Barrington, Rhode Island
Aerial view of Barrington in 2008
|Incorporation (Massachusetts)||November 18, 1717|
|Annexed to Warren||January 27, 1747|
|Incorporation (Rhode Island)||June 16, 1770|
|• Town Council||Robert Humm (D)|
Jacob Brier (D)
Michael W. Carroll (D)
Annelise Conway (D)
Carl Kustell (D)
|• Town Moderator||Julia P. Califano (D)|
|• Total||15.4 sq mi (39.9 km2)|
|• Land||8.4 sq mi (21.8 km2)|
|• Water||7.0 sq mi (18.1 km2)|
|Elevation||50ft at Prince's hill ft (2 m)|
|• Density||1,941.7/sq mi (748.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1220084|
|Website||Town of Barrington Official Web Site|
Barrington is a suburban, residential town in Bristol County, Rhode Island located approximately 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Providence. It was founded by Congregationalist separatists from Swansea, Massachusetts and incorporated in 1717.
Barrington was ceded to Rhode Island and merged into Warren in 1747, though it was later made into a separate town by the Rhode Island legislature. It was a sparsely developed, agricultural community until the arrival of brickmaking companies in the 1850s, which employed large numbers of French-Canadians and Italians. The construction of a railroad to Providence in 1855 further contributed to suburban development, attracting residents of neighboring urban areas and contributing to the development of manufacturing industries. The post-World War II baby boom increased suburbanization trends, resulting in a large population increase.
Schools were constructed throughout the 1950s to accommodate this population. Three Barrington schools are National Blue Ribbon Schools, and its high school was ranked No. 189 in the United States by Newsweek in 2019. Money noted the appeal of Barrington's high test scores and relative affordability, naming it one of the best places to live in the United States.
Historical sites provide examples of architectural and suburban development during various stages of the town's history, including the Allen-West House, Barrington Civic Center Historic District, and O'Bannon Mill. Nine sites in Barrington are listed under the National Register of Historic Places.
As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 16,310.
The land that comprises Barrington was originally occupied by the Wampanoags whose territory spread from Narragansett Bay through Cape Cod. 54 Epidemics largely eliminated their coastal settlements, however, and their main settlement was roughly Bristol, Barrington, and Warren, Rhode Island :5 at the time of the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620. The Narragansetts called the area Sowams. :104 :5 In 1653, investors from Plymouth Colony bought "Sowams and Parts Adjacent" from the Wampanoags, corresponding to Barrington and portions of Bristol, Warren, and Swansea, Massachusetts. :43 :6 Some areas in Barrington draw their name from the initial proprietors of this land, such as Prince's Hill named for Thomas Prince. :1:
Religious differences between settlers of Sowams and the neighboring Wannamoissett and Rehoboth prompted the incorporation of Swansea in 1667. Plymouth created Bristol County in 1685 to improve administration of western lands, which was followed by a merger of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies orchestrated by the British government. 6 Baptist residents petitioned for separation from Swansea in 1711, and Barrington was incorporated as an independent town in 1717. Barrington likely received its name from Barrington, Somerset, the origin of several settlers. Barrington was ceded to Rhode Island in 1747 and made a part of Warren. In 1770, the Rhode Island legislature separated Barrington into a separate town.:
Agriculture provided the basis for the town's economy in the early decades. Farmers typically cultivated grains, especially corn, rye, oats, and barley. Many farmers planted fruit trees and some developed large orchards, as apple cider was an important commodity for trade. Farming significantly affected the town landscape, separating large grassland fields with fencing and stone walls. 12:
Religion continued to influence Barrington politics. The new Congregational Society was formally declared the town's religion, following Massachusetts custom. Taxes supported the Congregational minister until 1797, and he was employed by the town meeting. 12 Baptists and other religious groups were given the option of supporting their own meetings in 1728. In 1737, discussions about relocating the Congregational church proved divisive between the southern and northern portions of Barrington. The southern area was the historical center of town where the Congregational church and original Sowams settlers had been. However, rapid increases in population shifted influence northward, where abundant marshland and fertile soil allowed farmers to establish large, successful farms. Ultimately, the church relocated to the north, using a lot provided by Joshua Bicknell along County Road. :13 The north continued to develop due to a combination of commercial establishments (mainly taverns and inns) and farmhouses near the relocated church. :14:
In 1847, Nathaniel Potter founded Nayatt Brick Company which used the extensive clay deposits in Brickyard Pond. The company was reincorporated as the Narragansett Brick Company in 1864, and the New England Steam Brick Corporation was founded in 1890 as a competitor. 20 Brick production resulted in road-building, visits from seafaring vessels, and other such economic activity. The original employees of these companies were mainly of French-Canadian descent, but Italians immigrated to the United States as a result of economic depression in the 1880s. A few hundred came to Barrington and worked at the brickyard, and their descendants make up a significant portion of the town population. Barrington's population grew from 850 in 1850 to 3,697 in 1920, mirroring overall trends in Rhode Island. Clay deposits began to deplete in 1900, and brickmaking operations ceased by 1930. :20:
