Best Community #10: Aquidneck’s Best
Friday, June 24, 2011
It's stiff competition for Best Community on Aquidneck Island, but this neighbor of beachy Middetown and mansioned Newport took top honors for the island, and 10th place overall, in the 2011 rankings.
Portsmouth is a town of balance, according to the numbers. Setting right in the middle of the state's Affordability rankings at #20, Portsmouth's median housing price at $280,000 is the cheapest, relatively, on Aquidneck. That may be a high price statewide, but it's balanced by an excellent school district that ranked #3 statewide this year, and an overall Economic Condition ranking of 7th.
Portsmouth by the numbers
Median household income: $74,976
Median housing price: $280,000
2011 Best Communities rankings
Overall ranking: 10
Affordability ranking: 20
Education ranking: 3
Economic condition ranking: 7
Safety ranking: 18
Arts & Culture ranking: 15'
History in a nutshell:
Portsmouth, settled in 1638, was the second settlement in the area, and the first to be settled by a woman. Anne Hutchinson, the leader of Portsmouth was in charge of one of the most populous settlements in the entire colony. Portsmouth has a very rich history. It was here where one of the most daring captures of the Revolutionary War occurred when British Commander-in-Chief, General Prescott, was captured by the Rhode Island colonel, William Barton. Portsmouth is also the site of Rhode Island’s lone battle in the Revolutionary War: an American victory against the British on Butt’s Hill. The earliest source of income for early townspeople was farming and shipbuilding.In fact, shipbuilding continues as one of Portsmouth’s major industries. Portsmouth is a fully developed community with shops, hotels, golf courses, and numerous marinas. The history of Portsmouth is extremely rich and its future continues to look promising.
Mike Cloud, NFL running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and New York Giants
Chris Cosentino, American chef and cast member of "The Next Iron Chef"
Helen Glover, cast member on Survivor: Thailand and host of the Helen Glover Show on TalkRadio 920 WHJJ
Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. congressman for Rhode Island's First district
Ronald Machtley, former U.S. congressman, President of Bryant University
John Robitaille, Republican nominee for Governor of Rhode Island in 2010
Ryan Westmoreland, baseball player, Boston Red Sox prospect
Ade Bethune, liturgical artist and Catholic Worker
Julia Ward Howe, author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
Anne Hutchinson, founded colony of Rhode Island in 1638
Betty Hutton, American film actress and singer
Additional research by Nate Holterman
- CHART: RI’s Best Communities 2011 from #39 to #1
- RI’s Best Communities 2011
- RI’s Best Communities 2011: How We Got the Rankings
- Best Community #39: Faded Star
- Best Community #38: In the Capital City’s Shadow
- Best Community #37: Too Rich for RI?
- Best Community #36: City in Turmoil
- Best Community #35: Feisty Contender
- Best Community #34: More Than Big Hair
- Best Community #33: Mill Village Pride
- Best Community #32: Sandwiched Between Riches
- Best Community #30: Not All About the Summer
- Best Community #31: River Beauty
- Best Community #29: The Overlooked Community
- Best Community #28: True Island Life
- Best Community #27: Up and Comer
- Best Community #26: RI Rural
- Best Community #25: Country Living
- Best Community #24: Stuck in the Middle?
- Best Community #23: Beach-Blessed Beauty
- Best Community #22: The Enclave
- Best Community #21: Star in the Making
- Best Community #20: City of Contrasts
- Best Community #19: Good Schools, Quiet Living
- Best Community #18: Countryside Charm
- Best Community #17: Northern Gem
- Best Community #16: Brains and Beauty
- Best Community #15: Town on the March
- Best Community #14: Small-Town Seaside
- Best Community #13: Northern RI Surprise
- Best Community #12: Blackstone Valley Standout
- Best Community #11: RI’s Big Apple
- Best Community #10: Aquidneck’s Best
- Best Community #9: The Good Life
- Best Community #8: Historically Rich
- Best Community #7: RI’s Best Small Town
- Best Community #6: The Hub
- Best Community #5: Main Street Powerhouse
- Best Community #4: West Bay Winner
- Best Community #3: The Icon
- Best Community #2: The Best of South County
- Best Community #1: Having It All
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