South Kingstown, Rhode Island

South Kingstown is a town in, and the county seat of, Washington County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 31,931 at the 2020 census. South Kingstown is the second largest town in Rhode Island by total geographic area, behind New Shoreham, and the third largest town in Rhode Island by geographic land area, behind Exeter and Coventry.

South Kingstown, Rhode Island
Town of South Kingstown
South Kingstown Town Hall
South Kingstown Town Hall
Nickname(s): 
"SK"
Location of South Kingstown in Washington County, Rhode Island
Location of South Kingstown in Washington County, Rhode Island
Coordinates: 41°26′51″N 71°31′38″W / 41.44750°N 71.52722°W / 41.44750; -71.52722Coordinates: 41°26′51″N 71°31′38″W / 41.44750°N 71.52722°W / 41.44750; -71.52722
Country United States
State Rhode Island
CountyWashington
Incorporated1723[1]
Government
 • TypeCouncil–manager government
 • Town CouncilAbel Collins (President)[2]
Rory McEntee (Vice President)
Deborah Bergner
Deborah Kelso
Jessica Rose
 • Town ManagerJames Manni[3]
 • R.I. Senators
 • R.I. House delegation
Area
 • Total79.8 sq mi (206.6 km2)
 • Land57.1 sq mi (147.9 km2)
 • Water22.7 sq mi (58.7 km2)
Elevation
98 ft (30 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total31,913
 • Density559/sq mi (215.9/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
02879 (Wakefield), 02881 (Kingston), 02883 (Peace Dale), 02892 (West Kingston)
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-67460[4]
GNIS feature ID1220090[5]
Websitehttp://www.southkingstownri.com

HistoryEdit

The town of South Kingstown was formed in 1723 when the former Kings Towne was split into two parts, the other being North Kingstown. South Kingstown was incorporated in 1723.[1] In 1888 a narrow strip of land running along the eastern bank of the Pettaquamscutt River to the shore of Narragansett Bay was separated from South Kingstown to form the town of Narragansett.

GeographyEdit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 79.8 square miles (206.6 km²), of which, 57.1 square miles (147.9 km2) of it is land and 22.7 square miles (58.7 km2) of it (28.43%) is water.

South Kingstown includes the villages of Kingston, West Kingston, Wakefield, Peace Dale, Usquepaug, Snug Harbor, Tuckertown, East Matunuck, Matunuck, Green Hill, and Perryville. Peace Dale and Wakefield are treated as a census-designated place called Wakefield-Peacedale. Ocean Ridge, Indian Lake, Curtis Corner, and Torrey Hill are among the other small areas that are regarded as unique localities, although official distinctions are less clear. Middlebridge, located on the west side of Narrow River, is a densely populated neighborhood in the town.

Adjacent townsEdit

South Kingstown is bordered on the south by Block Island Sound.

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
17904,131
18003,438−16.8%
18103,5603.5%
18203,7234.6%
18303,663−1.6%
18403,7171.5%
18503,8072.4%
18604,71723.9%
18704,493−4.7%
18805,11413.8%
18904,823−5.7%
19004,9723.1%
19105,1764.1%
19205,1810.1%
19306,01016.0%
19407,28221.2%
195010,14839.4%
196011,94217.7%
197016,91341.6%
198020,41420.7%
199024,63120.7%
200027,92113.4%
201030,6399.7%
202031,9314.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census of 2000, there were 27,921 people, 9,268 households, and 6,394 families residing in the town. The population density was 489.0 people per square mile (188.8/km2). There were 11,291 housing units at an average density of 197.8/sq mi (76.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.11% White, 1.57% African American, 1.61% Native American, 3.08% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population.

There were 9,268 households, out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out, with 22.5% under the age of 18, 19.8% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $56,325, and the median income for a family was $67,912. Males had a median income of $50,519 versus $31,087 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,827. About 3.1% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and cultureEdit

Art galleries include the Hera Gallery (Wakefield), South County Art Association (Kingston), and sometimes the Courthouse Center for the Arts (or CCA, West Kingston). Theaters include The Contemporary Theatre (Wakefield), the Theatre-by-the-Sea (Matunuck), and the CCA. The sole cinema is South County Cinema 8 (Wakefield), which replaced the independently run Campus Cinema (Wakefield) in the early 2000s. There are numerous venues for music and other entertainment, including the University of Rhode Island's Ryan Center and smaller venues such as Lily Pads (Peace Dale), and the CCA.

Arts and cultural education is also offered through community centers like The Guild and the Senior Center in Wakefield. There are also three public libraries which are located in Kingston, Matunuck, and Peace Dale.

