Scituate #30: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


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It's been a tough rankings year for this town best known for its Fall season when art festivals and apples draw thousands to its roads from all over New England. After two years in the Top 10, a combination of economic factors in this year's data pushes Scituate down the ladder to a #30 spot for 2012.

The first major change for Scituate was in its Affordability ranking, which dropped from #13 in 2011, to #25 this year. Similarly, its Economic Condition ranking downgraded in one of the largest adjustments in the rankings from #10 a year ago, to #36 in 2012. Scituate also experienced a drop in its Safety ranking, moving from a stellar #2 last year, to #5 in 2012. A low ranking in Restaurants & Bars (#32, tied with Exeter) coupled with a lukewarm #29 in Arts & Culture kept the town down the ladder as well.

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Scituate by the numbers

Established: 1636
Population: 10,329
Median household income: $74,000
Median housing price: $240,000

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 30
Affordability ranking: 25
Education ranking: 13
Economic condition ranking: 36
Safety ranking: 5
Arts & Culture ranking: 29
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 32

History in a nutshell:

Scituate, incorporated in 1730, lies just to the west of Providence and just beyond the outer reaches of Johnston. Like many other early settlements, Scituate first began as an agrarian based society but as the town’s population grew, focus was shifted to industry and manufacturing. With the help of its many running streams, water power was able to drive industry aiding in cotton mills and iron ore factories. The Scituate Reservoir, built by a large dam, provides water to the local community and is the main water supply for the city of Providence. Today, Scituate is most popular for its scenic landscapes, comprised of vast woodlands, stone walls, quaint farms, and colorful apple orchards.

Famous residents:

Ezekiel Cornell, delegate to the Continental Congress
Esek Hopkins, Naval figure in Revolutionary War
Stephen Hopkins, Governor of Rhode Island, signer of the Declaration of Independence
Armand LaMontagne, prominent wood sculptor
William West, Revolutionary War General, Lt. Governor of Rhode Island, Chief Justice of Rhode Island
Arthur Steere,prominent Rhode Island businessman and politician
James Burrill Angell, President of the University of Michigan, University of Vermont
Alice Howland, first librarian in Scituate; donated the land that is now the Hope Recreational Park
Robert Capron-Rowley Jefferson in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

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