Tiverton, Rhode Island

Tiverton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 15,780 at the 2010 census.

Tiverton, Rhode Island
Nannaquaket Pond, Tiverton, RI
Nannaquaket Pond, Tiverton, RI
Location of Tiverton in Newport County, Rhode Island
Location of Tiverton in Newport County, Rhode Island
Coordinates: 41°37′35″N 71°12′40″W / 41.62639°N 71.21111°WCoordinates: 41°37′35″N 71°12′40″W / 41.62639°N 71.21111°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
Incorporated (Massachusetts)June 14, 1694
Annexed by Rhode IslandJanuary 27, 1747
 • Total36.3 sq mi (94.1 km2)
 • Land29.4 sq mi (76.0 km2)
 • Water7.0 sq mi (18.0 km2)
144 ft (44 m)
 • Total15,780
 • Density536.7/sq mi (207.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-70880[1]
GNIS feature ID1220066[2]


Tiverton is located on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, across the Sakonnet River from Aquidneck Island (also known as the Island of Rhode Island). Together with the adjacent town of Little Compton, the area is disconnected from the rest of the state of Rhode Island. The northern portion of the town is located on Mount Hope Bay.

Much of the town is located along a granite ridge which runs in a north–south direction, rising approximately 170 feet in elevation from the bay. A large section of exposed granite can be observed at the highway cut for Route 24, near the Main Road interchange.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Tiverton has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.1 km²), of which 29.4 square miles (76.0 km²) is land and 18.0 km² (7.0 sq mi; 19.16%) is water.

The northern portion of greater Tiverton is also known as North Tiverton, Rhode Island.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201515,780[3]0.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[4][5]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 15,260 people, 6,077 households, and 4,405 families residing in the town. The population density was 519.8 people per square mile (200.7/km²). There were 6,474 housing units at an average density of 220.5 per square mile (85.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.98% White, 0.43% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.68% of the population.

There were 6,077 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. Of all households 23.1% were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.95.

The age distribution of the population of Tiverton was 22.1% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% 65 years older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males aged 18 or more.

The median income for a household in the town was $49,977, and the median income for a family was $58,917. Males had a median income of $41,042 versus $29,217 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,866. About 2.9% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.


Both beaches are located on the Sakonnet River. The cool breeze blows strong throughout the year. The beaches in Tiverton are Fogland Beach, which has lifeguards, and also can be used for fishing, walking, and wildlife/nature observation. It is popular destination for windsurfing and kite-surfing with rentals being available. The town also offers kayaking and paddleboarding programs through a local company.[6]

Grinnell's Beach provides an excellent windsurfing area, and a view of the Sakonnet River and Portsmouth shoreline. Amenities include changing rooms, showers, and a children's playground.[6]



Fort Barton View
View from Fort Barton, Tiverton, R.I.

Tiverton was incorporated by English colonists in 1694 as part of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In 1746, in the final settlement of a long colonial boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Tiverton was annexed to Rhode Island by Royal Decree (together with its fellow towns along the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, Barrington, Bristol and Little Compton, and the town of Cumberland, to the north of Providence). Tiverton was incorporated as a town of Rhode Island in 1747. Until that year, Tiverton also controlled the area of East Freetown, Massachusetts, as an outpost. The boundary settlement of 1746 had put East Freetown in Massachusetts, and in 1747 it was purchased by Freetown.

Men from the Tiverton outpost took part in the Battle of Freetown, on May 25, 1778, during the Revolutionary War. On the 31st of the same month, a party of about 150 British regulars[7] of the 22nd Regiment under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell attacked the town.[8] Rivington's Gazette reported that the British were making a preemptive attack based on intelligence that the American militia at Tiverton was preparing an attack against them.[8] However, another report in the New Hampshire Gazette stated the militia was waiting in prepared defensive positions. The result of this skirmish was two British killed, several more wounded, and some fire damage to the lower mill in Tiverton. None of the militiamen were wounded or killed.[7]

