Hispanic Division: Back to Whaling in Southeastern New England

Portuguese Settlement in the Fox Point Section of Providence, RI

During the first decades of the twentieth century, Providence, Rhode Island, began to replace New Bedford as the gateway for Portuguese immigration. Although most immigrants coming into the city moved to other industrial towns in southern New England or to the agricultural towns in central California, many remained, working in the city's textile factories. By 1915, Providence and East Providence counted almost 5,000 Portuguese-born residents.

These Portuguese immigrants initially settled near Providence's waterfront in an area known as "Fox Point." This area is depicted on a page from a 1937 real estate atlas, which not only shows individual buildings and lot boundaries, but also the names of property owners. While the most obvious indication of the Portuguese community is the Holy Rosary (Portuguese Catholic) Church, closer inspection reveals many Portuguese family names in the adjoining blocks to the north and east of the church. Those names which are obviously Portuguese are underlined.
Plat Book of Providence, R.I. Plate 18 from Plat Book of Providence, R.I. Philadelphia: G.M. Hopkins, 1937. Color facsimile. Geography and Map Division, G1239.P9H62 1937 (15).
Enlarged version of Plat Book of Providence, R.I. Enlarged version of Plat Book of Providence, R.I., with Portuguese names underlined in red.


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Portuguese Settlement in the Fox Point Section of Providence, Rhode Island