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flag  History of Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

Journey back in time to Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

Visit Bristol, 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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Bristol, Rhode Island, USA - Gov. Wm. Bradford House (Mt. Hope Lands. Over 100 Years Old)  Built in 1745

Bristol, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

Since 1785 Bristol has the longest running, unbroken series of 4th of July Independence Day observances in the country.

The first torpedo boat "Stiletto" was built in Bristol in 1887.


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

Bristol Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Gov. Wm. Bradford House (Mt. Hope Lands. Over 100 Years Old)

Built in 1745
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Gov. Wm. Bradford House (Mt. Hope Lands. Over 100 Years Old)

Built in 1745
Benjamin Church, Home for Aged Men, Bristol, R. I.
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Benjamin Church, Home for Aged Men, Bristol, R. I.
Court House and High Street, Bristol, R. I.
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Court House and High Street, Bristol, R. I.
St. Mary Church
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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St. Mary Church
Church Street, 1905
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Church Street, 1905
The Ferry Road
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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The Ferry Road
First Baptist Church and Walley School
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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First Baptist Church and Walley School
Bristol Ferry Light House, Bristol, R.I. (1910)
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Bristol Ferry Light House, Bristol, R.I. (1910)
Constitution St Depot
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Constitution St Depot
Herreshoff Boat Works
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Herreshoff Boat Works
St. Elizabeth Church (Portuguese Catholic)
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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St. Elizabeth Church (Portuguese Catholic)
Post Office and Custom House, 1911
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Post Office and Custom House, 1911
De Wolf Inn, 1916
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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De Wolf Inn, 1916
Bird's-Eye View
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Bird's-Eye View
Entrance to Colt Road and Mill Cut Bridge, Poppasquash
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Entrance to Colt Road and Mill Cut Bridge, Poppasquash
National Rubber Co., 1920
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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National Rubber Co., 1920
Foot of Church Street
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Foot of Church Street
Hotel Belvedere
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Hotel Belvedere
Colt High School
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Colt High School
Roger Williams College
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Roger Williams College

Discover Bristol: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1785 - Since 1785 Bristol has the longest running, unbroken series of 4th of July Independence Day observances in the country.

www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ rhode-island.html
1819 - Bristol
Bristol is an ancient, wealthy commercial post township, port of entry, and seat of justice of the county, situated on the eastern shore of the Narragansett, adjoining the waters of Mount Hope bay, in north lat. 41 degrees 40 feet; bounded on the north by Warren, on the east, partly by Massachusetts, and in part by Mount Hope bay, and on the south and west by the Narragansett bay. The average length of the township, from north to south, is more than five miles, and its mean breadth more than two miles, comprising an area of about twelve square miles.

This township is a very interesting tract of country, having a charming situation, and washed, upon its southern and western borders, by the most beautiful sheets of water in the world. Its surface, with the exception of Mount Hope, a considerable eminence in the southeast section of the town, is uneven, exhibiting a pleasant diversity. Some sections however are somewhat rocky.

Mount Hope is a beautiful eminence, affording an... Read MORE...

1820 - Vessels Captured
Three vessels belonging to Bristol, Rhode Island, have been captured by the British Brig Thistle, all with full cargoes of slaves, and sent to Sierra Leone. We regret that they were not captured by the Cyane, and trust that our vessels, on that coast, will be unusually vigilant in detecting these violators of law and gospel. Nat. Advertiser
genealogybank.com
Carlisle Republican
Pennsylvania
June 13, 1820
1839 - Bristol
Bristol, Rhode Island
This is the chief town of Bristol county; the Pocanocket of the Indians. It is delightfully situated on the waters of Narraganset and Mount Hope bays, in lat. 41°39'53" N., lon. 71°19' W. It lies 15 miles S. from Providence, 15 N. from Newport, and 56 S.S.W. from Boston. Its navigable advantages are unrivalled. The commerce of this place is not so extensive as formerly; still there is considerable maritime trade. It has 18 vessels engaged in the whale fishery, 15 or 20 sail in the merchant service, and a large number in the coasting trade. The amount of tonnage in this district in 1837, was 16,627 tons. Much of the capital of this town is employed in manufacturing concerns at other places. The town comprises an area of about 12 square miles, including Mount Hope, once the residence of the celebrated king Philip. The soil is deep, gravelly loam, very fertile and productive. Great quantities of onions are produced here, the cultivation of which gives a lucrative... Read MORE...

1854 - Bristol
Bristol, a port of entry, and seat of justice of Bristol county, Rhode Island, on a peninsula extending S. into Narraganset bay, 16 miles 8. 8. E. from Providence, 14 miles N. by E. from Newport, and 7 miles W. S. W. from Salt river. The township is 5 miles long, and 2 miles broad, embracing 12 square miles of surface. On the E. is Mount Hope bay, extending up towards Fall river. Between this and Narraganset bay on the W. is Mount Hope, once the residence of the celebrated King Philip. More than one-fourth of the entire population are engaged in horticulture. The town is situated on an elevated plane, inclining gently towards the Narraganset shore. Portions of it are beautifully shaded. It contains several churches, 4 banks, and 2 newspaper offices. Manufacturing in this place has received considerable encouragement within a few years past, and is now in a very thriving condition. The harbor is easy of access, safe, and of sufficient depth for vessels of a largo size. Bristol has an... Read MORE...

