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North Smithfield is a town in Providence Countymarker, Rhode Islandmarker, United Statesmarker, settled as a farming community in the 17th century and incorporated into its present form in 1871. North Smithfield includes the historic villages of Forestdalemarker, Primrosemarker, Waterfordmarker, Branch Villagemarker, Union Village, Park Square, and Slatersvillemarker. The population was 10,618 at the 2000 census.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.7 square miles (64.1 km²), of which, 24.0 square miles (62.3 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²) of it (2.83%) is water. North Smithfield is in a New England upland region. The Branch River and Blackstone Rivers provided much of the power for the early mills in the town.


In the 17th century Britishmarker colonists settled in North Smithfield developing a farming community that they named after Smithfieldmarker, Londonmarker in Englandmarker. The town was part of Smithfieldmarker, Rhode Islandmarker until it was incorporated as North Smithfield in 1871. The first colonization occurred after a Native American, "William Minnian, (or Quashawannamut) "of Punkkupage" of Massachusetts Bay on May 14, 1666, deeded approximately 2,000 acres" to John Mowry and Edward Inman who partnered with Nathaniel Mowry, John Steere, and Thomas Walling in dividing up the purchased tract.. In the early 18th century, a Quaker Colony developed in what is now North Smithfield (then Smithfieldmarker), which extended into south Uxbridgemarker, Massachusettsmarker. Today North Smithfield is part of the John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The Blackstone Valley is the oldest industrialized region in the U.S.
The village of Slatersvillemarker was largely built by Samuel Slater and his brother John Slater beginning in 1803. It is a well preserved original New England mill village with worker housing and commercial buildings. This village is in fact America's first planned industrial mill village. Samuel and John's family owned this mill and the village until the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. The prominent Buxton family settled in the Slatersville region before 1741 in a homestead on Buxton Street. Samuel and his son Benjamin had come here from Salemmarker, Massachusettsmarker, and were Rhode Islandmarker colonists. Benjamin's son, Captain James Buxton, was born in the family homestead, and was well known in the Revolutionary War period, and is buried in the family cemetery on Buxton, Street. The Slatersville Congregational Church was long known as a Buxton church. A re-creation of a fife and drum corps in Uxbridge has adopted the name of Captain James Buxton though he was from North Smithfield (then Smithfield). Buxton Street is located at a state border section known as Ironstonemarker.

Union Village, along Rhode Island Route 146A became prominment since 1820 when it was an important stagecoach stop on the route along Great Road. Union Village was also home to a hat shop, taverns, an academy and the Union Bank from which it gets its name.


As of the census of 2000, there were 10,618 people, 3,954 households, and 2,957 families residing in the town. The population density was 441.7 people per square mile (170.5/km²). There were 4,070 housing units at an average density of 169.3/sq mi (65.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.32% White, 0.42% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.47% of the population.
There were 3,954 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,602, and the median income for a family was $67,331. Males had a median income of $43,133 versus $30,748 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,031. About 1.9% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.

Historic Places in North Smithfield

Notable people

Adjacent Communities


  1. , pg. 13-14

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Image Gallery

Image:Mowry House ca. 1690 on Providence Pike in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.jpg|Mowry House ca. 1690, on Providence Pike in North SmithfieldImage:North Smithfield.JPG|Albert Mowry farmhouse in North Smithfield in the 19th century
North Smithfield in the 19th century

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