Seniors Are Drawn to Woonsocket

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How many cities can you name that have a name like Woonsocket? I’ll bet not one, unless you are from South Dakota or Rhode Island. I have been enthralled with that name and I read in USA Today about the town. I figured it was time to learn what’s happening there that draws senior visitors and how it got that unique name.

I learned that Woonsocket in the north of Rhode Island has a population around 42,000, that it ranks sixth largest city in the state and that it lies directly south of the Massachusetts state line and straight north of Providence, the capital.

There are actually two Woonsocket’s.  Woonsocket, RI was the first, established in 1888. The other, Woonsocket, South Dakota, pop. 700, was named by its superintendent of railroads who had originally come from Woonsocket, RI., and therein lies the connection.

Interesting Name Derivation

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Now for that name: Woonsocket. In 1661, the English theologian Roger Williams purchased the area from the “Coweset and Nipmucks”, and in a letter referred to modern day Woonsocket as “Niswosakit”. Other possible derivations to the name include several Nipmuc geographic names from nearby Massachusetts.

A sleepy farming community until the 1800′s, Woonsocket later became one of the nineteenth century’s great industrial centers. Main Street has been restored and is a great place to start a visit. The heart of Woonsocket has always been this line of commercial buildings all along Main Street. Today, it is the gateway to a new and revitalized Main Street.

Stadium Theatre is a must for you senior travelers who enjoy performing arts centers, and check your timing for Autumn Fest, another fun time in town. Market Square was a dense warren of factories from the 1820′s to the middle of the present century.

For Seniors Who Like National Historic Sites

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As you well know by now, I am very much into National Historic Sites as well as World Heritage Sites.  Woonsocket may top the list for its size… I counted 36 properties and districts in Woonsocket listed on National Register of Historic Places. That will keep senior history buffs strolling around the town for quite some time just taking in all the historical sites.

River Island Park provides an attractive environment in which to appreciate Woonsocket’s unique combination of urban atmosphere and natural beauty. Within steps of the city’s Main Street, Allen Street and Island Place Historic Districts, senior visitors can enjoy peaceful strolls, memorable views from the scenic overlook, or launch a canoe to more closely experience the power and majesty of the nearby mighty Blackstone River.

Many folks have settled in Woonsocket due to the fact that it is home to the CVS Caremark Corporation, a fortune 500 company that is headquartered in town. Plus it is centrally located in the Boston/Worcester/Providence Triangle.  You will well remember your visit to Woonsocket.  jeb


  1. Faith Gitlow says:

    I am a resident of Woonsocket. Looking for a chance to take a trip with other senior residents
    in a bus or jitney perhaps. The bus would pick us up and take us to (for example) a Flower show in Providence, a field trip at a picnic park perhaps, a boat ride, or luncheon outing
    on a lake restaurant with canoes…etc, . Many cities have this type of business which offer social and educationally interesting trips for seniors who want to travel with other people.
    Is there anything like this in Woonsocket, RI ?
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were!
    Many seniors are no longer able to drive. They may be living alone and want to meet others their age. Not all seniors care for a “Senior Center” type of event. And, WE WOULD PAY for the transportation, the stage show, the lunch, the boat, the Art Museum, etc. And we would all enjoy meeting other people our age.
    We have all looked for this sort of idea in Woonsocket, but have not found anything yet.
    Thank you. Faith

    • Jeannine Becker says:

      Retirement communities sometimes offer this kind of service. We wish you well in your search.
      Jeannine Becker
      Senior Citizen Travel

    • Jeannine Becker says:

      Hello Faith,
      We wish you well in your search for interesting trips for seniors. Perhaps looking in nearby cities you might find just such an organization. Thank you for reading our blog…
      Jeannine Becker
      Senior Citizen Travel

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