“Conimicut” is named after the granddaughter of the Narragansett sachem, Canonicus, and the daughter of Queen Quaiapen and the sachem Mixanno. Canonicus was the ruling sachem when the English arrived in Rhode Island. The Narragansetts generally shared power among two sachems, and Canonicus shared power with his nephew, Miantonomi. The Shawomet Purchase of present-day Warwick, West Warwick, and Coventry from Miantonomi to Samuel Gorton and his followers occurred in 1642. Some of the early “Gortonists” initially settled in the Mill Cove area establishing a grist mill. In the 1700s and 1800s, the Samuel Gorton Homestead and the Peter Greene House located near the intersection of West Shore Road and Economy Avenue were important social centers. Mark Rock on the shoreline at the end of Rock Avenue contains significant possible pre-European settlement markings by Native Americans.
The current Conimicut Lighthouse was built in 1882. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Mark Rock Hotel and the Conimicut Casino were popular and at times notorious recreational venues. The Warwick Railroad through Conimicut was built in 1865, became an electrified trolley in 1900, and ran until 1946. The Woodbury Union Church was formed in 1907 as an inter-denominational congregation to serve the village’s spiritual needs. The 1938 and 1954 hurricanes traumatized the village. During the mid-20th Century, Conimicut evolved from a mixed summer and suburban community to a year-round community.
The Conimicut Village Association (CVA) was founded on December 31, 1984, by the Reverend William Lover, pastor of the Woodbury Union Church. In April 1985, over 200 people participated in the charter signing. In 1986, a $170,000 grant helped to establish several small parks, heritage lighting, and signage. In the late 1980s and the 1990s, arts and crafts festivals were held regularly on Labor Day. Alex Gray III was instrumental in producing the festivals in the 1990s and he served as president of the Association from 1997 to 2006. CVA placed a bench in the park area across from the post office to honor his contributions to the village. Guy Lefebvre was elected president in 2007 and served from 2007 through 2008 and successfully built CVA membership to 70 members. In 2009, Ginny Barham was elected as president and still serves as such. By the end of 2020, the CVA membership had increased to 185. We are off to a great start to 2021 with 196 CVA memberships as of July.