Jamestown was named for James, Prince of Wales, who would later be crowned King James II in 1685.
Jamestown is part of Conanicut Island which sits in the middle of Narragansett Bay. In 1524, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano visited Narragansett Bay. He was sent by King Francis I of France to explore the region between Florida and Newfoundland hoping to locate a route to the Pacific Ocean. The Indians sold Jamestown to the English settlers in 1657 and they mainly grazed sheep, cattle and horses there.
In 1728, the town of Jamestown built a windmill for grinding corn, which used wind power since there was no running water to turn a waterwheel.
Several buildings on the island along with hotels were destroyed as a result of the hurricane of 1938. Many were never built again. Originally, ferries were the main mode of transportation on and off the island. In 1940, the Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge was completed connecting Jamestown to North Kingstown. In 1969, the Newport Bridge was opened connecting Jamestown to Newport. In 1992, the new Jamestown Bridge was opened beside the old one. The old one was subsequently dismantled over 15 years and finally destroyed in 2006.
At the Southern tip of the island is Beavertail State Park which includes Beavertail Lighthouse.
The town of Jamestown is located
( 32.2 km )
--- heading 175o (south) from Providence.
At the time of the 2000 census, the town of Jamestown had a population of 5,622 living in 2,359 households. The median age was 44.2 yrs.
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Gina M. Raimondo