Washington County, Rhode Island is a region located in the southern part of the state. The county has a rich history, dating back to its founding in the 1600s. Here are seven interesting facts about Washington County's history.
1. Narragansett People
Before the arrival of European settlers, the Narragansett people inhabited what is now Washington County. The tribe was a powerful force in the region, with a population exceeding 30,000 at its height in the 1600s. Today, their descendants still reside in the area, and the Narragansett Indian Reservation is located within the county.
2. The Battle of Great Swamp
The Battle of Great Swamp took place in Washington County during King Philip's War in 1675. The battle was fought between the Narragansett people and a combined force of English soldiers and their Native American allies. It resulted in the death of over 300 Narragansett, including women and children.
3. South County Hospital
The South County Hospital in Washington County was originally established in 1919 as the Peacedale Hospital. It has since expanded and now serves as the primary healthcare facility for the region.
4. Block Island
Block Island is a popular tourist destination located off the coast of Washington County. The island has a rich history, including being used as a lookout for British ships during the Revolutionary War.
5. Ocean State Job Lot
Ocean State Job Lot, a popular discount store chain, was founded in North Kingstown, which is located in Washington County. The first store was opened in 1977, and the chain now has over 140 locations throughout New England and the Northeast.
6. Naval Air Station Quonset Point
The Naval Air Station Quonset Point, located in North Kingstown, was in operation from 1941-1974. During World War II, it was a key training and supply center for the US military, and also served as a Strategic Air Command base during the Cold War.
7. South County tourism
South County in Washington County is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches and picturesque small towns. In addition to traditional beach activities, the area offers hiking, bike trails, and a variety of water sports. In recent years, it has become a popular destination for weddings and other special events.
In conclusion, Washington County has a rich and varied history, spanning from its Native American origins to its modern-day status as a popular tourist destination. Its contributions to Rhode Island and to the nation as a whole are significant and worth exploring further.
Listen On: Spotify | Apple | Google