Town of South Kingstown
Updated Demographic and Economic Characteristics
* Annual information for 2000-2010 is available by downloading this Excel file
180 High St.
South Kingstown, RI 02879
Hours: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
- Established: 1657
- Incorporated: 1723
- Form of government: Manager/council
- Council meetings: Council meetings held the second and fourth Monday of each month. Financial town meeting held the last Tuesday in April.
- Fiscal year begins: July 1
A summary profile of Census 2000 characteristics is available from the RI Office of Statewide Planning at: http://www.planning.ri.gov/census/citytown.htm
Hyperlinks provided by the Office of Municipal Affairs, Rhode Island Department of Administration.
- South Kingstown municipal departments and officials
- South Kingstown state senator and representative
- South Kingstown homepage
- South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce
- About area points of interest and attractions: please visit the state tourism website
Incorporated in 1674, the original town of Kings Town included the present towns of South Kingstown, North Kingstown and Narragansett. It was in this area that the Narragansett Indians hunted, fished, raised corn and held forth against the rival Niantic Indians. The first settlement was in South Kingstown, and it was there, in 1675’s Great Swamp Fight, that colonial soldiers from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut gave King Philip his greatest defeat.
Farming was the main activity in early times. Flax was among its earliest products. By
1800, the Wakefield Manufacturing Company was in operation, as well as the Peace Dale Mill, which grew to be one of the town's largest industries. The founding of the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1892, near the village of Kingston, was an important milestone in the history of the town. Growing into the present University of Rhode Island, this institution plays a major role in both the economic and cultural life of the town.
Recently, diversified small industry has replaced the town's former leading textile manufacturer. The J.P. Stevens Company, for many years operated the Peace Dale Mill, until the textile decline soon after the end of World War II. A drive for additional new industrial growth is currently underway. Capitalizing on its exceptional shoreline and beach areas, the town has also experienced significant residential expansion, and development of its summer resort and tourist facilities.