1. Providence has the most coffee and donut shops per capita of any city in the country, with over 25 doughnut shops per 100,000 people. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user See-ming Lee
2. Brown University’s John Hay Library contains three books bound in human skin, including, fittingly, “On the Structure of the Human Body.” 3. The Big Blue Bug, also known as Nibbles Woodaway, is located along I-95 in Providence and is the world’s largest artificial bug. The blue termite is 928 times the size of an actual termite. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Big Blue Bug Solutions via Facebook
4. Going to traffic court in Providence? You might become a star of ABC’s “Caught in Providence,” a Judge Judy type show that has real (and outlandish) people arguing their speeding tickets with Judge Frank Caprio. 5. Providence is the largest manufacturer of silverware in the world. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user Martin Cathrae
6. A 12-foot high Gun Totem stands outside Providence’s Federal Courthouse. The totem contains over 1,000 guns recovered from a buy-back program. 7. Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s house is in Providence. The house served as a model for the home of the protagonist of “The Haunter of the Dark.” 8. H.P. Lovecraft’s grave can be found in Swan Point Cemetery, with an inscription that reads “I Am Providence.” 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Wikimedia user FlickreviewR
9. The Biltmore Hotel is regarded as the most haunted spot in Providence due to the score of murders during Prohibition years. The hotel served as inspiration for Steven King’s “Overlook Hotel” and Robert Bloch’s “Bates Motel.” 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: iprefer.com
10. Providence has been named one of the “Best Lesbian Places to Live” and has a 75% higher rate of gay and lesbian relationships than the rest of the country. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user Jef Nickerson
11. The largest gay bathhouse in New England is located in Providence. 12. The first diner is credited to Providence resident Walter Scott, who sold sandwiches, pies, and coffee outside the “Providence Journal” offices in 1872. 13. The city has the most restaurants per capita, in part because of the high number of graduates from culinary fields from Johnson and Wales University. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Los Andes Restaurant via Facebook
14. The Westminster Arcade, also known as the Providence Arcade, is America’s first enclosed shopping mall, which may explain the classical look. 15. Former mayor Buddy Cianci is credited with making the unofficial Providence maxim: “Be careful–the foot you step on today could be attached to the a** you need to kiss tomorrow.” Cianci was also Providence’s longest-serving mayor, so there is definitely some wisdom in those words. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user goaliej54
16. 75% of Rhode Island’s inhabitants live within 15 miles of Providence. 17. Providence is home to the First Baptist Church in America, which has been around since 1775. 18. Writer of “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” George M. Cohan, was born in Providence in 1878. 19. It is illegal to jump off a bridge in Providence. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user Aza Raskin
20. The sinking of the British boat The Gaspee in the Narragansett Bay between Newport and Providence was the first American military action of the Revolutionary War. 21. Like Rome, Providence claims to be founded on seven hills. 22. Former mayor David Cicilline was the first openly gay mayor of a US state capital. 23. The Providence Children’s Museum features a massive dragon that hangs off the roof and may or may not come to life at night. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Providence Children’s Museum via Facebook
24. Edgar Allen Poe’s most notable love interest and one of the best female poets of her time, Sarah Helen Whitman, was a lifelong resident of Providence. 25. Providence was able to remain relatively untouched throughout the American Revolution because the city freely traded with both sides of the conflict. 26. Rhode Island was first settled in 1636 by Roger Williams under the name Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which is still the official state name. Providence Plantation was the nucleus of the new colony. 27. Providence was once nicknamed the “Beehive of Industry,” but has rebranded itself as the “Creative Capital” in recent years. 28. WaterFire is an award-winning installation of 81 braziers in the Woonasquatucket River that brings around 40,000 spectators a year. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user hlkljgk
29. Fort Thunder is the nexus of Providence’s popping underground music scene. 30. Prospect Terrace Park is a great place to overlook the “downcity” of Providence, and was frequented by H.P. Lovecraft. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user taberandrew
31. The Rhode Island State House in Providence boasts 4th-largest self-supporting marble dome in the world, bested only by the Minnesota State Capitol, the Taj Mahal, and St. Peter’s Basilica. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Wikimedia user Flickr upload bot
32. The Providence Athenaeum is the fourth oldest library in the country. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user angela n.
33. Providence’s sister cities include Florence, Riga, Santo Domingo, and Guatemala City. 34. The heaviest bell made by Paul Revere & Son is located in the First Unitarian Church in Providence. 35. Brown University was chartered in 1764 and is the state’s oldest institution of higher education. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user Internet Archive Book Images
36. Benefit Street is known as the “Mile of History” because it contains the largest single collection of unmoved historic buildings. 37. In 1792, Elijah Ormsbee piloted one of the first steam-powered boats in the world, dubbed the “Experiment,” which went on 3 MPH trip between Providence and Pawtucket. 38. The costume jewelry business began in Providence in 1794 when a new method for plating base metal with gold was discovered. Today, the state employs 35,000 people in jewelry manufacturing and distribution. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Flickr user redfilter25
39. Everyone knows Providence is Rhode Island’s capital, but until 1854, there were five separate capitals. In 1854, the capitals were cut down to Newport and Providence, with Providence becoming the sole capital in 1901. 40. At the turn of the 20th century, Providence had the largest tool factory, file factory, engine factory, screw factory, and silverware factory in the world. 41. Providence is home to the Tony award-winning Trinity Repertory Company. 42. Longtime mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca was headquartered in Providence from 1954 to 1984. The Patriarca crime family’s control extended throughout New England. 43. Roger Williams Park Zoo is the 3rd oldest zoo in the country, and today houses over 100 species. 43 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Providence
Source: Roger Williams Park Zoo via Facebook
What’s your favorite Providence fun fact? Tell us in the comments below!