West Warwick

West Warwick

[wawr-ik, -wik, wor-]
West Warwick, town (1990 pop. 29,268), Kent co., central R.I., on the Pawtuxet River; set off from Warwick and inc. 1913. Once important for textile manufacturing, it still has some fine mill architecture that has survived the industry's decline. West Warwick includes the village of River Point and several other textile mill villages.
West Warwick is a town in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 29,581 at the 2000 census.

West Warwick was incorporated in 1913, making it the youngest town in the state. Prior to 1913, the town, situated on the western bank of the Pawtuxet River, was the population and industrial center of the larger town of Warwick. The town split because local Democrat politicians wanted to consolidate their power and isolate their section of town from the Republican dominated farmland in the east. Since then, the town of West Warwick has fallen on hard times after the collapse of the state's textile industry, while Warwick has gone on to be the state's second largest city and commercial center.


The area that is now the Town of West Warwick was the site of some of the earliest textile mills in the United States situated along the banks of the Pawtuxet River, North and South Branches. These small mill villages would play an important role in the early development of the textile industry in North America.

On February 20, 2003, The Station nightclub fire was caused by pyrotechnics used indoors during a Great White concert. The fire killed 100 patrons. The fire occurred in a single-story wooden building that was more than 70 years old. It had previously served as an Italian restaurant, and during World War II was a popular hangout for sailors from nearby Quonset Point Naval Air Station.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.0 km²), of which, 7.9 square miles (20.5 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (2.22%) is water. Geographical location: 41.69755 North, 71.51833 West.

The following villages are located in West Warwick:

  • Arctic- Arctic is in the center of West Warwick, and is where most of the town municipal buildings are located.
  • Centerville
  • Clyde
  • Crompton
  • Jericho
  • Lippitt- Home to the historic Lippitt Mill, which was constructed in 1809
  • Natick- Natick is a neighborhood located in the northeast section of West Warwick, Rhode Island. It was originally a predominantly Italian neighborhood. Natick was a village based on the operation of the B.B.and R. Knight mills whitch were located along the west bank of the Pawtuxet river. The village also was involed with the RI textile strike of 1922 when the employees barricaded the managers inside the mill and bombarded them with bricks and other items. Governor Emory J. SanSoucy sent the state malitia to Natick to end the rioting at the mills. According to the Pawtuxet Valley Times, when the troops arrived in Brown square in Natick they were met by a mob pelting them with rocks. This was ended when Rev. Achilles Tirrochi of St. Josephs came out of the rectory and pleaded with the crowd to go home. His warning was headed. A few days later the strikers reached an agreemet and work at the mills was resumed. on July 4, 1942 the Natick Mills burnt to the grownd.

  • Phenix- Phenix is in the Northwest corner of the town, and was a mainly Portuguese area.
  • River Point- Riverpoint is home to the historic Royal Mills and is home to Horgan Elementary.
  • Wescott- Westcott is located in northern West Warwick, and was home to the Westcott train crossing.


As of the census of 2000, there were 29,581 people, 12,498 households, and 7,698 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,728.7 people per square mile (1,440.3/km²). There were 13,186 housing units at an average density of 1,662.1/sq mi (642.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.78% White, 1.11% African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.10% of the population.

There were 12,498 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $39,505, and the median income for a family was $47,674. Males had a median income of $35,128 versus $26,720 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,250. About 9.2% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.9% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.


West Warwick has a council-manager form of government. There are five town councilors, one for each of the town's wards. Each is elected to a two-year term.


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