Portsmouth #8: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012


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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 #8 statewide, for 2012. That's a move up from its #10 ranking a year ago.

Portsmouth is a town of balance, according to the numbers. Moving up 5 places in the state's Affordability rankings to #15, Portsmouth's median housing price at $285,000 is the cheapest, relatively, on Aquidneck. Portsmouth is also the most affordable community on Aquidneck, and at #12 on the Education ranking as well as #7 on Economic Condition, is also the top performer on the island. Finally, with an interesting variety of historic properties and sites, Portsmouth ranks an enviable #10 on the Best Communities Arts & Culture scale.

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Portsmouth by the numbers

Established: 1638
Population: 17,389
Median household income: $77,712
Median housing price: $285,000

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 8
Affordability ranking: 15
Education ranking: 12
Economic condition ranking: 7
Safety ranking: 20
Arts & Culture ranking: 10
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 24

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.

Famous residents:

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

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

For more Best Communities coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.


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