For about three years of that war, December 1776 – October 1779, Rhode Island proper (now known as Aquidneck Island) was occupied by the British. During this time, Tiverton was a refuge for Americans fleeing this occupation, and a mustering place for colonial forces, gathering to drive away the British. (The occupying forces eventually were withdrawn strategically, as General Clinton marshalled his forces for the 1780 British invasion of South Carolina.[9])

In its early days, Tiverton was chiefly a farming community with some fishing and boat construction. Until 1900 the manufacture of menhaden oil, a fish derivative, was one of the primary industrial pursuits. Cotton and woolen mills were established as early as 1811, when Colonel Joseph Durfee established a spinning mill at Cook Pond, in what it now the city of Fall River, Massachusetts.

In 1856, the northern part of the town was set apart from Tiverton, and renamed Fall River, Rhode Island, by the Rhode Island General Assembly.[10] On March 1, 1862, in a case between the states that reached the United States Supreme Court, both Fall Rivers were made part of Massachusetts and the state boundary was placed in its current location near State Avenue.[11]

Mark's Stadium is a former soccer stadium located in North Tiverton, Rhode Island. During the 1920s and early 1930s, it was the home of Fall River Marksmen, one of the era’s most successful soccer teams. It is one of the earliest examples of a soccer-specific stadium in the United States.[12] After the demise of the Marksmen, the stadium was used as a home ground by other local teams, most notably Fall River F.C. and Ponta Delgada S.C..


In July 1997 the National Weather Service (NWS) based in Taunton, Massachusetts established a cooperative weather station in the Stone Bridge Village section of town. Named Tiverton-2SW, this station serves as an official meteorological recording station for the town of Tiverton, RI. Data from Tiverton-2SW is collected by the NWS in Taunton, MA as well as the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

As of 2006, trade establishments are the major employers in the town. Since the mid-20th century, Tiverton has grown as a summer resort and residential area, and as a suburb of Fall River, Massachusetts. During the 1960s, Route 24 was constructed through the northern part of the town, connecting Tiverton with Newport, Rhode Island via the Sakonnet River Bridge.[13]

In 2002, contaminated soil (including some soil that was blue) was discovered in the Bay Street neighborhood of Tiverton.[14] In 2003, private property testing began. Contaminants including arsenic, lead, cyanide, and more were found at levels above residential exposure guidelines. Residents have been prohibited from digging in the soil. ENACT (Environmental Neighborhood Awareness Committee of Tiverton) advocates on behalf of the community.[15] Property values in the neighborhood have plummeted due to the contamination and moratorium on digging soil, which meant that residents of this neighborhood have lost their home equity. One of ENACT's successes has been the passage of legislation in the Rhode Island statehouse to create the Environmentally Contaminated Home Ownership (ECHO) loan program, which provides loans for people whose home equity has been sharply reduced due to contamination.[16] The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has been involved in developing work plans to treat the contamination.[17]

In 2015, the Town was recognized as a Stormready Community by the National Weather Service.

Historic places

Notable people


Tiverton has five public schools: Poccasset Elementary School, Fort Barton Elementary School, Ranger Elementary School, (recently demolished and rebuilt) Tiverton Middle School, and Tiverton High School.[21] The town is its own district and a part of the Newport County district.


Tiverton (Rhode Island) Public Library
Tiverton Public Library, opened June 2015.

The Tiverton Public Library was chartered by the state in 1927.[22] The library was housed in several locations around town over the years.[22]

In June 2015 a new 24,000 square foot building was opened, incorporating a meeting hall, teen room, cafe, children's library, and public courtyard spaces.[23] The new building, designed by Union Studio architects, features a clock tower and gabled ends.[24] The new library received an AIA Rhode Island Design Award for Merit in 2018.[24]

There are many local businesses in the town of Tiverton, Rhode Island including Four Corners Grill, Ferolbink Farms, Nanaquaket Yoga Studio, and Evelyn's Nanaquaket Drive-In. [25]

