#AtoZ Stay Home! Wear a Mask! “X” is for PAWTUXET VILLAGE


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.

Of course I got creative with my “X” post. (Just so you know, I bent the rules a little with “Z,” too).

Pawtuxet Village, one of my favorite spots in Rhode Island, is where the Pawtuxet River flows into Narragansett Bay. In the Native Narragansett language, ‘Pawtuxet’ means ‘little falls.’

Photo by Martha Reynolds

Settlers in the early 18th century saw the advantage of using the Pawtuxet River’s power, and constructed mills along its banks. The harbor in the village became one of America’s premier shipping ports.

There are still many colonial houses and buildings in the village, thanks to the hard work of the Pawtuxet Village Historic District.

Photo by Martha Reynolds

In 1772, Rhode Islanders took the first organized military action towards independence by burning the British schooner HSM Gaspee. The action was part of the beginning of the American Revolution. Each year in June, “Gaspee Days” are celebrated in the village, with a parade and a symbolic burning of the Gaspee.

Photo by Martha Reynolds

In the late 1800s, one of Rhode Island’s well-known and wealthy families, the Rhodes, developed and built Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, a famous dance hall and casino. Because of its location along the banks of the Pawtuxet River, there were also canoe trips offered. These days, it’s a popular venue for weddings, retirement parties, and the annual Book Expo of the Association of Rhode Island Authors.