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Smithfield, RI Weather

What’s in a name Smithfield? Probably more than most realize.

By Bob Buonaccorsi

Let’s go through a list. Angell, Appleby, Barnes, Farnum, Harris, Mowry, Smith, Sprague, Swan, Slack, Thurber, Tucker, Waterman, Whipple and Williams.

These are all families, among others, who helped settle and develop our town, leading to where we are today. You may recall their names are among the many landmarks and streets on our town. Slack’s Pond, Harris Road, Mowry Road, Spragueville, Whipple Road, Waterman Avenue, Farnum Pike, Swan Road, Thurber Boulevard, Barnes Street, Sprague Street, Williams Road, Smith Avenue and, of course, Smithfield.

These esteemed founders of the town have been laid to rest in one of the 119 historical cemeteries in Smithfield. It is important that we, as citizens, do our best to both honor and preserve their memory and our town’s history. The Friends of Smithfield Cemeteries is a volunteer group which has worked for many years to clean and maintain sites, make headstone repairs and insure each cemetery has a proper sign.

With spring approaching, sites need a sprucing and cleaning and our group cannot do them all. With the help of some perpetual care funds, DPW maintains the big Greenville Cemetery and several others, and their work is greatly appreciated. We do have some great volunteers who maintain sites, but we would welcome more. It is not a time-consuming task and involves a few hours during the year to care for a site. It can be an individual, civic group or organization, a group of neighbors or students who need to complete community service or just want to help. Any assistance is appreciated be it a single cleaning or extended care. There are also other tasks such as historical research, checking sites or just being there in support.