Quidnessett, bordered on the north by the Hunt River and on the south by Fishing Cove and the Mill Creek, has never possessed a defined village center, however it is most remarkable in that it has really had three different and distinct lives as a community.  The first goes back all the way to the first half of the 1600’s when the earliest settlers in the region began to clear and farm the land.  The only locus of industry was at the terminus of the Hunt River where both an iron forge and a mill existed; additionally a long-standing gristmill was located on Camp Avenue at the head of Mill Creek. During this phase of its history, Quidnessett was divided into North and South and possessed a district schoolhouse in each of these districts.  

The second phase of the region’s history involved the buying up and consolidated of many smaller farms into a number of enormous “gentlemen’s estate” owned by some of the most powerful men in the region. These men include industrial tycoon Charles Davol, powerful textile barons C. Prescott Knight and Joseph Fletcher, brewer William Hanley, Providence businessmen John Carter Brown, Moses Brown Ives Goddard, and Crawford Allen, and New York City businessman Charles Welling and his wife Katherine among others.  Between them these men owned virtually the entire Quidnessett area and utilized the land as their own private playground installing hunting preserves, horse farms, and even a full-size racetrack for trotters. 

The final phase of Quidnessett’s history is marked by the acquisition of nearly all of South Quidnessett for development of a military base in the late 1930’s.  The base, named Quonset Point/Davisville, was constructed in record time as pressure mounted for the US to enter WWII.  Over the years the remaining land in Quidnessett has been developed for housing.

Quonset Gates


Quonset: Home of the U.S. Navy Seabees