In 1638, Roger Williams purchased what is now the eastern part of Cranston from the Narragansett Indians. The town was named for Samuel Cranston, governor from 1698 until 1727.
Cranston was incorporated as a town in 1754. Its early industry was mainly textiles. As the Industrial Revolution took hold, immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Greece, and Armenia arrived to work in the mills.
For nearly 100 years, Cranston also served as home to Rhode Island's famous Narragansett Brewery. In 1888, six local businessmen organized the Narragansett Brewing Company with a brewmaster from Berlin, Germany. The company constructed a brick brewing house and produced its first beer in December 1890. The Narragansett Brewing Company was situated on New Depot Avenue, Cranston Street, and Garfield Avenue. The brewery closed for good in 1983 due to high production costs.
1. Aborn Street Boat Ramp
A concrete ramp is located off Broad Street, at the end of Aborn Street. However, it is usable only at high tide, because the entire cove is navigable only at high tide. Although no parking is permitted in the immediate area, there is parking for more than 20 cars at the nearby city-owned Commercial Street parking lot.
CRMC ROW#: K-2
2. Seaview Park
Located on a cul-de-sac at the end of Seaview Avenue, this small park overlooks historic Pawtuxet Cove. The area is enclosed on three sides with a three-rail wood fence and has a picnic table and park benches. There is no parking on the cul-de-sac.
CRMC ROW#: K-3
3. Ocean Avenue
At the foot of Ocean Avenue, next to the Rhode Island Yacht Club, five steps in a concrete seawall lead to a beach that is accessible only at low tide.
4. Stillhouse Cove
A grassy strip at the southern end of Narragansett Boulevard overlooks the Rhode Island Yacht Club, Stillhouse Cove, and the Providence River. There is an unmarked asphalt boat ramp in poor condition leading to the Providence River. The ramp is situated on a muddy, rocky shore and is usable only at extreme high tides. The town plans to construct a concrete, 15-foot-wide concrete ramp by 2005. No on-street parking is available.
Picnicking, wildlife observation
5. Arnold Avenue
Arnold Avenue ends in a small grassy area. In spite of a chain link fence on top of the concrete seawall, this is a pleasant spot to bring a lunch and enjoy the view of the river.
Picnic tables/benches, trash receptacles
Pawtuxet Reservation Riverwalk
The Pawtuxet Reservation is a lovely and largely undeveloped parcel of land in the middle of a heavily developed area. It is the remnant of a once far more extensive wetland at the mouth of the Pawtuxet River. The 3-mile hike is accessible from a number of surrounding locations in both Cranston and Warwick. Wildlife that has been seen in the area includes great blue heron and green-backed heron, hawks, opossum, muskrat, and snapping turtle. Fireflies can be seen at dusk in the open areas. The trail passes by areas of marshy field, mixed hardwood forest, and tall grass.
For more information, contact the Pawtuxet River Authority, (401) 461-2618, or (401) 467-8271.
Take I-95 to Rte. 10/Park Avenue exit. Go right off ramp onto Park Avenue, and follow about 1.1 miles to end. Turn right onto Broad Street, and proceed to Rhodes Place. Park at bottom of Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet lot, at bottom of Rhodes Place. Just beyond parking lot, you will see a concrete footbridge across a small stream, with river to left and a wooded area to right. Riverwalk begins here. Then, as trail enters Big Fay Field, bear left, hugging edge of woods; follow road to Little Fay Field and re-enter woods.
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