North Smithfield, Rhode Island

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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 10,618 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.7 square miles (64.1 km²), of which, 24.0 square miles (62.3 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²) of it (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.

History

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, (or Quashawannamut) "of Punkkupage" of Massachusetts Bay on May 14, 1666, 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.

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