Jul 5, 2016

10 Fun Facts About Providence, RI!

Did you know that Providence Rhode Island is just over an hour away from Boston on a commuter rail train for ~$10 each way?

I lived in Boston for three years during my undergraduate studies and have lived in Boston for a few months at a time off and on since then, but I never realized how accessible Rhode Island is! It makes an excellent choice for a long weekend getaway.

If you're planning a trip, or need motivation to do so, here are some fun facts about Providence!


1) Roger Williams founded Providence in 1636 after he was forced to flee from Massachusetts Bay Colony due to religious persecution.

The new city was to be a bastion of religious freedom and tolerance. How awesome is that?

2) "What Cheer?" is the city motto!

That's such a delightful greeting. Imagine walking around town and greeting people with "what cheer, friend?" I'm pretty sure it's impossible to sound angry while saying that, just like the words 'cuddles,' 'yay,' and 'sparkly.'

...in reality, people don't actually walk around saying 'what cheer' in greeting to everyone. Bummer.

3) Like Rome, it was built on seven hills. 

Unfortunately, Weybossett Hill was leveled in the 1880s and now there are only six.

Or maybe that's fortunate? We all know how the whole Rome thing ended.

4) Providence was home to the first planned American military action of the Revolutionary War!

For all you history buffs out there, the looting and burning of British schooner, HMS Gaspee, at Narragnasett Bay in 1772 was the real kickoff.

5) The Providence metropolitan area has more doughnut shops per capita than any other region in the USA.

I'm not even sure what to make of that one.

6) There are four anthropodermic books in Brown University's John Hay Library.

Did you look at the word and think 'anthropodermic, anthropology -- hey, wait a minute!'

Yes, you were correct. Anthropodermic means what it sounds like it means and yes, there are four books in the John Hay Library that are bound in human skin. Yikes.

*Note - I didn't visit that. I love human evolutionary biology, but that's somewhere where human skin doesn't belong.

7) It's illegal to jump off a bridge in Providence.

I don't know the origin of that one. But just so you know, if you're in Providence and feel like jumping off of a bridge, it's illegal. Don't do that.



8) Providence is the world's largest manufacturer of silverware.

That one is just random, but at least they're useful!

9) The unofficial Providence maxim, from ex-convict and former Mayor Buddy Cianci is: "Be careful - the foot you step on today could be attached to the a** you need to kiss tomorrow."

He was Providence's longest serving mayor. Did I mention that he's also an ex-convict? They like to keep things interesting in Providence, I suppose.

10) The costume jewelry business started in Providence in 1794!

A new way of plating base metal with gold was discovered and wa-la - cheap bling for over the top Halloween costumes!

Have you ever been to Providence?

What is your favorite weekend getaway destination near your home?

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