Little Compton, Rhode Island
Located at the far southeastern tip of Rhode Island
and stretching into the Atlantic Ocean, Little Compton remains the
most bucolic and countrified of the thirty-nine communities in the
state. It has little commercial activity and serves primarily as a
vacation community and an hourly commute to Providence or Boston
for those who must enjoy its solitude for twelve months Little
Compton is accessed from I-195 in Massachusetts to Route 24 to
Little Compton was incorporated as a part of Plymouth Colony in
1682, after having been settled by Captain Benjamin Church, the
noted Indian fighter, and others seven years previously. In 1746,
under Royal Decree, it was transferred to Rhode Island together
with the Towns of Cumberland, Barrington, Bristol and Tiverton.
The town was originally the home of the "Sagonate" or
"Sakonnet" Indians, a particularly independent group of
native Americans that fought with the settlers against the notorious
King Philip, Sachem of the Wampanoags. King Philip waged a bloody
war against the white settlers and tried to induce other neighboring
tribes to join him.
The southern end of the town bordering the Atlantic is still
known as "Sakonnet". It was here that Captain Church
cleared the area for settlement.
Following the end of Indian hostilities, the small settlement in
Little Compton enjoyed comparative peace and prosperity until a new
threat arose; the British occupation of Newport during the Revolution.
Foraging parties from the British garrison invaded Little Compton
several times. The British raiders met with stiff resistance from the
settlers, and were "bushwhacked" several times as in the
skirmish at the Taggart House.
If you would like to find out more about the history of Little
Compton, you might be interested in checking out the information at
the Little Compton Historical Society web site.
Today, Little Compton is a rural-farming community. It was in Little
Compton that the famous Rhode Island Red, (a breed of fowl and the
State Bird), was developed. Fishing is still a major industry in the
town, as one can observe with the daily departure of the fishing fleet
from the Sakonnet Wharf. The town has also developed into an ideal
vacation spot with the traditional atmosphere of colonial New England.