The construction of a railroad between Bristol and Providence in 1855 allowed residents to commute to Providence, resulting in an increasingly suburban atmosphere. 3 The railroad led to the creation of several manufacturing industries in West Barrington, such as O'Bannon Mill and Rhode Island Laceworks (which provided commercial firefighting services for the town). New public facilities were also constructed during this period, such as a high school, town hall, and library. Developments catered to wealthy residents of urban areas who came to Barrington in the summer for its location near the shore, such as the Barrington Yacht Club and Rhode Island Country Club.:
Manufacturing establishments continued to operate in West Barrington throughout the 20th century. Throughout the 1930s, the Neweth Rubber Company produced retread tires, but its building burned down in the 1940s and was not rebuilt. Rhode Island Laceworks continued to operate until 1990, when its owners deemed profits insufficient. The 1938 New England hurricane caused considerable damage to homes along the shoreline and pleasure craft, and railroad service was discontinued shortly afterwards. 3:
Trends continued towards suburbanization, spurred by the availability of the automobile and the later post–World War II baby boom. 22 Barrington Shopping Center was constructed in 1948 and included a supermarket, pharmacy, and bank; two smaller shopping centers were constructed afterwards. Six schools comprise the modern education system of Barrington, constructed throughout the 1950s. Town services grew with the establishment of a police force in 1934 and a fire department in 1953. Rapid population growth lead the town to adopt a council-manager charter in 1960. New churches also opened, accommodating Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian citizens. In the 1980s, the East Bay Bike Path was constructed along the former railroad lines connecting Providence to Bristol. :3 In the 1990s, a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was brought against the town for its Christmas display, which featured a crèche. The town removed the display, and an individual placed a privately owned scene on the road neighboring the town hall. Similarly, a lawsuit filed in 1996 by the ACLU regarding the town's decision to plow church parking lots for free was not contested. Barrington was the sole "dry" town in Rhode Island until 2011, when the town council approved two liquor stores.Commercial establishments on County Road further reduced the need for outside travel, and significantly altered the existing town landscape. :
|Note: Figure for 2015 is estimated.|
|Two or more races||1.5%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0.1%|
As of the 2010 United States Census, Barrington had a population of 16,310. It is a predominantly white community at 94.7 percent of residents. There were 6,011 households; 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.7% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. Of all households, 18.8% were made up of individuals, and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.14. The population was spread out, with 28.2% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
According to 2017 United States Census estimates, the median income for a household in the town was $117,408,and the median income for a family was $139,591. Males had a median income of $93,125 versus $76,534 for females. The per capita income for the town was $59,515. About 1.7% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over. Barrington's $117,408 median household income ranks it as the wealthiest town in the state.
|2020||26.67% 2,889||71.21%7,713||2.12% 230|
|2016||29.70% 2,898||63.06%6,153||7.25% 707|
|2012||40.14% 3,836||58.15%5,557||1.71% 163|
|2008||37.11% 3,666||61.50%6,075||1.39% 137|
|2004||42.40% 4,020||55.80%5,291||1.80% 171|
|2000||42.60% 3,864||50.55%4,585||6.86% 622|
|1996||42.05% 3,518||48.12%4,026||9.83% 822|
|1992||40.22% 3,846||41.50%3,968||18.28% 1,748|
|1988||55.77%4,968||43.88% 3,909||0.35% 31|
Barrington is a part of the 32nd District in the Rhode Island Senate and is currently represented by Democrat Cynthia Armour Coyne. The town is included in Rhode Island's 1st congressional district at the federal level and is presently represented by Democrat David Cicilline. It is a Democratic stronghold in presidential elections, as the majority of residents have not voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988, when the majority of local voters backed George H.W. Bush.
During the 2016 Republican presidential preference primaries, Barrington was the only town in Rhode Island to be won by former Governor John Kasich of Ohio. He received 700 votes (44.87%) ahead of Donald J. Trump who got 687 votes (44.04%).
The town is run by a town council.
Barrington Public Schools consists of four elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.Barrington High School, Barrington Middle School, and Nayatt Elementary are National Blue Ribbon Schools, and the high school was ranked number 189 in the United States in a 2019 analysis by Newsweek. Money Magazine praised the Barrington school system in 2005, naming it as the sixth best place to live in the United States.
