Pop quiz: where is Wickaboxet? How about Pettaconsett or Coggeshall? The answers: West Greenwich, Cranston and Warren, respectively. So…how much do you know about Rhode Island’s villages? Here are some fast facts:
1. There are more than 400 villages in Rhode Island
CCRI English Professor Roberta Mudge Humble, who’s famous for her Rhode Island trivia books and games, said while the precise number can vary, there are more than 400 villages in Little Rhody.
2. A lot of the villages cross over town lines
Just because you live in Wyoming doesn’t mean you live in Richmond. Wyoming, like Barberville, Hope Valley and Woodville, crosses into Hopkinton. Humble said there are many villages that cross town and city lines. “They’re like neighborhoods that grow,” she said. “So over the course of time they become the villages.”
3. Some villages don’t sound like they belong here
Wyoming is probably a better known example, but there’s also Moscow (Hopkinton), Jerusalem (Narragansett), Carolina (Charlestown/Richmond) and Austin (Exeter). Humble said there’s Palace Garden in Warwick, Lion Head in Jamestown and Jericho/Arctic in West Warwick, too.
4. To village, or not to village?
Depending on where you live, you either go by your village name, or you don’t. Humble said people in Burrillville love their villages: Pascoag, Nasonville, Harrisville and Glendale to name a few. There’s also the popular Pawtuxet (Cranston/Warwick) and Wickford (North Kingstown) villages. But folks in Westerly, despite having 11 villages, rarely use their village names, with the exception of Watch Hill (Hi Taylor!), Misquamicut and sometimes Weekapaug.
5. You might not have a village
Sadly, not all areas are covered by a cool village name like Quonochontaug (Charlestown). Sometimes, Humble said areas are just known by their city or town names. She said the downtown area of Westerly is just called – you guessed it – “Westerly.”
6. Some villages are duplicates
If you say you live in Long Point, someone might ask: Prudence Island or Warwick? Humble said another example of a duplicated village name is Sandy Point. “There are four Sandy Points in New Shoreham (Block Island), Portsmouth, Warwick and Westerly,” she said.
7. There’s a village within a village
Humble said there’s at least one village within a village, and it plays host to the annual Kenyon’s Johnny Cake Festival. “Usquepaug is a village in West Kingston, and West Kingston is a village within South Kingstown,” she said. Leave it to Rhode Island to have a village within a village.