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Exeter #16: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

 

Exeter

Some of the greatest discoveries in GoLocalProv's Best Community rankings come from quiet rural outposts that carry on the good business of educating children and providing safe, affordable places for Rhode Islanders to live, work, and raise families. This town, an unassuming community largely rural, is another one of these discoveries, and it moved up another 2 spots in this year's ranking, to #16. It turns out that Exeter should be known for more than being the home of Rhode Island's only ski area.

A glance at Exeter's subranking shows an Education and Economic outlook that's hard to beat: Top 10 rankings on all three measures, and a #3 ranking in Economic Condition. On the schools front, Exeter shares a regional school system with West Greenwich, and its top-ranked high school in this year's Top High School rankings has contributed to its #10 finish in Education Rankings. What keeps this town from taking a spot in the Top 10 Communities in Rhode Island, though, is a Safety ranking that lies in the bottom half of the cities and towns, plus low Arts & Culture and Restaurants & Bars rankings.

Exeter by the numbers

Established: 1641
Population: 6,425
Median household income: $98,438
Median housing price: $311,500

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 16
Affordability ranking: 6
Education ranking: 10
Economic condition ranking: 3
Safety ranking: 27
Arts & Culture ranking: 23
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 32

History in a nutshell:

Between 1680 to 1725, the first permanent settlers of Exeter began to arrive in land west of the Connecticut boundary. The settlement grew quickly and by 1740 the population of Exeter numbered around 1,000 people. The villages grew near lowland streams where water was used as a power source for the small factories and mills. With the start of the 20th century, many of these villages began to decline as the factories closed and the population decreased. Exeter, surrounding by a quaint and sprawling countryside, is now mostly a rural, residential area. The natural beauty of the town complemented with wooded hills, crystal streams, and large population of wildlife make it a pleasant and quiet place to reside.

Famous residents:

Mercy Brown, alleged vampire

Photo: Jack McCabe
Famous residents source: Wikipedia

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