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The Town of West Greenwich was set off from East Greenwich and incorporated by the General Assembly April 6, 1741. In 1790 the population of the town was 2,054. In 1920 it had dropped to 387 but in 1970 it had increased to 1,841. The 2000 census data lists the population at 5,085.
The original deed was executed June 30, 1709 for 1,100 pounds. It divided West Greenwich, some 35,000 acres of land, from the vacant land in the Narragansett country tract and ran to 13 residents of East Greenwich and Warwick. A petition was submitted in October 1740, to Governor Richard Ward, requesting that this area be set off as a separate town. It wasn't until April 1741 that the General Assembly for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the request of freemen of this area incorporated West Greenwich is a separate town. (by Roberta Baker - Bits and Pieces of West Greenwich Memoranda)
Our coat of arms was one of the Coats of Arms of Municipalities in Kent County designed by Howard M. Chapin - one time head of the Rhode Island Historical Society in conjunction with the State Tercentenary Celebration. It is patterned after Greenwich, England in the county of Kent. A silver hour glass on a little blue field, with a golden stripe at the top on which is a red setting sun. The arms are a modification of those of East Greenwich, differenced with the setting sun significant of the west.
Russell Franklin, named West Greenwich's oldest citizen in 2012, was born in May of 1920. Mr. Franklin passed away December 20, 2012.
Russell M. Franklin, 92, of Congdon Mill Road, West Greenwich, RI, passed away on Thursday, December 20, 2012.
Born in Coventry, RI, on May 10, 1920, he resided in West Greenwich for most of his life. He was the son of the late Charles S. and Elsie A. (Bogman) Franklin. He was the husband of the late Hope E. (Reynolds) Franklin to whom he was married for 58 years. Brother of the late Charles E. Franklin and Winfred A. Franklin.
He leaves three children; Roger M. Franklin of Whitefield, Maine, James C. Franklin, Sr. of West Greenwich, RI and Beverly J. Grundy of West Greenwich, RI, five grandchildren; seven great grandchildren and friend and companion Gladys Tripp.
Russell was a 1938 graduate of Knotty Oak High School and was a farmer and mechanic all of his life until retiring in 2011. In 1983 he retired as Supervisor of the State Central Garage at the Howard Complex in Cranston, RI. He restored Model A Fords and other antique cars until his retirement, including his trophy winning 1931 Model A Roadster. He was a Charter Member of the West Greenwich Volunteer Fire Co. #1 and Lifetime Member of the Exeter #2 Volunteer Fire Co. He was also a Lifetime Member of the Little Rhody Model A Club of RI and the Rhode Island Model T Club. He served on the West Greenwich Town Council from 1949-1954 and also in the House of Representatives for a short term. He was active in the town and was recently honored as the oldest living resident in 2012.
4-H Camp in Springfield, MA. Russell is in the back row, 4th from the left. Ed Hoxie is in the back row, 3rd from the left
8th grade graduation - 1933
Cutting wood in 1933
Russell and his Model A heading to the Memorial Day
Parade in 2002
Russell in 2000
At the Mishnock Grove
DID YOU KNOW........
The town hall is 102 feet long and it sits 102 feet from Route 102.
The town hall was opened in 1970 and replaced the old town hall on Nooseneck Hill Road which was taken as
part of the Big River Reservoir Project and later moved to its present location behind Lineham School. The original
town hall is currently used as storage for the school and as a club house for the EWG girl's softball league.
DID YOU KNOW........
Cora Lamoureux, born in 1896, retired on October 31, 1983, at the age of 87, after serving as West Greenwich's Town Clerk for 27 years. Prior to that, she was the Tax Collector, Town Treasurer, Welfare Director and a Rationing Board member. Cora loved this town and knew everyone and everything about West Greenwich. A party was given in her honor and the then Governor Garrahy proclaimed October 31st Cora Lamoureux Day. The town council chambers have since been dedicated to Cora and you can find a painted portrait of her there. Cora was a true West Greenwich spirit!
HOW NOOSENECK GAINED ITS NAME
Noose Neck Valley in the Valley of the Big River is so called because deer were very numerous there in the days of the Narragansett Indians. The Indians are said to have entrapped many in running nooses hung on the flexible birch trees in that locality. Indians from all over the State used to come there in the fall and depart after they had enough of the delicious venison to last them on their march to the Connecticut border. (by Roberta Baker - Bits and Pieces of West Greenwich Memoranda)
In 1889 there were 12 school districts in West Greenwich. The average monthly wage for a teacher was $30.26.
District # 8 - Plain School also known as Red School House
Plain Meeting House Road - Built in 1881.
District # 7 - Hazard School House
Hazard Road - built in the 1840's.
In 1927, the West Greenwich schools united for the first joint graduation in the Town's history. Over 200 people were in
attendence and there were 4 graduates: William Mattscheck, Catherine O'Brien, Dagny Olsson, and Unto Frank Ikonen.
Ice cream and cake was served by M.J. Duff, proprietor of the Noose Neck Inn.
Picture taken early in the 1970's of Route 102 headed
North just past Blueberry Heights.
Photo submitted by Lorraine Simpanen
More to come..............