Roger Williams Park

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Roger Williams Park Historic District
Dalrymple Boat House Prov.jpg
Dalrymple Boathouse
Roger Williams Park is located in Rhode Island
Roger Williams Park
Roger Williams Park is located in the US
Roger Williams Park
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Coordinates 41°47′02″N 71°24′39″W / 41.78399°N 71.410889°W / 41.78399; -71.410889Coordinates: 41°47′02″N 71°24′39″W / 41.78399°N 71.410889°W / 41.78399; -71.410889
Built Feb. 12, 1872
Architect Cleveland, Horace William Shaler; Multiple
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Other
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP October 15, 1966

Roger Williams Park is an elaborately landscaped 427-acre (173 ha) city park in Providence, Rhode Island and is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is named after the founder of the city of Providence and one of the founders of the state of Rhode Island, Roger Williams.


The land for the park was a gift to the people of Providence in 1871, in accordance with the will of Betsy[Note1] Williams, the great-great-great-granddaughter, and last surviving descendant of the founder to own the land. It had been the family farm and represented the last of the original land grant to Roger Williams in 1638 from Canonicus, chief of the Narragansett tribe. The family farmhouse (built in 1773), known as the Betsy Williams Cottage, and the Williams family burial ground (including Betsy's grave) are still maintained within the park.[2]


Swan Boat Pond in Autumn

The park contains seven lakes which comprise approximately 98 acres (40 ha). It is located in the southernmost part of the city of Providence bordering the city of Cranston. The park was designed by Horace Cleveland in 1878, and was constructed in the 1880s. Many of the roads, bridges and sidewalks were built by the Works Progress Administration from 1935 to 1940. Currently it contains the Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, the Japanese Gardens, the Victorian Rose Gardens, the Providence Police Department's Mounted Command center, the Dalrymple Boathouse and boat rentals, historical tours, a Carousel Village for children that includes the "Hasbro Boundless Playground" which is accessible for handicapped children, the Temple to Music, the Roger Williams Park Casino, large greenspaces, and many miles of walking paths.

In their 2000 annual report, the National Trust for Historic Preservation called Roger Williams Park one of the finest urban parks in the U.S.[3]


See also[edit]


Note1 Her headstone name is spelled as "Betsey Williams," but she has been called "Betsy" through the centuries, as it appears on numerous articles, postcards, and books.


External links[edit]

Media related to Roger Williams Park at Wikimedia Commons

Parks in Providence, Rhode Island

Burnside Park · India Point Park · Prospect Terrace Park · Roger Williams National Memorial · Roger Williams Park · Waterplace Park