West Warwick was incorporated in 1913, which makes it the youngest town in Rhode Island. The determination to split Warwick and create West Warwick has a political and geographical basis.
West Warwick housed all of the mills in Warwick, which centered on the Pawtuxet river. This area had largely a democratic following, while the eastern half, Warwick, was republican dominated.
The mills of West Warwick produced textiles for clothing, mainly cotton. Interestingly, the "Fruit of the Loom" trademark originated in West Warwick. It was the trademark of the "Royal Mill", which later was sold to an undergarment producing company.
A visitor to West Warwick will often take away the memory of one of the massive mill structures that still exist today.
The mills once provided for many people, making West Warwick a desirable place to live and a thriving business district. Many people of different nationalities came to West Warwick to work in the mills, and they formed many villages which persist today including:
The castle-like mills that still stand today in West Warwick and the roads that twist and turn, up and down the hills, and around the Pawtuxet river are constant reminders of the thriving economy once experienced in West Warwick during the 19th and 20th centuries. West Warwick is fortunate to have its many historical sites as well as its geographic and natural resources to build upon during its revitalization in the 21st century.