Richmond, Rhode Island
|Richmond, Rhode Island|
|• 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)|
|• Density||189.9/sq mi (73.4/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)|
|GNIS feature ID||1220089|
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, Carolina, Hope Valley, Kenyon, Shannock, Usquepaug, West Kingston, Wood River Junction, Woodville, and Wyoming are located (or partially located) in Richmond.
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.
In 2007 former resident Kirk W. House produced a historic photo book, Richmond, in the Arcadia Publishing "Images of America" series.
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 is the only town in Washington County that does not border another county or the ocean.
A 2,359-acre (9.547 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 (5.730 km2)), but also includes wetlands and agricultural land.
As of the census 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.
Richmond is one of only a handful of municipalities in Rhode Island in which there is no ZIP code in at least a section of town issued with the town's name. Instead, Richmond consists of seven different zip codes that are issued with villages: Carolina (02812), Hope Valley (02832), Kenyon (02836), Shannock (02875), West Kingston (02892), Wood River Junction (02894) and Wyoming (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. 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. For the purpose of school administration, Richmond is a member town of the Chariho Regional School District along 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.
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.
- Thomas A. Tefft (1826-1859), architect
- Frank J. Williams (1940-), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island (2001-2009)
National Register of Historic Places listings in Richmond
- Carolina Village Historic District
- John Hoxsie House
- Shannock Historic District
- Wyoming Village Historic District
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Richard E. Wolke. "A Brief History of Richmond". Town of Richmond, Rhode Island, website. Retrieved July 5, 2009).
- Carolina Management Area, Rhode Island Tourism Division website, accessed July 9, 2009
- Town of Richmond profile, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
- R.I. General Assembly web site, Legislative Report on R.I. Senate Bill 130. Retrieved December 30, 2009
- Richmond Home Rule Charter, Town of Richmond, Rhode Island, website. Retrieved December 30, 2009)