Little Compton, Rhode Island

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Little Compton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. Its population was 3,593 at the time of the 2000 census.[1] Little Compton is located in southeastern Rhode Island, between the Sakonnet River and the Massachusetts state border. It is the birthplace of the Rhode Island Red hen.



The first European settlers in Little Comptolate 17th-century conflicts with surrounding Native American tribes, notably the Narragansetts and Wampanoags. In 1675, Church built his homestead in Little Compton, just prior to King Philip's War. Today, a plaque on the side of West Main Road gives the location of his original homestead.

In 1682, Sakonnet was incorporated by the Plymouth Colony and renamed Little Compton. This is possibly a reference to Little Compton in Warwickshire, England. However, there is no direct evidence to substantiate this relationship. By 1747, Little Compton secured its own royal decree and was annexed to Newport County as a part of Rhode Island along with Tiverton and Bristol. Because Little Compton was once part of the Plymouth colony, all probate and land records prior to 1746 can be found in Taunton and New Bedford.

Sites of historic interest in Little Compton include the Wilbor House, built in 1692 by Samuel Wilbor, now the home of the Little Compton Historical Society [1]. The entire town commons is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are about 57 historic cemeteries in the town. Colonel Benjamin Church and his family are buried in the Little Compton Commons cemetery, as is Elizabeth Pabodie, the eldest daughter of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame. The stones in the cemetery reflect a style of carving similar to that found both in Newport and in Boston during the same time period.

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