1859
BRISTOL, a township, port-of-entry, and cap. of Bristol county, in Rhode Island. On the E side of Narragansett bay, 18 m. SE of Providence. It has a good harbour, and is extensively engaged in the coasting-trade and fisheries. Its shipping in 1840 amounted to 15,890 tons. In this township is Mount Hope, on which the chief of the Pequods, the terror of the early colonists, held his court. It rises 300 ft. above sea-level, commanding a magnificent view. Pop. in 1840, 3,490.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
1873 - Railway Accident.
PROVIDENCE, July 21. - To-day a passenger train on the Bristol Railroad ran into a head of cattle two miles this side of Bristol. The engine and one car were thrown from the track, and the engineer, RUFUS SHIPPEE, killed. None of the passengers were injured.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 22, 1873
1886 - Many Silver Dollars
It is said that in the small town of Bristol, Rhode Island, for several years before the war a young man named Cole was in the habit of throwing every silver dollar that came into his possession into a cistern at the side of his house. After coin get scarce and at a high premium he took the silver out and found that he had accumulated over $5,000 which he was able to sell at a a large premium. We would not recommend that others do likewise, for a cistern is not the safest place for making deposits; but we would recommend that a good savings bank - or dollar bank for instance - be substituted.
genealogybank.com
Macon Telegraph
Macon, Georgia
January 18, 1886
1887 - The first torpedo boat "Stiletto" was built in Bristol in 1887.

www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ rhode-island.html
1892 - Bristol
Bristol is one of the most interesting towns in Rhode Island, both in the beauty of its location and the antiquity of its history, which dates back to the earliest ages of American history, and which is supposed to the exact spot upon which the Vikings of the North made their home while they sojourned upon our shores, and where in the year 1000 the pioneer vessel of Lief Ericsson sailed up the Seaconnet River to Mount Hope, where the Indians held full sway, and where the wild beasts roamed untrammelled through the forests. Unlike the wild scene that presented itself to the Norsemen, the beautiful town of Bristol is now one of the finest and most prosperous in Rhode Island. It is the capital of Bristol County, and is beautifully located on a peninsula between Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay, and commands a beautiful view of the harbor. It was at one time a seaport town of some commercial importance, but is now a thriving manufacturing town, its population in 1890 being 5,475.... Read MORE...

1895 - Bristol
Bristol, a port of entry and capital of Bristol co., R.I., is on Narragansett Bay, and on the Providence, Warren & Bristol Railroad, 15 miles S.S.F. of Providence, and 13 miles N. of Newport. It is in Bristol township, which is a peninsula surrounded by water on all sides except the north, and is separated from the city of Fall River by Mount Hope Bay. It has a high school, 2 national banks, 2 savings banks, 7 churches, a ship-yard, a sugar-refinery, 2 cotton mills, and manufactures of rubber goods employing 1000 hands. This town may be reached by the Old Colony Rail road via Bristol Ferry. A weekly newspaper is published here. Near Bristol is an eminence called Mount Hope, which affords a beautiful view of the bay. Pop. 5478
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
1916
Bristol, a port of entry (with Warren) and capital of Bristol co., R.I., is on Narragansett Bay and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford R., 15 miles SSE. of Providence. It is in Bristol township (town), which is a peninsula surrounded by water on all sides except the north, and is separated from the city of Fall River by Mount Hope Bay. It has ship-yards, cotton- and woollen-mills, and manufactures of rubber goods. Near Bristol is an eminence called Mount Hope, which affords a beautiful view of the bay. Pop. of the town in 1900, 6901.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
1926 - FIREWORKS BLAST KILLS FOUR IN R. I.
SCORE OF OTHER HURT AT BRISTOL PLANT; 4 BUILDINGS WRECKED.
OWNER, HIS WIFE, SON AND SON-IN-LAW DEATH VICTIMS - BODIES BADLY MANGLED - HOUSES NEARBY DAMAGED - WINDOWS SHATTERED IN DISTANT PARTS OF TOWN - CAUSE OF EXPLOSION MAY NEVER BE LEARNED.

Bristol, R. I., Aug. 9 - (AP) - Four persons were killed and a score injured today by an explosion whch destroyed the plant of the Bristol Fireworks Company, wrecked three other buildings, damaged nearby houses, and shattered windows in distant parts of the town.

The four victims were:
GUISEPPE GIORGIO, owner of the plant.
his wife.
their son JAMES GIORGIO.
their son in law LUIGI TAMBURO.

The three were at work and MRS. GIORGIO had just gone to the plant to bring them their dinners when the explosion occurred.

Her decapitated body was found in a potato patch 20 yards distant. GIORGIO was blown through the roof of the flimsy one-story wooden shack that housed the plant. His body and that of TAMBURO, both mangled almost beyond... Read MORE...

2023 - Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Bristol has something to offer. Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Bristol, Rhode Island:
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum: Explore the stunning Blithewold Mansion, a historic 45-room mansion set amidst 33 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and wooded areas. It's a great place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Herreshoff Marine Museum: If you're interested in maritime history and boat design, this museum is a must-visit. It showcases the history of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, which was renowned for building America's Cup yachts.

Bristol Harbor: Take a walk along the picturesque Bristol Harbor. You can watch the boats go by, enjoy the sea breeze, and maybe even catch a beautiful sunset.

Colt State Park: This expansive park covers 464 acres and offers walking trails, picnic areas, and a beautiful shoreline. It's an excellent spot for hiking, bird-watching, or simply relaxing with a picnic.

Independence Park: Located in the heart of Bristol, this park is home to the Bristol 4th of July Parade, the oldest... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Bristol Ancestry

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

We currently have information about 150 ancestors who were born or died in Bristol.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Bristol

Our Bristol Gift Ideas


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"My ancestors came from the USA. That explains a lot about my love for Thanksgiving, parades, and believing that ketchup is a vegetable!"   Pinterest   
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Updated: 9/22/2023 8:20:14 AM