MuseumsEdit

The South County History Center, located in the village of Kingston, is located in a former jail building and contains a collection of fine Early American artifacts. The Peace Dale Museum of Art and Culture in the village of Peace Dale in South Kingstown holds in its collections artifacts of the local Narragansett People and from indigenous cultures around the world.[7]

Points of interestEdit

South Kingstown is the location of the deadly Great Swamp Fight that occurred during King Philip's War in 1675. The battle site is commemorated by a rough granite shaft about twenty feet high. Around the mound on which the shaft stands are four granite markers engraved with the names of the colonies which took part in the battle.[8] South Kingstown is home to 31 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 4 of which are historic districts. A driving tour is described by the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society.[9]

SportsEdit

The Ocean State Waves of the New England Collegiate Baseball League play their home games at Old Mountain Field.[10]

Parks and recreationEdit

South Kingstown has over ten miles of undisturbed beaches. South Kingstown has also recently made an upgrade to their town's parks and recreation by building the South Kingstown Recreation Center located at 30 St. Dominic Rd.[11][12]

GovernmentEdit

All 5 seats on the town council are at-large seats that are up for election every 2 years, with no term limits. After each election, the newly elected council members elect two of their own as president and vice president. The current president is Abel G. Collins, and the current vice president is Rory McEntee.[13]

Representation in state legislatureEdit

South Kingstown is represented in the Rhode Island House of Representatives by Carol McEntee (D), Teresa Tanzi (D), Blake Filippi (R) and Kathleen Fogarty (D). The town is represented in the Rhode Island Senate by Bridget Valverde (D), Susan Sosnowski (D), and Dennis Algiere (R).

EducationEdit

South Kingstown is served by the South Kingstown School District. The district includes nine schools that serve students in grades prekindergarten to twelfth.[14]

Pre-kindergarten (Pre-K)Edit

  • South Kingstown Inclusionary Pre-School, located in the village of Wakefield

Elementary schoolsEdit

  • Matunuck Elementary School, located in the village of Matunuck
  • Peace Dale Elementary School, located in the village of Peace Dale
  • Wakefield Elementary School, located in the village of Wakefield
  • West Kingston Elementary School, located in the village of West Kingston
  • Kingston Hill Academy, a public charter school located in the village of Kingston
  • The Compass School, a public charter school located in the village of Kingston

Middle schoolsEdit

  • Broad Rock Middle School, located in the village of Wakefield
  • Curtis Corner Middle School, located in the village of Wakefield

High schoolsEdit

Colleges and universitiesEdit

The University of Rhode Island is located in the village of Kingston.[15]

Private schoolsEdit

  • The Compass School, a public charter school located in the village of Kingston
  • Monsignor Clarke School, a K-8 Catholic school located in the village of Wakefield
  • The Prout School, a Catholic high school located in the village of Wakefield

InfrastructureEdit

Emergency servicesEdit

Law enforcement is maintained by the South Kingstown Police Department, located in the village of Peace Dale.[16] The Rhode Island State Police Wickford Barracks, located in the Town of North Kingstown, has jurisdiction.

South Kingstown fire protection is provided by the Union Fire District of South Kingstown, a volunteer department.[17]

South County Hospital is located in the village of Wakefield.[18]

TransportationEdit

RoadsEdit

Roads in South Kingstown included U.S. Route 1, Route 1A, Route 2, Route 108, Route 110, and Route 138.

RailEdit

Rail service is provided by Amtrak via Kingston Station, which is located in the village of West Kingston. Kingston is a stop along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and is serviced by their Northeast Regional train service. The Northeast Regional has a northern terminus with Boston's South Station with a major stop en route in Providence, and has a southern terminus with Washington's Union Station with major stops en route in New Haven, New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore.

Public transportationEdit

Public transportation in South Kingstown is provided by the statewide Rhode Island Public Transit Authority or RIPTA. The following routes service South Kingstown:

UtilitiesEdit

ElectricityEdit

Electricity services are provided by National Grid plc.

TelephoneEdit

Local and long distance landline telephone services are provided by Verizon New England.

Notable peopleEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "South Kingstown Rhode Island". City-Data.com. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  2. ^ http://www.southkingstownri.com/town-government/town-council[dead link]
  3. ^ "Staff Directory • South Kingstown, RI • CivicEngage".
  4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Peace Dale Museum of Art and Culture". Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  8. ^ "The great swamp fight". Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  9. ^ Pettaquamscutt Historical Society. "Scenic and Historic Driving Tour of South Kingstown". pettaquamscutt.org. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  10. ^ "ABOUT US | Ocean State Waves". oceanstatewaves.com. Retrieved 2022-01-21.
  11. ^ "Town of South Kingstown Rhode Island". Town of South Kingstown Rhode Island. Archived from the original on May 8, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  12. ^ "Town of South Kingstown Rhode Island". Town of South Kingstown Rhode Island. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Town Council | South Kingstown, RI". www.southkingstownri.com. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  14. ^ "South Kingstown School District". South Kingstown School District. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  15. ^ "The University of Rhode Island". The University of Rhode Island. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  16. ^ "Police Department | South Kingstown, RI". www.southkingstownri.com. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  17. ^ "What We Do". Union Fire District. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  18. ^ "South County Health - Contact Us". www.southcountyhealth.org. Retrieved 2022-01-25.

External linksEdit