Narragansett, RI

Ronald Robinson settled and purchased the land along the western shore of Narragansett Bay from the Narragansett Indians in the late 17th century.

Incorporated as a town in 1901, Narragansett’s earliest industry was a shipbuilding operation located at Middle Bridge on the Narrow River. As ship size outgrew the capacity of the Narrow River, the town turned to tourism as its primary source of income.

By the turn of the 20th century, Narragansett was an elegant summer resort. Many small summer cottages, as well as upscale hotels, were erected to accommodate the increasing number of tourists to the area. Soon, larger estates also dappled the shoreline. Many wealthy city families spent their weekends in Narragansett by taking the day ferry from Providence.

Perhaps the most well-known landmark of its time was the Narragansett Casino. Located at the corner of Ocean Road and Narragansett Beach, the casino was Narragansett’s central attraction until 1900, when a devastating fire destroyed all but the main entrance towers. Today, the towers serve as the Narragansett Visitors’ Center.