Little Compton

Fishing in Little Compton
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. For those looking to enjoy Little Compton’s solitude year-round, it’s just an hour commute to Providence or Boston. Little Compton is easily accessed from I-195 in Massachusetts to Route 24 and Route 77.

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 prior. 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: 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 “bushwacked” 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 enjoy the information provided by the Little Compton Historical Society.

Today, Little Compton is a rural, farming community. It was in Little Compton that the famous Rhode Island Red was discovered. Fishing is still a major industry in the town as is observable with the daily departing fishing fleet from the Sakonnet Wharf. The town has also grown into an ideal vacation spot with the traditional atmosphere of Colonial New England.

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