It seemed appropriate this year to feature a theme that kept me close to home, so I give you my A to Z within the small acreage that is Rhode Island. I tried to be creative (you’ll see!) but I hope you learn something about Little Rhody, too. Whether you’ve lived here all your life, grew up within the boundaries, or have never set foot on one of our many beaches, come along for a virtual tour.
Kickemuit (sometimes spelled Kickamuit) (Kick-uh-MEW-et) is a Native word meaning ‘back river.’ The Kickemuit River, located in the north part of the town of Warren, flows nearly eight miles between Massachusetts and Rhode Island. During the Revolutionary War, the river was a major route, and supplies were transported on the river daily. By the 1800s, oyster beds were plentiful, and a major source of revenue, until pollution from the nearby Parker Mills, and general sewage, killed most of the oysters by 1920. Whatever was left of the oyster industry ended with the Hurricane of ’38.
The source of the Kickemuit River is in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, which sits right on the border of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. From Rehoboth, the river flows south to Swansea (also in Massachusetts) and into the Warren (RI) reservoir. From the reservoir, the river continues its journey, mostly southwest, until it lands in the Mount Hope Bay. The Kickemuit Reservoir dam forms the boundary between salt water and fresh water.