Timeline of Providence, Rhode Island facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, United States.

Prior to 19th century

Providence Gazzette Constitution
Providence Gazette, 1782
The Old Providence Bank
Old Providence Bank around the time of its founding, 1791
  • 1635 – Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635
  • 1636 – Providence founded by Roger Williams.
  • 1638 – Baptist congregation formed.
  • 1675 — Narragansetts "harass" white settlers as part of King Philip's War
  • 1676 — March 29: Narragansett warriors led by Canonchet burn about fifty houses, including Roger Williams' house, as part of King Philip's War
  • 1683 — Roger Williams dies
  • 1700 – North Burial Ground established
  • 1711 – First burial at North Burial Ground
  • 1753 – Providence Library Company organized.
  • 1762
    • State House built.
    • William Goddard sets up printing press; Providence Gazette newspaper begins publication.
  • 1764 – College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations established in Warren.
  • 1768 – Brick Schoolhouse built on Meeting Street.
  • 1770 – College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations relocated to Providence.
  • 1775 – Market House and First Baptist Meetinghouse built.
  • 1776 – 1777: Colonial and French troops use University Hall as a barracks and hospital during the American Revolutionary War
  • 1784 — January: Flooding on the Moshassuck River caused the greatest damage seen since the burning of the town during King Philip's War
  • 1785 – Beneficent Congregational Society established.
  • 1789
    • Providence Association of Mechanics and Manufacturers and Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade established.
  • 1790
    • U.S. Custom House established.
    • Population: 6,380.
  • 1791
    • October: Providence Bank on South Main Street incorporated; later known as Providence National Bank, Providence Union Bank and Trust Company, Industrial National Bank, and FleetBoston Financial.
  • 1793
    • The first covered drawbridge is built over the Seekonk River where the Washington Bridge currently stands, followed the same year by the Central Bridge farther north.
  • 1794 – Serril Dodge opens his first jewelry store on North Main Street, thus beginning Providence's jewelry industry
  • 1795 – Theatre opens.
  • 1798 – Providence Marine Society established.

