I recently just moved to Providence, RI – a hotspot for activity in the small state. Little Rhody, as it is known fondly by locals, is like Massachusetts’s quirky younger brother, with a thriving music, culture, and arts scene. Not to mention it has some pretty amazing beaches and chunks of history. Here are 13 things you may not have known about Rhode Island.
1. It is the smallest state in the United States.
RI is only about 1,200 square miles and has just over a million inhabitants. Oh, and because of this, it also has a major inferiority complex.
2. It is also known as the Ocean State.
This is due to the crazy amount of water from its bays and inlets – making up 14% of the state’s entire area! Let’s just say ferries are a popular transit service.
3. It’s full name is “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”
The latter half of its name was contested in 2009, for the controversial use of “plantation,” but was ultimately retained on the understanding that plantation was only an archaic term for “colony.”
4. Some notable people from RI include H.P. Lovecraft, Viola Davis, Meredith Vieira and Will Blackmon.
Yes, I said Viola Davis.
5. Family Guy takes place in a fictional town in RI.
Since MacFarlane, the creator, is none other than a Rhode Island native.
6. The official state drink is coffee milk.
WTF is that, you may ask? Exactly what it sounds like: milk mixed with coffee syrup. It’s even served at school cafeterias.
7. Most of its famous buildings are abandoned.
The Superman building in the middle of Providence? Empty. The Apex building known as the pyramid of Pawtucket? Also empty. The milk can-shaped building off the highway? You guessed it – empty! Talk about #creepy.
8. It is home to the Gilded Age mansions.
If you haven’t seen The Breakers, you simply haven’t lived. Think of them as the European castles and chateaus of America.
9. Block Island is known as the “Bermuda of the North”
17 miles of pristine beaches and you’ve got yourself a Northern paradise.
10. RI was the first to prohibit slavery in North America.
11. Babe Ruth played for the Providence Grays.
On their team he hit his only official minor league home run.
12. Despite its low-key status, Rhode Island was a hub for organized crime from the 1950s to the 1990s.
The Patriarca crime family ruled over New England from PVD.
13. It’s home to an ivy league: Brown University.
It was founded in 1764. And, lest we forget, it’s Emma Watson’s alma mater.