Place:Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States

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NameLittle Compton
Alt namesCommonsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS44000879
Comptonsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS44000879
Compton Commonssource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS44000879
Little Compton Commonssource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS44000879
The Commonssource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS44000879
TypeTown
Coordinates41.5°N 71.167°W
Located inNewport, Rhode Island, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Old Commons Burial Ground
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Little Compton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island between the Sakonnet River and the Massachusetts state border. It is the birthplace of the Rhode Island Red hen.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Little Compton was originally inhabited by the Sakonnet Indians. The name has been interpreted in a variety of ways including "where the water pours forth". The first Colonial settlers in Little Compton were from Duxbury, Massachusetts in the Plymouth Colony, which granted them their charter. They divided the land into lots of standard sizes and began settling there. Among these 29 original proprietors was Colonel Benjamin Church, who would become well known for his role in the late 17th-century conflicts with surrounding Indian tribes, notably the Narragansetts and Wampanoags. In 1675, Church built a house in Little Compton, just prior to King Philip's War. Today, a plaque on the side of West Main Road marks the location.

In 1682, Sakonnet was incorporated by the Plymouth Colony and renamed Little Compton, probably in reference to Cullompton, Devon, England. A Royal commission changed the border in 1747, and Little Compton along with Tiverton and Bristol became part of Rhode Island. All probate and land records prior to 1746 can be found in Taunton and New Bedford, Massachusetts because Little Compton was once part of the Plymouth Colony.


Sites of historic interest in Little Compton include the Wilbor House, built in 1692 by Samuel Wilbore and now the home of the Little Compton Historical Society. The entire town commons is also on the National Register of Historic Places. There are about 57 historic cemeteries in the town. Benjamin Church and his family are buried in the Little Compton Commons cemetery, as is Elizabeth Pabodie, the eldest daughter of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame. The stones in the cemetery reflect a style of carving similar to that found both in Newport and in Boston during the same time period.

Little Compton is the location for one of three town commons in Rhode Island. The others are in Warren and Bristol. This is most likely a result of the town having been originally laid out by settlers from the Plymouth and Massachusetts Colonies. Land for the common was designated in August 1677 and has been used ever since as both a religious and civic center for social activities in the town, as well as private events such as weddings and funerals. The commons contain a large cemetery.

Another distinctive feature of the town is the circa 1905 "Spite Tower" found in the village of Adamsville. Built as a water tower, local lore claims that it was constructed to obscure the line of sight of a town local.

Fort Church was built near Sakonnet Point during World War II and was named for Benjamin Church. The largest of the four batteries was Battery Gray with two 16-inch guns, an area that became the Sakonnet Golf Club.

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