The north facade of the Rhode Island State House in Providence
Providence is the capital of, and the most populous city in, Rhode Island, and one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the estimated third-largest city in the New England region. Despite the city proper only having an estimated population of 178,042 as of 2010, it anchors the 37th largest metropolitan population in the country. With an estimated MSA population of 1,600,856, it exceeds that of Rhode Island itself by about 60% due to its reaching into southern Massachusetts. Situated at the mouth of the Providence River, at the head of Narragansett Bay, the city's small footprint is crisscrossed by seemingly erratic streets and contains a rapidly changing demographic. Providence was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence", which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle. One of the first American cities to industrialize, Providence became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, the city's economy has shifted into the service industries, though it still retains significant manufacturing activity. (Full article...)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was a Massachusetts-born physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). He is also recognized as an important medical reformer. Surrounded by Boston's literary elite—which included friends such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and James Russell Lowell—Holmes made an indelible imprint on the literary world of the 19th century. Many of his works were published in The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine that he named. For his literary achievements and other accomplishments, he was awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world. Holmes's writing often commemorated his native Boston area, and much of it was meant to be humorous or conversational. (Full article...)
Largest self-reported ancestry groups in New England. Americans of Irish descent form a plurality in most of Massachusetts, while Americans of English descent form a plurality in much of the central parts of Vermont and New Hampshire as well as nearly all of Maine.
The MBTA Commuter Rail serves eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island radiating from downtown Boston, with planned service to New Hampshire. The CTrail system operates the Shore Line East and Hartford Line, covering coastal Connecticut, Hartford, and Springfield, Massachusetts