Rhode Island Geography and Famous Natives

Rhode Island Geography

From the tooth-edge coastline and coastal lowlands, the land of Rhode Island rises gently into the rolling hills central and north.

In the northwest New England Uplands, Jerimoth Hill, the state’s highest point, stands at only 812 feet above sea level.

About 12 miles south of the mainland, isolated Block Island is known for its exposed land and rugged coastal bluff.

Narragansett Bay, the northern extension of the Atlantic Ocean, is Rhode Island’s most distinctive feature. It contains three major islands, including Aquidneck (or Newport), Conanicut and Prudence.

  • Allcitycodes: Provides map of area codes in Rhode Island by county and city.
  • Ask4beauty: Introduction to the state of Rhode Island, addressing geography, history, politics, economy and population.
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Significant rivers include the Blackstone, Pawcatuck, Pawtuxet, Sakonnet and Wood. The Seathwaite Reservoir is the largest inland body of water.

Rhode Island Famous Natives

People listed are almost always native to the state. We do (on occasion) include those who have either lived within the state for most of their adult lives or have made significant contributions to the state in their personal endeavors.

A

  • Football player Pat Abbruzzi, coach
  • Norma Abram Television’s carpenter foreman
  • Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich politician
  • Robert Aldrich director, writer, producer
  • Inventor of Zacharias Allen
  • Harry Anderson actor
  • Billy Andrade golfer
  • TV producer David Angell
  • Physicist William Arnold Anthony
  • Lighthouse Keeper Joshua Appleby

B

  • John B. singer, songwriter
  • John Baca US Army soldier, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Sullivan Ballou American army major, politician
  • William Barton Continental Officer
  • Willard L. Beolak US Ambassador
  • Hockey player Harvey Bennett Jr.
  • Will Blackmon football player
  • Jabez Brown politician, lawyer
  • Moses Brown abolitionist, industrialist
  • Nicholas Brown maker, philanthropist
  • Ambrose Burnside soldier, industrialist, inventor, politician (Born in W)
  • Actress Ruth Buzzi, comedian

C

  • Written by Sasha Kagen
  • Bruce Caldwell baseball player, football player
  • Erasmus D. Campbell politician
  • Donald Carchieri politician
  • Composer Wendy Carlos, musician
  • Actress Sandra Kassel
  • Stephen Champlin’s War 1812 American naval officer
  • William A. Chanler politician
  • William Ellery Channing clergyman
  • George Cohan playwright, composer, actor, singer
  • Michael Corrent director, producer
  • John Edward Costigan artist
  • Tennis player Jill Craybas
  • George William Curtis author, editor

D

  • Viola Davis actress (born in SC)
  • John Depetro radio talk show host
  • Basketball player Ernie DiGregorio
  • Tanya Donelly singer, songwriter
  • Thomas Wilson Dorr politician, reformer
  • Eddie Dowling actor, screenwriter, playwright
  • Actress Alice Drummond

E-F

  • Nelson Eddie singer
  • Jason Estrada Olympic medalist, boxer
  • Maud Reid Farnum first Rhode Island woman banker
  • Director Bobby Farrelly, screenwriter, producer
  • Melissa “Missy” Fiorentino boxer

G

  • Actress Ava Gaudet
  • Glass Ghost songwriter
  • Adelino “Billy” Gonsalves football player
  • Silversmith Charles Gorham
  • Robert Gray explorer
  • Spaulding Gray actor, screenwriter, playwright
  • General Revolutionary War Nathaniel Greene, hero
  • Andy Gresh Sports Talk Radio Host

H

  • Bobby Hackett musician
  • David Hartman actor, television host
  • Nathaniel Herreshoff naval architect, engineer
  • James H. Higgins politician
  • Governor Stephen Hopkins, member of the Continental Congress, signer’s declaration of independence
  • Henry Howard politician
  • Marc Anthony De Wolf Howe, Jr. writer, editor
  • Actress Ruth Hussey

I-K

  • Thomas Ince actor, director, producer, screenwriter
  • Joseph Jencks Jr. ironworker, founder of Pawtucket (born in England)
  • Jeff Gillson hockey player
  • Joyce Gillson astrologer
  • Charles “Van” Johnson actor
  • Galway poet Kinnell

