a mid-19th century mill village including the mill complex and several blocks of mill worker housing, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Georgiaville is also where Smithfield's town hall is located.

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.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Smithfield, Rhode Island

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

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

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.

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.

Smith–Appleby House

The Smith–Appleby House Museum is a historic house museum at 220 Stillwater Road in Smithfield, Rhode Island. It is now home to the Smithfield Historical Society.

Stephen Archambault

Stephen R. Archambault (born August 11, 1965) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island Senate representing District 22 since January 2013. Archambault was a Democratic candidate for Attorney General of Rhode Island in 2010.

Thomas Winfield

Thomas J. Winfield (born June 15, 1963 in Providence, Rhode Island) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 53 since January 2003. Winfield served consecutively from January 1993 until January 2003 in the District 69 seat.

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.


WJMF (88.7 FM) is a radio station in Smithfield, Rhode Island, owned by Bryant University. The station's primary channel is a classical music station simulcasting WCRB from Boston. It serves the Providence area. WJMF also operates an HD2 channel run by Bryant University students; from 1973 until 2011, this service was heard on its primary channel. The station has over 40 shows and more than 100 DJs. It plays a variety of music ranging from alternative to talk to Top 40. It is also known for hosting local political debates, interviews with athletes, and having talk radio shows. It also broadcasts games of the Bryant University Division I athletic teams.

On April 27, 2012, WJMF was granted a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) construction permit to increase its effective radiated power (ERP) up to 1,500 Watts. The directional pattern of the antenna will be changed. The construction permit expired on April 27, 2015.

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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