town (township), Washington county, southern Rhode Island, U.S. It lies west of Point Judith Pond and extends northward from Block Island Sound. The area was settled in 1641 and incorporated in 1674 as Kings Towne. Called Rochester in 1686-89, it was divided in 1722-23 into North Kingstown and South Kingstown. The township includes the villages of Kingston, West Kingston, Peace Dale, Wakefield (administrative centre), Matunuck, Green Hill, Perryville, and Tuckertown. The Great Swamp in western South Kingstown was the scene (December 1675) of the Narragansett Indians' final defeat by the colonists in King Philip's (Indian) War. The University of Rhode Island, founded in 1892 near the village of Kingston, plays a major role in the economic and cultural life of the town. Diversified small manufacturing has replaced the textile industry, which was formerly the economic mainstay; summer tourism also is significant. Area 57 square miles (148 square km). Pop. (2000) 27,921; (2006 est.) 29,457.
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