19th century

Union Horse R.R. Station, Providence, R.I, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views
Union Railroad depot, Providence, 19th century
Arcade, Providence, R.I, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views
Arcade, Providence, 19th century
1882 ProvidenceRI byBailey BPL 10162
Map of Providence, 1882
  • 1800 — Population: 7,614.
  • 1801
    • January 21 — The first "Great Fire" destroys 37 buildings and leaves many families homeless
    • Providence Marine Corps of Artillery founded.
  • 1802 – Providence Phoenix newspaper begins publication.
  • 1805 — Providence streets receive official names for the first time
  • 1810 — Population: 10,071.
  • 1814
    • Union Bank of Providence founded.
  • 1815
    • September 23: The Great Gale of 1815 causes extensive damage and flooding.
  • 1816
    • October 13: The First Congregational Church (Unitarian) dedicated, now known as First Unitarian Church.
  • 1818 – Rhode Island Peace Society and Merchants Bank established.
  • 1819
    • New England Yearly Meeting Boarding School opens.
  • 1820
    • January 3: The Manufacturers' & Farmers' Journal, Providence & Pawtucket Advertiser begins publication, precursor to The Providence Journal.
  • 1822 – Rhode Island Historical Society founded.
  • 1823
    • April — The first ordinance passed requiring snow removal from sidewalks within 24 hours after falling
    • Providence Franklin Society incorporated.
  • 1824
    • The first city directory issued
    • Race riot in Hard Scrabble
    • August 23 — Lafayette visited Providence for the first time since the Revolutionary War to great acclaim
  • 1825
    • May — the second "Great Fire" began at the corner of Union and Westminster Streets
  • 1828
    • Dexter Asylum built.
    • Westminster Arcade built.
    • High Street Bank established.
    • Herald newspaper begins publication.
  • 1829
    • The Providence Journal newspaper begins publishing daily.
  • 1831
    • Boston and Providence Railroad begins operating.
    • Race riot in Snow Town.
    • Gorham Silver and Franklin Lyceum established.
  • 1832
    • City incorporated. City government meets at Market House
    • Samuel W. Bridgham elected first mayor.
  • 1833 — David Brown opens a shop on South Main Street that later becomes Brown & Sharpe
  • 1835 – Train station and first India Point Railroad Bridge built.
  • 1836
    • Providence Athenaeum formed.
    • City hosts Rhode Island Anti-Slavery convention.
  • 1838
    • Providence Association for the Benefit of Colored Children organized.
    • Narragansett Boat Club organized.
  • 1839 – Providence Marine Corps of Artillery armory built.
  • 1841 – 1842: Dorr Rebellion
  • 1843 – Classical High School established.
  • 1844
    • Butler Hospital for the Insane founded
    • Corliss, Nightingale & Co. in business.
  • 1845
    • The City Council votes to prepare plans for a new City Hall
    • Grace Church built.
    • Laureldale Chemical Works established.
  • 1846
    • Swan Point Cemetery established.
    • Scholfield's Commercial College, a business college located downtown, established.
    • A. T. Cross Company established.
  • 1847
    • Providence and Worcester Railroad begins operating
    • Union Railroad Depot built
    • Providence Tool Company established.
  • 1848
    • Providence Medical Association instituted.
    • B.B. and R. Knight, which later becomes Fruit of the Loom, established
  • 1850 – Providence Reform School opens.
  • 1852
    • Central Congregational Church established.
    • Locust Grove Cemetery incorporated.
  • 1853
    • Providence Young Men's Christian Union established
    • Joseph Brown teams with Lucian Sharpe to form Brown & Sharpe
  • 1854 – Hartford, Providence and Fishkill Railroad begins operating.
  • 1855
    • James Y. Smith becomes mayor.
    • Providence Aid Society organized.
    • U.S. Customshouse built.
  • 1860 - Population: 50,666.
  • 1863
    • Bryant and Stratton National Business College (now Bryant University) opens a campus in Providence
  • 1865 – Population: 54,595.
  • 1866
    • Providence receives state approval to tap the Pawtuxet River as a source of drinking water
  • 1867
    • Prospect Terrace Park created.
    • Young Women's Christian Association organized.
    • Babcock & Wilcox founded.
  • 1868
    • Rhode Island Hospital dedicated.
    • Women's City Missionary Society organized.
  • 1869 – Morning Star newspaper begins publication.
  • "1870's" – A sewer system is constructed which discharges city waste into the harbor.
  • 1871
    • Roger Williams Park donated to the people of Providence by Betsy Williams
    • Thanksgiving Day: Providence municipal water service begins, pumping water from the Pawtuxet River
    • Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument dedicated.
  • 1872
    • Roger Williams Park Zoo founded.
    • First Universalist Church built.
    • First Point Street Bridge built.
    • Construction begins on the Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company Complex along the Woonasquatucket River
  • 1874
    • Cornerstone of City Hall is laid on June 24.
  • 1876 – Rhode Island Women's Club established.
  • 1877
    • Rhode Island School of Design and museum established.
    • Providence County Court House dedicated.
    • Grammar school built on Candace Street.
  • 1878
    • Providence Grays baseball team formed; Messer Street Grounds baseball stadium built
    • Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul completed
    • City Hall opens on November 14.
    • Providence Public Library opens.
    • Homeopathic Hospital founded.
  • 1880 – Providence Art Club incorporated.
  • 1883
    • Providence Press Club formed.
    • Providence Literary Association organized.
  • 1884
    • Providence Lying-In Hospital founded.
    • Providence Camera Club organized.
    • October: The Providence Grays win baseball's 1884 World Series championship game
  • 1885
    • Fleur-de-lys Studios built
    • Providence Grays baseball team disbanded
    • The Providence Journal begins publishing seven days per week.
  • 1886
    • June 9: Thomas A. Doyle dies in office, Providence's longest-serving mayor (18 years).
    • June 14: Providence businesses shut down as Mayor Doyle's funeral procession marches through the city.
  • 1888
    • City Hall is powered by electric lighting for the first time
  • 1890
    • Providence's jewelry industry includes more than 200 firms with almost 7,000 workers
  • 1891
    • Providence Athletic Association incorporated.
    • The Outlet Company established.
    • Providence News begins publication.
  • 1892
    • First electric streetcar begins operation on January 20.
  • 1894 – Providence Engineering Society founded.
  • 1896 – Providence Water Color Club organized.
  • 1897 – Emma Goldman arrested for "open-air speaking" at Market Square.
  • 1898 – Union Station rebuilt.

