"Providence, Rhode island" Top 5 Page for this destination Providence by Geoff_Wright

Providence Travel Guide: 290 reviews and 499 photos

Providence, with a population (in 2000) of some 174,000, is the State Capital of Rhode Island. It is a sea port at the head of Providence Bay, founded by Roger Williams in 1636, and incorporated as a city in 1832. It is a port of entry and a major trading centre. The bay forms an excellent harbour from which oil and coal are shipped.

Providence is widely known as a silverware and jewelry manufacturing centre. Textiles, michinery, metal products, electronic equipment, rubber goods, and machine tools are also made, and there are printing and publishing enterprises.

Roger Williams chose this site in 1636 after he was exiled from the colony of Massachusetts. He secured title to the land from Narragansett Indian chiefs and named the place in gratitude for "God's merciful providence." The settlement grew as a refuge for religous dissenters. Prosperity came in the 18th Century, with foreign commerce, especially trade in slaves and rum, and after the Revolution industrial development was rapid. The Brown brothers, John, Nicholas, and Moses, played leading roles in the growth of the town, prospering in foreign trade and fostering the textile and other industries. The city became sole capital of the state in 1900 (Newport had been joint capital until then).

Providence is the seat of the noted Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, Providence College, and other schools. It has several fine libraries, including the John Carter Brown Library of Brown University, and the Atheneum (1753), one of the oldest libraries in the United States. Among the city's many historic structures are the old statehouse (where the general assembly met 1762-1900; now a courthouse), the old market building (1773), and the First Baptist Meetinghouse (1775); the congregation was organised in 1638). On Prospect Terrace is Leo Friedlander's heroic statue of Roger Willaims (1939). Another memorial to the founder is in Roger Willaims Park, which contains a museum of natural history and a natural amphitheatre.

%Our visit to the city of Providence coincided with the first rain during the daytime, throughout our visit to the Northeast States. It rained quite heavily during the morning, but by early afternoon had eased, and therefore did not dampen the evening's forthcoming Water Fire Festival. See the tips.

  • Last visit to Providence: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated Jan 11, 2004
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Reviews (13)

Comments (4)

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2008 at 3:28 AM

    Glad to see that you enjoyed your trip to Providence. I have driven through, but I have never stopped to explore. I hope to do so sometime.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2004 at 7:30 AM

    Enjoyed your page ... and your visit to our little state. BTW that pic is the Senate Chamber of the State House. We have a State Senate and House of Representatives. Chambers on either side at the top of the stairs in the Rotunda.

  • safardreams's Profile Photo
    Dec 25, 2003 at 4:16 AM

    Hi Geoff my good friend! It's funny, I live 10mins away from there. You have more than I do on PROVIDENCE. I just have RW PARK. Oh well, glad you liked it. Talk soon, David

  • paulapes's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2003 at 5:08 AM

    It's looking good Geoff! I like the pic from the Mall and look forward to seeing more ;-)


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