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flag  History of Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA

Journey back in time to Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA

(Esmond) (Georgiaville)

Visit Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA - Esmond Depot

Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

The earliest settlers, who arrived in the beginning of the 17th century, named the area after Smithfield, London. It began as a farming community with an active Quaker community that extended to South Uxbridge.

There is MUCH more to discover about Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA. Read on!

Smithfield Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Esmond Depot
Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA

Esmond Depot
Timberland Restaurant
Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA

Timberland Restaurant
Bryant College
Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA

Bryant College

Discover Smithfield: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1802 - Fatal Accident
As Mr. William Burlingham, of Smithfield, State of Rhodeisland, was attempting to pass from one hay mow to another, across a temporary loft in the barn, formed with loose rails, by a fatal incident he fell through upon the threshing floor, and fractured his skull in so shocking a manner it put an immediate period to his existence. He was a very promising young man, and a highly useful member of society, in which he was justly held in great esteem.
Vermont Journal
February 23, 1802
1819 - Smithfield
Smithfield is a large and flourishing post township, situated nine miles northwest of Providence; bounded northeasterly by Blackstone or Pawtucket river, which divides it principally from Cumberland, northerly by the State of Massachusetts, westerly by Burrellvile and Gloucester, south and southeasterly by Johnston and N. Providence.

The average length of the township is about 10 miles, with a mean breadth of 6 miles, comprising an area of 60 square miles.

This township has generally and undulating surface, presenting an ... and gentle declivities; ... some sections it is considerably rough and broken. Its geological structure comprises numerous calcareous strata. In these strata, four quarries have been opened, and large quantities of limestone raised, which has been manufactured into lime. It has been estimated that from 40 to 50,000 casks have been made annually, the principal part of which is exported to the southern States for a market. One of these quarries affords... Read MORE...

1828 - Mother's Love
Who but a mother can conceive the depth of a mother's love? We learn from the Providence Journal, that a woman of Smithfield Rhode-Island, went to the well to draw water, with a young child in her arms, and while in the act, from some cause, the child slipped or sprung from her, and plunged into the well, which was about 30 feet deep. The mother immediately seized the well pole with which she descended a part of the distance, and then jumped down to the relief of her child, which was raised from the water and held in that position until the cries of the mother brought Mr. Joshua Arnold to her relief. Both the mother and child were taken from the well, without having received material injury.
Middlesex Gazette
October 15, 1828
1839 - Smithfield
Smithfield, Rhode Island
Providence county. This is a large town, containing an area of about 10 by 6 miles, and a great variety of surface and soil.

Smithfield has generally an undulating surface, presenting an agreeable diversity of moderate eminences and gentle declivities; but in some sections it is considerably rough and broken.

The manufacture of lime is an important and extensive business, and affords employment to a great number of persons. There is also a quarry of white stone at what is called Woonsocket hill, that sustains heat remarkably well, which renders it very valuable for furnace hearths. About two miles distant from this there is a quarry containing excellent whetstones for edge tools.

The soil is a gravelly and sandy loam, with some sections of a calcareous loam. It is generally rich and fertile, although in some places it has been reduced by an exhausting system of cultivation. There are, however, some low and marshy tracts, which are generally... Read MORE...

1853 - Steam-Boiler Explosion - Two Lives Lost, Several Wounded.
Special Correspondence of the N. Y. Daily Times.

PROVIDENCE, Tuesday, Oct. 25.- The steam-boiler in SCHROEDER'S Print Works, in Smithfield, burst about 8 o'clock this morning, with a terrible explosion, instantly killing two operatives, and wounding the engineer and several other persons, probably fatally. The boiler and engine house were shivered to pieces and entirely destroyed. One half the boiler was sent crashing through the bleach-house and dry-house.


The damage to the Print Works and goods, at Smithfield, by the explosion, is $15,000.

The two lads killed were PATRICK MAGUIRE and MATHEW McCABE, who were on the boiler drying their clothes. About 100 persons were at work in and about the establishment, at the time, but escaped all injury, except the engineer.

The accident was occasioned by low water in the boiler. The damage is to be immediately repaired, and the rubbish is already being cleared away, preparatory to putting in a new boiler. The... Read MORE...

1854 - Smithfield
Smithfield, a township of Providence co., Rhode Island, bordering on the Blackstone river, and the Providence and Worcester rail road, about 12 miles N. from Providence. The manufacture of lime from the extensive lime stone quarries of this place, affords employment to a large number of the inhabitants. This township is one of the largest in the state, and contains several manufacturing villages, the most important of which are Woonsocket, Slatersville, and Valley Falls. Population, 11,500.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1854 - Destruction of a Cotton Bleachery by Fire - Serious Freaks of an Elephant.
PROVIDENCE, Monday, June 5, The Bleachery at Scott's Pond, Smithfield, belonging to W. P. SAYLES, was destroyed by fire about 3 o'clock this morning. The buildings were insured for $18,500 in this city, $1,000 at the People's Mutual Company, Worcester; $2,500 at the Metropolitan, Boston; $4,000 at the Western, Pittsfield; an $2,500 at the North-western, Oswego. The buildings were valued at $25,000, and the goods in the buildings at $10,000.