See also

  • Flag of Rhode Island.svg Rhode Island portal


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Snow, Edwin M. (1867). Report upon the Census of Rhode Island 1865. Providence, RI: Providence Press Company.
  6. ^ a b "Tiverton Home". ri.gov. Archived from the original on May 30, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Attempt to Burn Tiverton". New Hampshire Gazette. June 16, 1778. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Attempt to Burn Tiverton". Rivington's Gazette. June 6, 1778. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  9. ^ McEvedy, p.62
  10. ^ "Fall River, Rhode Island". mac.com. Archived from the original on July 28, 2008.
  11. ^ "Ambrose F. Keeley Library the Information Center of B.M.C. Durfee High School: History of Fall River, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Boundary question" (PDF). www.sailsinc.org.
  12. ^ David Wangerin , Soccer in a Football World – The Story of America’s Forgotten Game, 2006
  13. ^ "Infrastructure". www.haleyaldrich.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008.
  14. ^ "RIDEM - Bay Street Tiverton Study Area". www.dem.ri.gov.
  15. ^ ENACT, www.enactri.org
  16. ^ http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/under_the_elms/civil_actions.htmlSchwartzapfel, Beth. "Civil Actions", Brown Alumni Magazine, Nov/Dec 2007
  17. ^ Oct 4, 2005 ENACT presentation to Tiverton residents.
  18. ^ Chace-Cory House, Tiverton Historical Society.
  19. ^ Adolphus Washington Greely, Explorers and Travellers (C. Scribner's Sons: 1904), p. 88.
  20. ^ James L. Yarnall, Newport Through Its Architecture: A History of Styles from Postmedieval to Postmodern (University Press of New England: 2005), p. 30.
  21. ^ "Home - Tiverton School District". www.tivertonschools.org.
  22. ^ a b "History of the Tiverton Libraries". Tiverton Public Library. Tiverton Public Library. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  23. ^ "Tiverton Library, Tiverton, RI". Union Studio architects. Union Studio architects. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "Tiverton Public Library". AIA Rhode Island. AIA Rhode Island. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  25. ^ "US Business Info". Browsing Tiverton, RI Businesses. US Business. Retrieved May 16, 2019.

Further reading

External links

Benjamin Howland

Benjamin Howland (July 27, 1755 – May 1, 1821) was a United States Senator from Rhode Island. Born in Tiverton, he attended the common schools, engaged in agricultural pursuits, was collector of taxes in 1801, town auditor in 1802, and town moderator in 1805. He was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 1810 and a general in the State militia during the War of 1812.

Howland was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel J. Potter and served from October 29, 1804, until March 4, 1809. He died in Tiverton in 1821; interment was in the family lot on his estate.

Bourne Mill

Bourne Mill is an historic textile mill on the border between Tiverton, Rhode Island and Fall River, Massachusetts.

The various buildings in the cotton mill complex were completed from 1881 to 1951 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The Bourne corporation had a unique profit sharing arrangement based upon Jonathan Bourne's experience in the whaling industry. The company treasurer, George A. Chace, designed the original mill building.

Although only a very small part of the property is located in Fall River, Massachusetts the complex is generally grouped and referenced with the mills of that city.

After lying dormant for decades, the Bourne Mill was converted into 166 apartments, which were completed in early 2009. In September 2009, an arsonist set fire to the former detached picker house near the main mill, which had also been scheduled to be redeveloped.

