13 Facts about Rhode Island…including Nelson Eddy

  1. The Rhode Island state bird is a Rhode Island Red. A chicken. For some reason, this cracks me up.
  2. The state flower is a viola. Pretty little Johnny Jump Ups make me smile in the spring.
  3. The state tree is the Red Maple, and the state has 14 state parks. Damn, there must be a state park around every corner!
  4. Rhode Island was the 13th state to join the United States, and their state flags is 13 stars (to symbolize the original 13 colonies) around a gold ship’s anchor. Beneath the anchor is a banner that reads “hope.”
  5. The Industrial Revolution in the United States began in Rhode Island, after the first successful water-powered cotton mill began operation in Pawtucket in 1793.
  6. It’s nickname is the “Ocean State” – yep, that’s why I’m going there!
  7. The state has a population of just over 1 million people. In contrast, the metro area of Chicago has almost 3 million people in it.
  8. It is the smallest state in the union, and one of the most densely-populated.
  9. The population is 52% female, 48% male, and a whopping 85% Caucasian. The median age is 37, with only 15% of the population over 65.
  10. James Woods, Harry Anderson, Nelson Eddy, and Spaulding Gray are some famous native Rhode Islanders.
  11. Tourism generates over a billion dollars a year in revenue for the state, but jewelry making is one of its largest non-maritime industries. Who knew?
  12. One of the “places to see” in Rhode Island is Block Island, a 7 mile long island off the coast at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. The ferry to Block Island and seeing the famous Block Island Lighthouse is one adventure I hope to take on my vacation.
  13. The best clam chowder I’ve ever had was during last year’s vacation, when Mags took me to Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowderhouse, the Clam Shack location on Point Judith Road. The doughboys were awesome, too. Definitely a stop planned there for me this year!!!