A large elephant attached to a Menagerie, while on the way to Fall River, got beyond the contact of his keeper, and killed there horses on the road, smashed the wagons, and seriously injured two men, who were in the wagons. The elephant was finally captured near Slade's ferry, and taken to Fall River.
The New York Times
New York, New York
June 6, 1854
1867 - Argued to Death
While a young clerk in the Dexter line company, at Smithfield, Rhode Island, named George Steward, and an elderly man named Lemuel Alexander, were engaged in an angry scuffle on Sunday of last week, the latter suddenly expired from some internal rupture.
Albany Evening Journal
Albany, New York
August 6, 1867
1869 - Married 78 Years
At Smithfield, R.I., Jonathan Buxton, aged 102 years, is living with his wife Saloma, aged 101. This pair of nuptial century-plants have flourished side by side for 78 years, and have nine children living, the oldest being 72 years of age.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
September 11, 1869

Read more about Jonathan BUXTON
1869 - In the towns of Cumberland, Smithfield, Blackstone, and Bellingham, R. I.,
there are seventeen cotton and eight woolen mills, which employ 5,550 hands, run 4,480 looms, and annually use 15,300,000 pounds of cotton. Foundations are now being laid to run 150,000 spindles.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
November 20, 1869
1895 - Smithfield
Smithfield, a township of Providence co., R.I. It contains Allenville, Spragueville, Greenville, Georgiaville, &c. Smithfield Station is on the Providence & Springfield Railroad, 12 1/ 2 miles N.W. of Providence. Pop. of township, 2857.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Smithfield, a post-township (town) of Providence co., R.I., on the New York, New Haven and Hartford R., about 12 miles NW. of Providence. Pop. in 1900, 2107.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
Smithfield Woman Asks $15,000 Damages - Hurt in House.

Jennie S. Plante of Smithfield filed in the Superior Court yesterday afternoon a suit for $15,000 against Henry F. Lippit of this city, allaging that Mr. Lippit as owner of a house in Georgiaville was negligent in allowing a plank to be so placed as to make the rear exit of the house dangerous, while the steps were removed for the purpose of making repairs and alterations.

Mrs. Plante and her husband became tenants of the house and occupied it on July 25, 1910, she states, and while attempting to use the plank, it slipped and threw her to the ground. She claims to have sustained severe and permanent injuries from the fall. Quinn & Kernan and Waterman & Greenlaw are counsel for the plaintiff.
The Evening Bulletin
Providence, Rhode Island
June 1, 1912

Read more about Jennie Susan BAKER
The Ku Klux Klan was active in Smithfield during the 1920s.
2023 - Whether you're a resident or just passing through, here's a list of places to go and things to do in Smithfield, Rhode Island:
Bryant University: Start your visit with a stroll around Bryant University's beautiful campus. It's a picturesque location with lovely architecture and landscaped grounds. You can also check out some of the public events and lectures that the university hosts.

Smith-Appleby House Museum: Delve into Smithfield's history by visiting the Smith-Appleby House Museum. This historic house, dating back to the 17th century, provides insights into colonial life. Guided tours are available, giving you a glimpse of what life was like during that period.

Mowry Conservation Area: If you're into hiking and nature, the Mowry Conservation Area is a great spot for some outdoor adventure. There are hiking trails that wind through beautiful wooded areas, making it an excellent place for a leisurely walk or a more challenging hike.

Georgiaville Pond: This picturesque pond offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and picnicking. It's a serene spot to enjoy the outdoors and maybe even catch a... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Smithfield Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA

We currently have information about 176 ancestors who were born or died in Smithfield.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Smithfield.

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male ancestorJonathan SPRAGUE (28 May 1648 - 10 September 1741) and female ancestorMehitable HOLBROOK (29 June 1649 - 29 October 1710) married 20 July 1670
male ancestorDavid THOMPSON (2 December 1711 - 31 August 1757) and female ancestorSusannah DARLING (2 August 1717 - 27 January 1779) married 11 October 1737
male ancestorWilliam IRVIN ( - ) and female ancestorSusannah SALISBURY (7 April 1713 - ) married 2 November 1748
male ancestorJames CARGILL (27 February 1729 - 21 November 1804) and female ancestorDorcas ARNOLD (18 May 1732 - 25 September 1825) married 7 September 1752
male ancestorEbenezer TRASK (12 January 1754 - 2 February 1813) and female ancestorHuldah READ (16 February 1760 - 1 October 1834) married 1 April 1783
male ancestorWalter Metcalf SMITH (6 November 1853 - 9 December 1906) and female ancestorEllen Frances WINSOR (8 January 1855 - 21 March 1940) married 21 November 1877
photo of Andrew DEAETT Andrew DEAETT (16 November 1860 - 17 July 1934) and photo of Fidelia Adelaide "Delia" SMITH Fidelia Adelaide "Delia" SMITH (7 December 1861 - 26 April 1914) married 16 October 1884
male ancestorAlbert TREMBLAY (14 April 1860 - 15 March 1917) and female ancestorAdelaide BEAUSEJOUR (3 August 1863 - 29 January 1941) married 14 February 1884
male ancestorJohn Francis SMITH (12 September 1866 - ) and female ancestorCatherine Evelyn WELCH (13 January 1874 - 13 January 1930) married 30 April 1894

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Updated: 9/15/2023 5:11:01 PM