Cook–Bateman Farm

The Cook–Bateman Farm is a colonial farm at the corner of Fogland and Puncatest Neck Roads in Tiverton, Rhode Island. The oldest portion of the main farmhouse dates to c. 1730-48, was enlarged in c. 1812-20, and altered to give it then-fashionable Second Empire styling c. 1870. The farmhouse stands on 63 acres (25 ha) of rolling farmland, and is accompanied by a gambrel-roofed barn (late 19th or early 20th century) and a number of other smaller outbuildings. The property, which has evidence of Native American occupation, was developed by John Cook in the 18th century, and remained in the hands of just two families for more than 200 years.The farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Fall River Marksmen

Fall River Marksmen was an American soccer club, based in Fall River, Massachusetts. They originally played as Fall River United before becoming known as the Marksmen after their owner, Sam Mark. During the 1920s and early 1930s they were one of the most successful soccer clubs in the United States, winning the American Soccer League on six occasions. They also won the National Challenge Cup four times. In 1924 they won the first ASL / Challenge Cup double and were subsequently the American soccer champions three times in succession. Between 1928 and 1930 they won a further three titles in a row. In 1930 they completed a treble, winning the ASL title, the Challenge Cup and the Lewis Cup. The same year they also toured Central Europe.

The Marksmen played their home games at Mark's Stadium, one of the earliest examples of a soccer-specific stadium in the United States. In 1931 the franchise relocated and merged twice. They first moved to New York, where they merged with New York Soccer Club and became the New York Yankees. They actually won their fourth National Challenge Cup after they became the Yankees, but due to complications following the merger it was credited to the Marksmen. The Yankees later moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts where they merged with Fall River F.C. to become the New Bedford Whalers.

Fort Barton Site

The Fort Barton Site is the site of an historic American Revolutionary War fort, now located in a public park at Lawton and Highland Avenues in Tiverton, Rhode Island. All that remains of the fort are its earthworks, a roughly oblong structure about 150 feet (46 m) long and 100 feet (30 m) deep. The site was a defensive post overlooking the main ferry crossing between Tiverton and Aquidneck Island, which was under British control at the time of its construction in 1777. The ferry was used as a launching position for American forces during the Battle of Rhode Island in August 1778. The site was named after Lt. Col. William Barton who successfully captured the British General Prescott during a midnight raid on the British headquarters at Prescott Farm in what is now Portsmouth.Fort Barton was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

John Edwards (Rhode Island politician)

John 'Jay' Gustav Edwards IV (born April 7, 1958 in Newport, Rhode Island) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives representing District 70 since January 2009. On March 25, 2014, Rep. Edwards was elected House Majority Whip by the House Democratic Caucus when Rep. Nicholas Mattiello became Speaker. Prior to that he had served as the Senior Deputy Majority Leader under Speaker Gordon Fox. Edwards serves on the House Labor, House Oversight, House Judiciary and House Small Business Committees. In September 2014, Edwards became a CSG Henry Toll Fellow.

John J. Loughlin Jr.

John J. Loughlin Jr. (born March 3, 1959) is an American politician who is a Republican member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing the 71st District from 2005 to 2010. During the 2009-2010 sessions he served on the House Committees on Labor and Veterans Affairs, and he also served as minority whip. In June, 2010 he announced that he would not run for another term and that he would be running for U.S. Congress in the First Congressional seat being vacated by Patrick J. Kennedy. He lost in the 2010 General elections to outgoing Providence Mayor David Cicilline.

Joseph Hicks House

The Joseph Hicks House is a historic house at 494 Main Rd in Tiverton, Rhode Island. The house is a two-story wood frame structure, which was originally built with brick side walls, and became known locally as "the Brick House". These walls were covered over by clapboarding as part of a series of alterations in 1893, which did not otherwise significant obscure the building's modest Federal characteristics. The main facade is five bays wide, with a hip roof that has eaves deeper than normally found on Federal houses. The Hicks family, which owned it for many years, was one of the first to settle in the Tiverton area.The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Mark's Stadium

Mark's Stadium is a former soccer stadium located in North Tiverton, Rhode Island. During the 1920s and early 1930s it was the home of Fall River Marksmen, one of the era’s most successful soccer teams. It is one of the earliest examples of a soccer-specific stadium in the United States. After the demise of the Marksmen, the stadium was used as a home ground by other local teams, most notably Fall River F.C. and Ponta Delgada S.C..

