East Greenwich, RI  » Travel  »
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  • People like me who grew up there and would love to own homes and land in Rhode Island can't even consider it because the market has gone nuts there
  • Frenchtown Park in my old neighborhood has a playground and a pond and nature hike area that we've enjoyed with our kids and alone more times than you can imagine

    • by Why Georgia

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      I grew up in East Greenwich, RI some 40+ years ago. I had the luxury of seeing it as it was then when rural farmland was a good part of the landscape, including where I lived for 18 years of my life. It was a simpler life and time back then where we raised chickens and lived near a farm that had cows, horses, goats and sheep roaming the fields behind our house. My Dad paid $400 an acre for the 1 1/2 acre lot he bought when I was two on Middle Road to build our house. He was later offered land behind our house on the Hathaway farm behind us at $300 an acre, but my Dad was a saver and not much of a risk taker. That same property today sells for upwards of $100.000 an acre!

      East Greenwich is now considered to be the wealthiest town in all of Rhode Island. As a Rhode Island native, that sounds so funny to me, but when I visit my Dad in East Greenwich, it’s become very obvious over the years to be true. His little ranch house on his 1 acre lot of land up on a hill sits among homes worth more than a million dollars. Seriously, it’s almost amusing!

      What used to be so much more of a farming community has become the home of the wealthy. It’s evident in the businesses that have popped up around town. They cater

      more now to people with Gourmet Tastes and huge fashion sense. It’s sad in some ways, because the old time settlers of East Greenwich are literally being squeezed out. My poor parents have hardly been able to afford taxes in their own town since it became home to these people that demand and expect the very best in schools and community services. They consistently vote for things that require taxes to go up each year in order to fund their projects. People like me who grew up there and would love to own homes and land in Rhode Island can’t even consider it because the market has gone nuts there.

      Enough of my rant. Now I’ll tell you about all the reasons I loved East Greenwich and why I still love to visit.

      While it’s not at all the same as when I grew up there, some of it still remains untouched.

      East Greenwich has an area down behind town where they have a boat launch. Above the boat launch, up on the hill from the Bay, is a parking lot with picnic area and trash cans. I loved and still do love picking up a coffee and going with a friend or my husband to sit overlooking the bay and just watch people launching or pulling in their boats. It’s so pretty in the fall there especially when the leaves are all turning golden yellow, orange and red. The site of those trees overhanging the ...

      • other side of the bay are such a representative symbol of why no matter where I go in this country, I will probably always be a Rhode Islander.

        In town, there are several old historical houses that have been preserved. There are places I took for granted my whole childhood that I now look at with wonder realizing their history and how old they are. They hold the unique architecture of that time and as an adult I have come to have a whole new interest in my old town.

        Just look at the Varnum Armory, a very medieval looking building which is now a military museum and was built in the early 1900’s or the old Post Office, which is now a restaurant on Main Street which was built in the late 1700’s or even the old Kent County Courthouse, which now is home to the Chamber of Commerce and was built in the early 1800’s. These are just a random sampling of some of the wonderful pieces of history that still exist in my little New England town.

        There are lots of free parks and playgrounds in the area. Frenchtown Park in my old neighborhood has a playground and a pond and nature hike area that we’ve enjoyed with our kids and alone more times than you can imagine. We’ve gone there during the holiday season to gather Princess Pine in the woods to bring home to make a wreath.

        There is a skate park

        down at the High School on Avenger Drive that they never had when I went there, but I’ve been told my nieces that it’s pretty cool.

        Goddard Memorial State Park is just over the line in Warwick as well with lots of activities including swimming, fishing, boating, horseback riding, golf, ball fields, picnic sites and more. We always considered it to be part of East Greenwich though even though it technically is over the Warwick line.

        East Greenwich is home to so many good restaurants. Many have been a fixture in our town for years handed down from family member to family member. The Harborside Lobstermania down on the water front is a local favorite. Often times, people arrive by boat here as it’s right on the water. Obviously they have excellent seafood and the place is just steeped in tradition as it’s been a fixture in our town for years.

        Another local restaurant that has been there for years is Cathay Gardens, with their “all you can eat” Chinese buffet every night.

        And the other one I that I can think of that’s worth mentioning is Richard’s Pub, a great restaurant, with good food, reasonable prices and a friendly inviting atmosphere.

        Between the rich history of our little town and that hometown, New England feel you get when you’re here to the local events, celebrations and parades down Main Street on major holidays, it’s a warm inviting community, no matter how much it’s changed since I was a child.

    Paul Higgins says :

    I live on Bailey Boulevard in a development named Chestnut Hill Estates. This is in the southern part of town off South Road between Tillinghast and Shippee. The area is criss-crossed by old stone walls, presumably colonial, some of which have been bulldozed apart, others have toppled in sections. I have rebuilt several sections of walls on our property and part of the common land. I built them the old-fashioned way, without cement. Where can I find information about what this area was used for. I`d like to get an idea how old these walls are. Thanks, Paul

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