Kent County Rhode Island
Kent County is a small county in Rhode Island made up of 5 small towns; Coventry, East Greenwich, Warwick, West Greenwich, and West Warwick. Warwick is the second-largest city in the state of Rhode Island. Warwick was founded in 1642 by Samuel Gorton after he purchased the land from a Narragansett Indian Chief. There is a lot of controversies that surrounded that land deal, but in the end, the land still remained in control of Gorton and was named after the Earl that granted him the charter. Most of the major historical events that happened in Rhode Island over the past 300 years have involved this city in some way. Most notably of these events is the key role that Warwick itself and its townsmen played in the American Revolutionary War. Throughout the Revolution, the brave militiamen of Warwick are recorded in history as being key members of the battles of Montreal, Quebec, Saratoga, Monmouth, Trenton, Rhode Island, and were in Yorktown to see the final surrender.
West Warwick used to be a part of the larger city Warwick almost 100 years ago. There was a difference in political opinions between the Democrats and Republicans forcing the split of the two areas. Coventry lies to the west of West Warwick. This is one of the larger towns in the county taking up about 68 square miles of land. Back in the 1900’s the land was mostly industrialized with different factories built throughout the town. The town lost most of its businesses as the railroad closed down and soon became one of the most popular suburban areas to live in. In the present day, tourism has grown to become the main cash cow of the area as the resident’s fight to preserve their historic lands from a personal and financial standpoint.
East Greenwich is the wealthiest town in Rhode Island and is remembered for being the first to form a government authorized navy in the Western Hemisphere. West Greenwich is the last of the towns that make up Kent County. This small community has been in the spotlight recently because of the new proposal of West Greenwich and its neighbors regarding the combination of all of their rural areas. This proposal calls for a new town, “Westconnaug”, to be formed representing the areas of West Greenwich, Exeter, Foster, Glocester, and the western part of Coventry. If this legislation passes, it will form a new super town by combining all of the small rural governments into one governing body. Kent County stands out as an important part of Rhode Island in more ways than one. Even though it doesn’t share a lot of the historic events of the sea border areas, doesn’t mean this blossoming county isn’t making a history of its own.