poll: Woonsocket #38: RI’s Best Communities 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013


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A lively, ethnically diverse community rich with a history of Indian influence, Woonsocket has a legacy of industrial riches evident in its architecture (such as the remarkable St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, shown here).  The origin of the city's name has numerous theories, but the translation “thunder mist” from the falls on the Blackstone may be the most popular. A city that relies on manufacturing as its primary form of income, Woonsocket continues to struggle with myriad challenges, from poverty to educational opportunity for its youth. 

Woonsocket by the numbers

Established: 1867
Population: 41,186
Median household income: $39,329
Median housing price: $133,125

2013 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 38
Affordability ranking: 28
Education ranking: 36
Economic condition ranking: 38
Safety ranking: 36
Arts & Culture ranking: 36 

Famous residents:

Greg Abate, musician
Rocco Baldelli, baseball player
Latimer Whipple Ballou, congressman
Bryan Berard, hockey player
Brian Boucher, hockey player
Marcel Desaulniers, chef
Eddie Dowling, actor, screenwriter and songwriter
Allen Doyle, golfer
Draco and the Malfoys, wizard rock band
Denise Duhamel, poet
Eileen Farrell, opera soprano
Ernest Fortin, theology professor
Stuart Gitlow, physician
Brian Harnois, paranormal investigator
Gabby Hartnett, baseball player and manager
Ambrose Kennedy, congressman
Clem Labine, baseball player
Nap Lajoie, baseball player
Catherine J. Lanctot, law professor and legal scholar
Neil Lanctot, historian and author
Francis Leo Lawrence, college president
William C. Lovering, congressman
James McAndrews, congressman
J. Howard McGrath, politician
Dave McKenna, jazz pianist
Edwin O'Connor, radio personality and novelist
Aram J. Pothier, governor
Duke Robillard, blues guitarist
Christopher Robinson, congressman
Mathieu Schneider, hockey player
Bill Summers, umpire 

What do you think is the best thing about Woonsocket? Cast your vote, right here. 


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