Oakland Beach, Rhode Island
Oakland Beach is a neighborhood located in the South Central area of Warwick, Rhode Island, on Greenwich Bay, a tributary of Narragansett Bay. In the late 1800s, Oakland Beach was the site of the camp ground for the six day annual training encampment of the Rhode Island Militia. Around 1895 the encampment was moved to a larger and better equipped facility at Quonset Point.
This densely populated community of small cottages was developed after World War I as a summer colony, largely for nearby Providence's middle-class Irish, Greek and Italian communities.
Oakland Beach reached its heyday in the 1930s when it boasted a bathing beach, boat docks and restaurants, as well as a Ferris wheel, and rail service to Providence and other nearby summer colonies. Popular local attractions included an arcade, carousel (merry go round) movie theater, bowling alley and dodgem cars, it also housed a skating rink run by the same people who ran the oldest family run skating rink in the country which replaced the one in Oakland Beach after the 1930s New England Hurricane.
The New England Hurricane of 1938, however, destroyed much of Oakland Beach. The area never quite recovered, and Hurricane Carol in 1954 added to the area's destruction. Over the years, Oakland Beach has become a destination where people come to attend the many activities on the green, park by the sea wall to enjoy the beautiful vista of Greenwich Bay, kayak the scenic coves, stroll the shoreline and dine at the restaurants. The most notable being Mrs. Gus's Doughboy and ChowderHouse and Iggy's Doughboys and Chowderhouse. Other restaurants include Top of the Bay (which used to be the Governor's residence) Timmy's One Bay, Marley's on the Beach (which has recently been shut down). The building is now also used by The Carousel Grill. New to the area is Twisted Pizzeria and Restaurant.
In the late 1980s a novelty song called Born in Oakland Beach was made which used the tune of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. It was played on local radio stations and referenced local landmarks like Veterans Memorial High School and Rocky Point.
- Kozma, Carol (June 29, 2017). "Neighborhood of the Week: Oakland Beach is Warwick's own summer colony". Providence Journal. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- O'Brien, Jerry (June 28, 2016). "Oakland Beach : Building a New Reputation". 41°N. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- Jones, Michael Owen; Long, Lucy M. eds (2017). Comfort Food: Meanings and Memories p. 85. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-4968-1088-5.
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