Private schools in Barrington include Barrington Christian Academy,St. Luke's, and St. Andrew's School. Two Christian colleges occupied the Belton Court estate throughout the 20th and early 21st century. Barrington College was founded in 1900 and merged with Gordon College in 1985.
The town of Barrington established a library in 1806 when the pastor of the Barrington Congregational Church served as a librarian to the Barrington Library Society. After 20 years of the members paying a $1 fee, the town of Barrington decided to help build up the library, stating in 1880 the library grew with books, and materials. In 1984 the library changed locations to next door, where it is currently still resident. Since then, the library has added a children's room, space for meetings, and renovations to keep up with technology and patrons' needs.
Nine residential and commercial developments from the town's early suburbanization are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a record of important historical sites in American history. 49:
The Allen-West House, among the oldest houses in Barrington, stands on grounds farmed from the 17th to 20th century. A rare, well-preserved example of a vernacular house plan, it serves as an example of architecture from Barrington's agricultural era.Alfred Drowne Road Historic District and Jennys Lane Historic District are historical subdivisions that developed during the late 1800s and early 1900s, having attracted residents from neighboring urban communities. Rhode Island Country Club was constructed by Donald Ross in 1911, and since 1999 hosts the CVS Charity Classic annually.
The Barrington Civic Center Historic District in central Barrington includes Prince's Hill Cemetery, Barrington Town Hall, and the Leander R. Peck School, the last now housing the library and town senior center. Barrington Town Hall, described by the architects as "medieval", was originally used as the town's seat of government, library, and school; with the construction of Leander R. Peck School in 1917, the school moved and the library took its space. The T-shaped Elizabethan-Revival Peck School, which features a stairway to access its main entrance, was repurposed as the Barrington Public Library in the 1970s.
Nayatt Point Lighthouse, adjoined with its corresponding dwelling, served to guide vessels along the Providence River, marking the narrow passage between Nayatt and Conimicut Point.St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, founded by an Episcopal mission in the 1880s, mixes both Queen Anne and Gothic Revival-style architecture. Belton Court, built for Frederick Peck, a businessman and Rhode Island politician, was the site of two colleges before being auctioned to a Massachusetts investor who intends to repurpose it as elderly housing. O'Bannon Mill, among the first mills to mass-produce imitation leather, went through three purchasers before being converted into elderly apartment housing in the 1990s.
Barrington is located on the eastern side of Narragansett Bay, in Bristol County, Rhode Island, the third smallest county in the United States. 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Providence, it consists of two peninsulas divided by the Barrington and Warren rivers. The shoreline of the western peninsula, Phebe's Neck or Popanomscut, is marked by many coves and indentations, making a sharp bend at Nayatt Point. Rumstick Neck, located around one and a half miles east of Nayatt, forms the southern end of Phebe's Neck. To the northeast of Phebe's Neck lies the second peninsula, New Meadow Neck, which is bordered by Hundred Acre Cove and the Palmer River. :1 According to the United States Census Bureau, Barrington has a total area of 15.4 square miles (40 km2), being composed of 8.2 square miles (21 km2) land and 7.2 square miles (19 km2) water.Situated
Barrington lies on a low, mostly flat plain bordering the sea. This plain, composed mostly of layers of clay, gravel, sand, and silt soils, was formed by a melting glacier towards the end of the last ice age. 2–5 :1 Bedrock underlying the soil is largely composed of shales, sandstone, and conglomerate rock, with some outcrops of quartz. A few extremes in elevation, such as Nayatt Point, Primrose and Prince's Hill, rise to heights of fifty feet. :1:
Freshwater bodies in Barrington include artificial ponds originally used for brickmaking and some minor streams. Clay deposited by the glacier near Brickyard Pond are exposed to tidewater at Mouscochuck Creek, which was used as a canal for brickmaking operations. Two other artificial ponds, Echo Lake and Volpe Pond, exist along this area; a third, Prince's Pond, drains into the Barrington River in the northeast. 1–2:
Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and the seventh-least populous, but it is also the second-most densely populated behind New Jersey. The state takes its name from Rhode Island; however, most of the state is on the mainland. The state has land borders with Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. It also shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is the state capital and most populous city in Rhode Island.
Bristol County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 548,285. The county seat is Taunton. Some governmental functions are performed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, others by the county, and others by local towns and cities. See administrative divisions of Massachusetts. The property deed records are kept in Taunton, Attleboro, Fall River, and New Bedford.
Bristol County is a county located in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,875, making it the least populous county in Rhode Island. In terms of land area, it is the third-smallest county in the United States, at only 25 square miles (65 km2). The county was created in 1747 when it was separated from Bristol County, Massachusetts. Bristol County is included in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn constitutes a portion of the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.