L

  • Napoleon ” Snooze ” Lajoie baseball player
  • Irving R. Levine television journalist
  • P. Lovecraft author
  • William C. Lovering politician
  • Eric Lutes actor

M

  • Mike Maronna actor
  • Don McGregor comics writer, author
  • John McLaughlin Television political commentator
  • Metacomet (King Philip) wampanoag Indian war chief
  • David Moretti actor
  • Dana Carleton Munro historian, author
  • Wilfred Harold Munro historian, author
  • Christopher Murney actor
  • Arden actress Myrin, comedian

N-Q

  • Johnny Nicholas musician
  • Chet Nichols Jr. baseball player
  • Don Pankira footballer
  • Sam Pach the first American daredevil
  • Les Pawson runner, three-time Boston Marathon winner
  • Boxer Vinnie Paz
  • Matthew C. Perry American Marine Commodore
  • Oliver Hazard Perry’s War 1812 US naval officer, “hero of Lake Erie”
  • David Quinn hockey player

R

  • Charles Reilly author
  • Don Reo television writer, producer
  • Elisha Hunt Rhodes Civil War veteran, patriot
  • Philanthropist Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
  • Photojournalist Al Rokoff
  • General Army of the Civil War Isaac P. Rodman, politician

S

  • Dave Shalansky actor
  • Thomas W. Sherman Civil War officer
  • Sherwood K. Spring astronaut (born in Connecticut)
  • Arthur Steer politician
  • Gilbert Stuart artist
  • William H. Sullivan US Ambassador

T

  • Politician Aldo Tatangelo
  • Thomas Alexander Tefft architect
  • Benjamin Franklin Tilly Civil War Navy officer

W

  • Bootlegger Danny Walsh
  • William West general Revolutionary War, jurist
  • Sarah Helen Whitman poet
  • Dennis Woli Television Host, Producer, Author
  • Religious leader John Wilber
  • Roger Williams founder of Rhode Island (born in England)
  • Union leader Leonard Woodcock
  • James Woods actor (born in Utah)

Providence

Founded in 1636 by Boston exile Roger Williams, Providence is the state capital, the largest city in Rhode Island and one of the first cities established in the United States.

Boasting beautiful parks, lively events, historic vistas, eclectic neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill and College Hill, this renaissance City also has great nightlife with clubs of all varieties.
Positioned at the head of Narragansett Bay at the mouth of the Providence River, this seaside town features incredible views of the Atlantic and plenty of beaches for Rhode Island vacation visitors.

Providence districts are unique sights in themselves. Enjoy DownCity with its Waterplace Park, Providence Place Mall and Capitol Hill. Sample delicious Italian food and lively nightlife on Capitol Hill or take a stroll and admire some of the city’s oldest colonial homes on the East Side.
And when visiting Providence, don’t forget the nearby seaport of Newport, as it is too few miles to the south.

  • Composer George M. Cohan was born in Providence in 1878. Cohan wrote the patriotic show Dandy Yankee Doodle “tunes”.
  • Rhode Island ‘s most famous native son, founder Roger Williams, founded the First Baptist Church in America in 1638 in Providence.
  • Providence is home to a famous roadside attraction called Biting Woodaway (also known as the “IBM Bug”), the world’s largest termite!

Roger Williams Park Zoo
Welcome to one of the finest urban parks in the United States. It’s named after Providence’s founder, and this elaborate 427-acre park is guaranteed all-day fun for the whole family.
The zoo itself houses over 1,000 animals and features the RWP Botanical Center, Japanese Gardens, Carousel Village for children, seven beautiful lakes, Temple to Music and miles of walking paths.
The Roger Williams Park Natural History Museum is also on the property making this Providence Zoo an American landmark.

Rhode Island Beaches
Enjoy soaking up the sun on the sandy beaches of Rhode Island! Swim, hunt for shells or build sandcastles, all while enjoying the brilliant ocean vistas of Narragansett Bay.

WaterFire
WaterFire is an award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans, consisting of up to 100 bonfires that burn just above the surface of three rivers that run through midtown Providence at Waterplace Park – Woonasquatucket, Moshassuck and Providence River. A breathtaking testament to providence’s efforts to bring this center of United States history to life, the powerful work of art is accompanied by classical and ethnic music as well as live performances.

Rhode Island State

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