DescriptionKing Philip's War, fought 1675-76 between the Wampanoag Indians and New England settlers, was an attempt by the Indians to resist further encroachment by the English. Wampanoag chieftain King Philip established his stronghold in the swamp at the foot of Mount Hope; he later was killed there.
After the Revolutionary War the triangular trade-the transfer of rum, slaves and molasses among Africa, the Caribbean and New England-made Bristol a popular port for trading vessels and a prosperous community. The result of that wealth still is evident in the fine 18th- and 19th-century homes that grace the town's waterfront, although its harbor now shelters mainly pleasure craft.
Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. designed and built eight defenders of the America's Cup 1893-1934. The shipyard also built the nation's first torpedo boat in 1876. The tradition of boat building continues in Bristol-local companies have built recent America's Cup contenders and winners.
Bristol Historical and Preservation Society, 48 Court St., chronicles more than 300 years of Bristol history; phone (401) 253-7223. Coggeshall Farm Museum, off SR 114, portrays the lifestyles and work of a 1790s coastal farm; phone (401) 253-9062.
Ferry service, available year-round to Prudence Island, departs from the Church Street wharf (weather permitting) at Thames and Church streets; phone (401) 683-0430 for schedule and fee information.
Bristol's Fourth of July Celebration is reputedly the nation's oldest 4th of July celebration, dating to 1785. Festivities include a watermelon-eating contest, a parade and a fireworks show.