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Galilee, Rhode Island facts for kids

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Point Judith ferry dock
View from Point Judith ferry dock

Galilee is a fishing village on Point Judith within the town of Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA, and is notable for being home to the largest fishing fleet in Rhode Island and for being the site of the Block Island Ferry. The village is directly across the harbor from Jerusalem, Rhode Island. Galilee, Rhode Island is named after the Biblical Galilee, which was the original home region of Jesus Christ, who grew up in Nazareth, a village in the Galilee region of Israel on the Sea of Galilee. Four of Jesus' disciples, Andrew, Peter, James and John, were fishermen from Galilee.

Today, the port of Galilee is responsible for transporting over 16 million pounds of seafood and shellfish each year. Part of the town of Narragansett, RI (population 15,868 in 2010), Galilee experiences significant seasonal population fluctuation and has been known to double in size in the summer months. As summer brings warmer weather, tourists come from all over to visit various state beaches, relax at private beach clubs, take the ferry to Block Island, and charter boats to go fishing or whale watching.


The village received its name "[i]n 1902, the story goes, Thomas Mann a fisherman from Nova Scotia who had settled here, felt the village that had sprung up with its fishing shacks should be called Galilee, after the fishing village of biblical times. One day, an old timer sat on the docks repairing his nets when a stranger called out to him, "Where am I". The answer was "Galilee". "And what is that?" the stranger asked pointing to the other side of the channel. The old timer thought for a minute, nodded his head and replied, "must be Jerusalem". And so the name of Galilee and Jerusalem have been used since to denote a most picturesque part of Rhode Island."

In the nineteenth-century the area had developed as a fishing village, and in the early twentieth century, the State dredged the breachway and constructed stone jetties. Later the Army Corps of Engineers constructed three mile long breakwaters to provide a safe harbor of refuge for ships travelling between New York and Boston if they encountered bad weather.


Today Galilee remains home to the largest fishing fleet in Rhode Island with commercial fisherman and lobstermen as well as deep sea fish cruises. Fresh lobster and fish can be purchased off the dock directly from fishermen in Galilee. The Block Island Ferry operates out of Galilee, and there are several seafood restaurants in the village including Champlins, George's of Galilee, Clam Jammers, and Buster Krab's Beach Bar & Grill.

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