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The historic Newport Mansions, such as The Breakers and Marble House, were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s by wealthy families like the Vanderbilts and Astors as summer homes.
Bristol County, Rhode Island, has a rich history dating back to the early 17th century. Originally inhabited by the Wampanoag people, the area was later settled by English colonists. The town of Bristol was officially established in 1680 and quickly became an important center for maritime trade and fishing due to its prime location on Narragansett Bay.

During the American Revolution, Bristol played a significant role in the fight for independence. The town was heavily involved in privateering, a practice where privately owned ships were authorized by the government to attack and capture enemy vessels. Many Bristol sailors served on these privateers, contributing to the success of the American cause.

In the 19th century, Bristol experienced a period of economic growth and prosperity. Industries such as shipbuilding, textiles, and manufacturing thrived, leading to an increase in population and wealth. The town's maritime heritage continued to play a vital role, with bustling wharves and a busy harbor serving as vital links for trade and commerce.

Today, Bristol County remains an important historic and cultural destination. The town of Bristol is home to numerous historic sites and landmarks, including the Independence Park, which contains the 1783 DeWolf Tavern, a National Historic Landmark. The annual Bristol Fourth of July Parade is also a major attraction, known as the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.

Overall, Bristol County, RI, boasts a long and storied history, from its Native American roots to its significant contributions to the American Revolution and its prosperous maritime heritage. The town's historical sites and traditions continue to be cherished by residents and attract visitors from near and far.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Bristol County, Rhode Island.

  • 1680: Bristol County is founded as part of Plymouth Colony.
  • 1747: Bristol County becomes part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 1747-1774: Bristol experiences economic growth through the Triangular Trade, involving rum, slaves, and molasses.
  • 1776: The Revolutionary War begins and Bristol County plays a significant role in supporting the American cause.
  • 1777: Rhode Island declares independence from Britain and Bristol County becomes part of the newly formed state.
  • 1790s: Bristol County experiences industrial growth with the establishment of mills and factories.
  • 1835: The town of Bristol is incorporated.
  • 1820s-1840s: Bristol's economy booms with the rise of the maritime industry.
  • 1861-1865: Many Bristol residents participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1895: The oldest Fourth of July parade in the United States is held in Bristol.
  • 20th century: Bristol County sees continued economic growth and becomes a popular tourist destination.
  • 2007: Bristol County celebrates its 325th anniversary.