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Foster, Rhode Island

Foster, Rhode Island
Foster, Rhode Island Location within the state of Rhode Island Coordinates: 41°47′49″N 71°43′38″W / 41.79694, -71.72722CountryUnited StatesStateRhode IslandCountyProvidenceArea - Total 51.9 sq mi (134.3 km²)  - Land 51.1 sq mi (132.5 km²)  - Water 0.7 sq mi (1.9 km²) Elevation525 ft(160 m) Population (2000)  - Total 4,274  - Density83.6/sq mi (32.3/km²) Time zoneEastern (EST)(UTC-5)  - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4) ZIP code02825 Area code(s)401FIPS code44-27460[1]GNISfeature ID 1220072[2]

Foster is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 4,274.



Foster was originally settled in the 1600s by British colonists as a farming community. In the year 1662, William Vaughan, Zachariah Rhodes, and Robert Wescott, purchased of the Indians a large tract of land called West Quanaug, bordering on Providence. The 'West Quanaug purchase', consisted of nearly the whole southern half of the town of Foster. The first settler was allegedly Ezekiel Hopkins. Many settlors from Newport were active in the town in the 1700s.

Foster was incorporated with Scituate, Rhode Island in 1730, forming the western section of that township, and remained up to 1781, when it was set off as a distinct and separate township. It derived its name, Foster, from the U.S. Senator Theodore Foster. Mr. Foster presented the town with a library. Some of the books are still preserved, and including one in which was written the early records of the town. U.S. Senator Nelson Aldrich was born in Foster in 1841. Senator Aldrich was instrumental in starting the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan was active in the area, and one of the largest Klan rallies in the state was held in Foster on the Old Home Day grounds in 1924 with 8,000 in attendance and U.S. Senator J. Thomas Heflin of Alabama speaking.[1]

Possible New Town of Wesconnaug In February 2008 Rhode Island state rep Nicholas Gorham summited a draft bill that would create a super town of rural communities including Foster. Other towns that would be involved include West Greenwich, Exeter,Western Coventry, Scituate and Glocester[3]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 51.9 square miles (134.3 km²), of which, 51.1 square miles (132.5 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (1.41%) is water. Foster contains Rhode Island's highest point, Jerimoth Hill, with an elevation of 248 m (812 ft).

Famous residents

  • Theodore Foster — Senator, the town is named after him.
  • Solomon Drowne — Physician, author, close friend of Foster. He lived on a farm called Mount Hygeia.
  • Nelson Aldrich — U.S. Senator, father of Abby Rockefeller.
  • H. P. Lovecraft — author, lived on Johnson rd, the historic house has since burned down.
  • Mark Picard — author of the Ultraquest series.
  • Dan "The Show" Fusco Famous, openly gay man once put on trial for purposely spreading aids to numerous male partners.


Foster's Capt. Isaac Paine Elementary School, has the top spot for reading proficiency according to the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, exams. 82 percent of its students attained proficiency, the state leader in that testing category.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 4,274 people, 1,535 households, and 1,198 families residing in the town. The population density was 83.6 people per square mile (32.3/km²). There were 1,578 housing units at an average density of 30.9/sq mi (11.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.26% White, 0.21% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.80% of the population.

There were 1,535 households out of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.5% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.9% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $59,673, and the median income for a family was $63,657. Males had a median income of $39,808 versus $30,632 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,148. About 1.5% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

Foster is home to the Foster Town House. Built in 1795 and in use to this day, the Foster Town House is the oldest government meeting house of its type in the USA. Foster also contains one of Rhode Island's only two covered bridges, known as the Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge (the other is located on Ponaganset High School's Cross Country Course in North Scituate). Built in 1994, it is a reproduction of an early-19th-century specimen. Jerimoth Hill, the highest point of elevation in Rhode Island, is located in Foster.

Foster is home to the most scenic part of the North South Trail. Along the trail you can see the remnants of the Thomas O' Wagon Wheel Shop which was later converted to a shingle mill in 1919.

National Historic Sites in Foster


  1. ^ a b American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ US Board on Geographic Names. United States Geological Survey (2007-10-25). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ Provence Journal 2008-02-09, "Would super town fly in western R.I?" Lisa Vernon-Sparks

External links

v • d • eMunicipalities and communities of
Providence County, Rhode IslandCities

Central Falls | Cranston | East Providence | Pawtucket | Providence | Woonsocket


Burrillville | Cumberland | Foster | Glocester | Johnston | Lincoln | North Providence | North Smithfield | Scituate | Smithfield


Cumberland Hill | Greenville | Harrisville | Pascoag | Valley Falls


Chepachet | Esmond | Forestdale | Georgiaville | Glendale | Hanton City | Harmony | Lime Rock | Manville | Mountaindale | Primrose | Slatersville

v • d • e
  Stateof Rhode Island and Providence PlantationsProvidence(capital) Topics

Culture | Geography | Government | History | Images | Narragansett Indian Tribe | People


Counties: Bristol | Kent | Newport | Providence | Washington (South County) | Geographic: Blackstone Valley | Block Island


Central Falls | Cranston | East Providence | Newport | Pawtucket | Providence | Warwick | Woonsocket


Barrington | Bristol | Burrillville | Charlestown | Coventry | Cumberland | East Greenwich | Exeter | Foster | Glocester | Hopkinton | Jamestown | Johnston | Lincoln | Little Compton | Middletown | Narragansett | New Shoreham (Block Island) | North Kingstown | North Providence | North Smithfield | Portsmouth | Richmond | Scituate | Smithfield | South Kingstown | Tiverton | Warren | Westerly | West Greenwich | West Warwick

Coordinates: 41°51′13″N, 71°45′29″W

Categories: Providence County, Rhode Island | Towns in Rhode Island

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