20th century

  • 1900 – Population: 175,597.
  • 1901 – Providence's first sewage treatment plant begins "chemical precipitation" treatment of city waste, one of the first such plants in the US.
  • 1904 – Rhode Island State House built.
  • 1905 – Handicraft Club organized.
  • 1906 – Evening Tribune newspaper begins publication.
  • 1907 – Annmary Brown Memorial museum dedicated.
  • 1908 – Federal Building constructed.
  • 1913
    • Turk's Head Building constructed
  • 1914
    • Johnson & Wales School of Business is formed, later becomes known as Johnson & Wales University
  • 1926
    • Miriam Hospital opens.
  • 1928
    • Construction finishes on the Industrial Trust Building (aka "Superman Building").
    • February: Providence author H. P. Lovecraft publishes his most famous story The Call of Cthulhu in Weird Tales magazine
    • Vedanta Society of Providence founded.
  • 1930
    • 25 September: Current Washington Bridge south span opens
  • 1932
    • Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council headquartered in city.
  • 1935
    • Bryant College of Business Administration, now known as Bryant University, moves from downtown to the East Side
  • 1937
    • March 15: Author H.P. Lovecraft dies, aged 47
  • 1938 – September: Hurricane.
  • 1945 – The Providence Journal wins its first Pulitzer Prize
  • 1949 – WJAR-TV begins broadcasting.
  • 1950 – Veterans Memorial Auditorium opens.
  • 1953 – The Providence Journal wins its second Pulitzer Prize
  • 1954 – Hurricane Carol strikes the area.
  • 1955 – WPRO-TV begins broadcasting.
  • 1956 – Providence Preservation Society organized.
  • 1957 – Dexter Asylum demolished.
  • 1961 — July: Construction on Fox Point Hurricane Barrier begun
  • 1962 – Brown Broadcasting Service established.
  • 1964 — Once-grand Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company abandons its sprawling location along the Woonasquatucket River for a modern plant in North Kingstown.
  • 1966 – January: Fox Point Hurricane Barrier completed
  • 1968 – Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns headquartered in Providence.
  • 1969 – Current Henderson Bridge opens
  • 1971
    • Bryant College vacates Providence for Smithfield
  • 1972 – Providence Zen Center founded.
  • 1975 – Buddy Cianci becomes mayor.
  • 1976
    • November: Masjid Al-Karim, Islamic Center of Rhode Island, established.
  • 1978
    • February: The Great Blizzard paralyzes Providence with 56 inches of snow. Governor J. Joseph Garrahy comforts the city and state by wearing a flannel shirt.
    • City Archives established.
    • The city's jewelry industry peaks, with 32,500 workers, then begins a decline.
  • 1980
    • Voters approve an $87 million bond issue to improve municipal sewage treatment plant
    • The Narragansett Bay Commission is formed
  • 1984
    • First Night Providence begins
    • Mayor Buddy Cianci forced to resign after pleading "no contest" to an assault charge
  • 1986
    • Providence Business News begins publication.
    • Providence Station opens.
  • 1990 – Governor Henry Lippitt House museum opens (approximate date).
  • 1991
    • Buddy Cianci returns to the mayor's office
  • 1994
    • Waterplace Park constructed.
    • WaterFire begins.
    • Gun court established in the Providence Superior Court.
  • 1996
    • The Providence Journal goes public and subsequently is purchased by the Dallas-based A.H. Belo Company
  • 1997
    • City website online (approximate date).
    • Providence Children's Museum opens.
  • 1999
    • Providence Urban Debate League founded.
    • Providence Place Mall opens.

21st century

  • 2001
    • April: Sitting mayor Buddy Cianci is indicted on federal criminal charges of racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, witness tampering, and mail fraud
  • 2002
    • Soviet submarine K-77 museum opens
    • September: Mayor Buddy Cianci is sentenced to serve five years in federal prison
  • 2003 – David Cicilline becomes mayor.
  • 2005 – January: The North American blizzard of 2005 drops 17 inches of snow on downtown Providence
  • 2006 – Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology opens at Brown University.
  • 2007
    • April 18: Soviet submarine K-77 sinks after a storm.
    • May: Former mayor Cianci released from prison
    • November: New Iway bridge opens for eastbound traffic
  • 2008
    • Historic Westminster Arcade closes for renovations
  • 2009
    • October: Final section of Iway bridge opens for westbound traffic.
  • 2010
    • Population: 178,042.
    • March: A series of rainstorms causes severe flood damage. President Obama declares a state of emergency for the region.
  • 2011
    • January: Angel Taveras becomes mayor.
    • August 28: Hurricane Irene downs 300-400 trees and leaves 12,700 without power.
    • October: Occupy protest begins.
    • November: Open Providence Commission for Transparency and Accountability established.
  • 2012
    • October 29: Hurricane Sandy hits Providence. The Fox Point Hurricane Barrier is credited with saving the city from major damage.
  • 2013
    • February: Winter Storm Nemo drops 27 inches of snow; Hurricane-force winds topple trees, and many people lose power
    • Historic Westminster Arcade re-opens after renovation
    • Historic Mayoral portraits in City Hall cleaned and restored
    • April: The landmark Industrial Trust Building, aka "Superman Building," loses its sole tenant, and goes dark.
  • 2014
    • October 17: The Phoenix publishes its last print issue
  • 2015
    • January 5: Jorge Elorza sworn in as mayor
    • January: Kennedy Plaza re-opens after major renovation
    • September 20: George Redman Linear Park, a bicycle and pedestrian path on the Washington Bridge, is dedicated.
  • 2016
    • January 28: Former mayor Buddy Cianci dies
    • February 6–7: Former mayor Cianci lies in state at City Hall
    • February 8: Cianci's funeral procession marches through the city, stopping for a funeral mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and ending at St. Ann’s Cemetery in Cranston for burial.
    • September 11: Mayor Elorza and the president of the firefighter's union come to an agreement after a 13-month contract dispute.

Timeline of Providence, Rhode Island Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.