Watchemoket Square Day
In August of 2011, local businesses and faith groups in the Watchemoket Square area of East Providence, Rhode Island, joined together with the common goal of bringing recognition to this long forgotten district.
Each year, something new is discovered about this former "hub" of East Providence's business district. The annual Watchemoket Square Day event has grown to include: Kids Corner activities, history walking tours, mini-presentations about the Ship Graveyard off Bold Point Park, the City's waterfront development activities, live entertainment and much more!
In 2016, the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce, a founding partner of the event in 2011, took over the event as one of their major, annual community events. The success of Watchemoket Square Day would not be possible without the many businesses, organizations and volunteers who support it.
Watchemoket Square Committee
The mission of the Watchemoket Square Committee (WSC) is to actively foster the well-being of the East Providence residents and local businesses of this area through preserving and improving its quality of life, historic sites and structures, and the natural environment.
The History of Watchemoket provided by East Providence Historical Society:
Len Erickson the historian of Watchemoket has written that “Watchemoket is an Indian word meaning the proximity of the river and the tidal march with the feel and smell of that area… Watchemoket Square started at the place known as Bold Point which was a fording place of the Pokanoket (Wampanoag) people to cross the Seekonk River. In the early years of East Providence the best crossing place on the river was this same crossing place. In 1793, John Brown of Providence built a bridge from Fox Point to Bold Point in what was then Rehoboth. In 1885 a high level iron bridge was built. This caused all kinds of building in the area. Early on horses and stagecoaches followed by autos and electric trolleys flowed over the bridges. An inn was built near the bridge area and some 100 business eventually opened. By 1906 the Square became the central business district of East Providence. Watchemoket Square covered about nine acres of land in the central section of the town.”
Click here for a copy of the East Providence Directory 1896-97 comprised of a General and Business Directory and Street Directory of the Town of East Providence, RI. It also features a record of the town's government, institutions, societies, etc.