Mika Seeger

Mika Seeger is an American ceramic artist. Although not primarily a musical artist, she did record a definitive version of "Great Green Gobs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts". She is the daughter of filmmaker Toshi Seeger and Pete Seeger, a legendary American folk musician.

Nathan B. Durfee

Nathaniel Briggs Durfee (September 29, 1812 – November 9, 1872) was a U.S. Representative from Rhode Island.

Born in Tiverton, Rhode Island, Durfee completed preparatory studies.

He engaged in agricultural pursuits and conducted a fruit orchard.

He served as member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives for eleven years.

Durfee was elected as a candidate of the American Party to the Thirty-fourth Congress and as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1859).

He resumed his former pursuits.

He was serving as county clerk at the time of his death in Tiverton, Rhode Island, on November 9, 1872.

He was interred in the family burial ground near Tiverton, Rhode Island.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Tiverton, Rhode Island

This is a list of Registered Historic Places in Tiverton, Rhode Island, which has been transferred from and is an integral part of National Register of Historic Places listings in Newport County, Rhode Island.

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

Osborn–Bennett Historic District

The Osborn–Bennett Historic District is a residential historic district in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

The district was formed around Main Road which was laid out in 1683 by the first English settlers in the area. The Osborn family settled there in the 18th century and distinguished themselves as businessmen and attorneys. The Osborn family cemetery is within the district as well as several Italianate houses. The district extends along Main Road north of its junction with Rhode Island Route 24, and includes three houses on the west side of the road (1188, 1168, and 1148) and one on the east side (1137). The oldest house is the Thomas Osborn House (1168), built c. 1790.The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Peleg Tallman

Peleg Tallman (July 24, 1764 – March 12, 1840) was a United States Representative from Massachusetts. He was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island and attended public schools. He served in the Revolutionary War on the privateer Trumbull, and lost an arm in an engagement in 1780. He was captured and imprisoned by the British. After the War, he engaged in mercantile pursuits in Bath, Maine (until 1820 a district of Massachusetts).

He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Twelfth Congress (March 4, 1811 – March 3, 1813). He declined to be a candidate for renomination, and became an overseer of Bowdoin College 1802-1840. Tallman served as a member of the Maine State Senate, and died in Bath. His interment was in Maple Grove Cemetery, and was reinterred in Forest Hills Cemetery, Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Quaket River

The Quaket River is a tidal inlet, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows approximately 1 km (.6 mi) from the mouth of Nannaquaket Pond into the Sakonnet River. It is located entirely within the town of Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Route 77

Route 77 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It runs approximately 14 miles (23 km) from Rhode Island Road in Little Compton to Route 24 in Tiverton.

Sakonnet River Bridge

The Sakonnet River Bridge is a four-lane bridge spanning the Sakonnet River in eastern Rhode Island. The bridge carries RI 24 and RI 138 between the communities of Portsmouth and Tiverton, Rhode Island. The current bridge is a box girder bridge that opened in 2012 at a cost of $120 million (USD). The previous bridge was a truss bridge that was built in 1956 and demolished in 2012 due to structural deficiencies. The truss bridge had previously served as a replacement for the Stone Bridge, about 0.8 mi (1.3 km) to the south.

It became part of RI 24 during the 1960s after the completion of the Portsmouth and Tiverton Expressways. At one point, it was briefly considered for inclusion as part of the never-built Interstate 895.

Tiverton (CDP), Rhode Island

Tiverton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The CDP encompasses the town center of Tiverton and the adjacent village of North Tiverton. The population of the CDP was 7,282 at the 2000 census.

Tiverton Four Corners Historic District

Tiverton Four Corners is a historic district encompassing the main village center of Tiverton, Rhode Island. The district extends along Main Road north and south from its junction with East and West Roads. The 50-acre (20 ha) area includes a number of predominantly 18th and early 19th-century houses, as well as the 1868 Union Public Library and mill-related resources at the Mill Pond which lies just southeast of the main intersection. The area was among the first to be laid out by English settlers in the late 17th century.The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

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

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