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Richmond, Rhode Island

Richmond, Rhode Island
Location of Richmond in Washington County, Rhode Island
Location of Richmond in Washington County, Rhode Island
Country United States
State Rhode Island
County Washington
 • Town Council Henry R. Oppenheimer
Paul H. Michaud
Ronald D. Newman
B. Joe Reddish, III
Erick Davis
 • Town Clerk Tracy A. Nelson
 • Total 40.8 sq mi (105.6 km2)
 • Land 40.6 sq mi (105.0 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 381 ft (116 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 7,708
 • Density 189.9/sq mi (7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 02812 (Carolina), 02832 (Hope Valley), 02836 (Kenyon), 02875 (Shannock), 02892 (West Kingston), 02894 (Wood River Junction), 02898 (Wyoming)
Area code(s) 401
FIPS code 44-61160[1]
GNIS feature ID 1220089[2]

Richmond is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 7,708 at the 2010 census. The villages of Alton, Arcadia, Barberville, Carolina, East Wyoming, Haygarden, Hillsdale, Hope Valley, Kenyon, Shannock, Tug Hollow, Usquepaug, Wood River Junction, Woodville and Wyoming are located (or partially located) in Richmond. The village of West Kingston, Rhode Island, although not a part of Richmond, is often associated with the town as well.[3] Students in Richmond are part of the Chariho Regional School District.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • ZIP Codes and Mailing Addresses 4
  • Government 5
  • Notable people 6
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Richmond 7
  • Adjacent Towns 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The town of Richmond was originally part of the territory of Westerly, Rhode Island (1669 to 1747), which remained in dispute for several years between the British colonies of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

In 1665 Charles II, the King of England, dissolved the different charters of the three colonies in dispute, assumed governance, and renamed the area King’s County. In May 1669, the General Assembly of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations organized King’s County into the town of Westerly. After this the town of Westerly organized itself into four separate areas: Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton.

Richmond was incorporated as a separate and distinct town in 1747. It is bounded on the north by the town of Exeter, on the west by the Wood River, on the east by the towns of Exeter and South Kingstown, and on the south by the Pawcatuck River.

Previous to both Colony and British rule the southern area of Rhode Island, encompassing Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton was inhabited and ruled by the Narragansett Indian Tribe. Records for Wood River Baptist Church go back to 1723, and it is mentioned in a 1709 deed.

Richmond is the site of one of the deadliest train disasters in American history. On April 19, 1873, there was a bridge washout in the village of Richmond Switch, which today is known as Wood River Junction. A passenger train approached, and, unaware of the bridge washout, ran off the tracks and into the water. 11 people are said to have died, although others were swept downstream and were unaccounted for.

The Washington County Fair, the largest fair in the state, has been held in Richmond since 1970.

In 2007 former resident Kirk W. House produced a historic photo book, Richmond, in the Arcadia Publishing "Images of America" series.


Richmond is 35 miles (56 km) south of the state's capital, Providence, Rhode Island. It is a mostly forested, landlocked community

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.8 square miles (105.6 km²), of which 40.6 square miles (105.0 km²) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) is water.

Richmond borders Charlestown to the south, Exeter to the north and northeast, Hopkinton to the west, and South Kingstown to the southeast. Richmond is the only town in Washington County that does not border another county or the ocean.

A 2,359-acre (9.55 km2) tract in Richmond is owned by the state and managed for wildlife food and habitat as the Carolina Management Area. The Carolina Management Area is primarily forest (1,416 acres (5.73 km2)), but also includes wetlands and agricultural land.[4]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 7,222 people, 2,537 households, and 2,034 families residing in the town. The population density was 178.1 people per square mile (68.7/km²). There were 2,620 housing units at an average density of 64.6 per square mile (24.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.97% White, 0.40% African American, 0.91% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.23% of the population.

There were 2,537 households out of which 40.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.3% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.8% were non-families. 14.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $59,840, and the median income for a family was $64,688. Males had a median income of $41,357 versus $29,115 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,351. About 1.9% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

Historically, Richmond's unemployment rate has been significantly healthier than most of Rhode Island. In a given month, Richmond will likely have the lowest unemployment rate in the state, and often has the lowest unemployment rate for year-end averages. If Richmond does not have the lowest unemployment rate in a given time period, it is most likely surpassed by Narragansett, Jamestown, Barrington or New Shoreham.

ZIP Codes and Mailing Addresses

Richmond is one of only a handful of municipalities in Rhode Island in which there is no postal code in at least a section of town used with the town's name. Instead, Richmond consists of seven different zip codes that are used with villages: Carolina, a village of Richmond (02812); Hope Valley, a village of Hopkinton (02832); Kenyon, a village of Richmond (02836); Shannock, a village of Richmond (02875); West Kingston, a village of South Kingstown (02892); Wood River Junction, a village of Richmond (02894) and Wyoming, a village of Richmond (02898). This leads to Richmond being a rather unknown town, and appearances of the town name on even local maps and atlases are rare. Due to this scenario most residents of Richmond identify themselves with their village instead of the town itself. However, USPS recognizes "Richmond" as an acceptable alternative for mailing for 6 of Richmond's 7 zip codes, the exception being 02894 (Wood River Junction). Other municipalities in Rhode Island that also have this situation include Burrillville, Glocester, New Shoreham, Scituate and South Kingstown.


The town government is directed by a 5-member town council that is headed by a council president at the richmond town hall.[5] For the purpose of school administration, Richmond is a member town of the Chariho Regional School District with the neighboring towns of Charlestown and Hopkinton.

In May 2007 Richmond voters approved a referendum to create a Home Rule Charter Commission. The Charter Commission subsequently created a Richmond Home Rule Charter, and the Town Council unanimously approved its placement on the November 2008 ballot. Richmond voters approved the Charter by a 70%-30% margin. The Rhode Island General Assembly gave their approval on May 20, 2009, and the Charter took effect on May 28, 2009 when Governor Donald Carcieri allowed it to become law without his signature.[6]

The Charter retains many features of the prior government: the 5-member town council headed by a council president; an elected town clerk; and a Finance Board and an annual Financial Town Meeting. The major changes included 4-year terms for the town councilors instead of 2 years, effective in November 2010, and the creation of a Town Administrator who reports directly to the town council.[7]

People can come in with small planes thourogh the Richmond Airport, although designated with the village of West Kingston, Rhode Island, is located in the town of Richmond.

Notable people

National Register of Historic Places listings in Richmond

Adjacent Towns


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ Richard E. Wolke. "A Brief History of Richmond". Town of Richmond, Rhode Island, website. Retrieved July 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ Carolina Management Area, Rhode Island Tourism Division website, accessed July 9, 2009
  5. ^ Town of Richmond profile, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
  6. ^ R.I. General Assembly web site, Legislative Report on R.I. Senate Bill 130. Retrieved December 30, 2009
  7. ^ Richmond Home Rule Charter, Town of Richmond, Rhode Island, website. Retrieved December 30, 2009)

External links

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