Warren is a town in Bristol County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 10,611 at the 2010 census.
Little Compton is a coastal town in Newport County, Rhode Island, bounded on the south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by the Sakonnet River, on the north by the town of Tiverton, and on the east by the town of Westport, Massachusetts.
Cranston, once known as Pawtuxet, is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The official population of the city is 80,559, making it the second largest in the state. The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Cranston. Cranston is a part of the Providence metropolitan area.
Lincoln is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 21,105 at the 2010 census. Lincoln is located in northeastern Rhode Island, north of Providence. Lincoln is part of the Providence metropolitan statistical area and the Greater Boston combined statistical area.
Exeter is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States. Exeter extends east from the Connecticut border to the town of North Kingstown. It is bordered to the north by West Greenwich and East Greenwich, and to the south by Hopkinton, Richmond, and South Kingstown. Exeter's postal code is 02822, although small parts of the town have the mailing address West Kingston (02892) or Saunderstown (02874). The population was 6,425 at the 2010 census.
Bristol is a town in Bristol County, Rhode Island, as well as the historic county seat. The town is built on the traditional territories of the Pokanoket Wampanoag. It is a deep-water seaport named after Bristol, England.
Tiverton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 15,780 at the 2010 census.
Thomas Williams Bicknell was an American educator, historian, and author.
Barrington High School is a public high school located in Barrington, a town in Bristol County, Rhode Island. Barrington High School is the singular high school of the Barrington Public Schools district, enrolling 1028 students in grades 9-12. Barrington High School's school colors are blue and gold, and its mascot is the Eagle.
The Providence River is a tidal river in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It flows approximately 8 miles (13 km). There are no dams along the river's length, although the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier is located south of downtown to protect the city of Providence from damaging tidal floods.
The Alfred Drowne Road Historic District of Barrington, Rhode Island, encompasses a suburban area developed between about 1860 and 1910, a period of significant suburban growth in Barrington spurred by the connection of the town by rail to Providence in 1855. This 27-acre (11 ha) residential area was before that time farmland owned by Alfred Drown, whose c. 1830 farmhouse still stands at 13 Alfred Drowne Road. The house of his son Benjamin, built c. 1856, is at number 27. The district includes properties along Alfred Drowne Road, as well as a few properties on Washington Street and Annawamscutt Road which are immediately adjacent.
Barrington Civic Center Historic District is a historic district in Barrington, Rhode Island on County Road. The district, which consists of the Barrington Town Hall, Leander R. Peck School and Prince's Hill Cemetery, is located on Prince's Hill near the center of Barrington. In 1728, Prince's Hill Cemetery was purchased and later expanded to its present size by 1898. The 1+1⁄2-story Barrington Town Hall was completed in 1888 and originally served as the seat of the town's government, library and high school. With the completion of the Leander R. Peck School in 1917, the high school moved into the adjacent building and the library used its space. The two-story Elizabethan Revival style Peck School is designed with a T-shaped plan and features a stairway to access the main entrance on the second story. The Peck School was later used by the fifth and sixth-grade elementary students before becoming the public library. Also located within the district is Wood's Pond. The Barrington Civic Center Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and serves as a historically significant example of civic and natural environment planning of the late nineteenth century.
Nayatt Point Light is a historic lighthouse in Barrington, Rhode Island.
The Benjamin Aborn Jackson House is an historic house at 115 Nayatt Road in Barrington, Rhode Island. The 2-1/2 story brick house was designed by Norman Isham and completed in 1913 for Benjamin Aborn Jackson, a Rhode Island banking and railroad executive. The house is a rare survivor of the development of Nayatt Point as a resort area. The L-shaped building is set well back from Nayatt Road, and is not far from the Nayatt Point Light.
William Greene Sr. was a governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He was a clerk of the county court in Providence, deputy from Warwick, speaker of the Rhode Island Assembly, and then deputy governor from 1740 to 1743. He became governor for the first time in 1743 and served four separate terms for a total of 11 years, and died while in office during his final term.
Barrington Public Schools is a public primary and secondary education school district located in Barrington, a suburban town located in Bristol County, Rhode Island. It consists of four elementary schools, and a single middle school and high school.
Clarke & Howe was an American architectural firm from Providence, Rhode Island that was active from 1893 to 1928.
He had never been a good student, failing most of his classes at the public school in Barrington while wandering about with a group of wayward local boys who drank too much.
Harper was a relative newcomer to Rhode Island when he joined the faculty at Brown University in 1971, having moved from Brooklyn as a teenager to southern California. He attended high school and college in Los Angeles, earned an M.F.A. at the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1963, and held a number of short-term positions at schools along the Pacific coast before moving to Barrington, Rhode Island.
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