Exploring the Abandoned Places of Rhode Island: A Journey Through Forgotten History

Abandoned places in Rhode Island are a unique glimpse into the state’s forgotten history, offering visitors a chance to explore and connect with the past. Exploring the Abandoned Places of Rhode Island: A Journey Through Forgotten History is a guidebook that highlights the most interesting and significant abandoned sites in the state, from abandoned factories and mills to old mansions and hospitals. These places offer a tangible connection to Rhode Island’s industrial past and provide a window into the lives of those who once called these spaces home.

One of the most striking aspects of abandoned places in Rhode Island is the sense of decay and neglect that permeates these once-thriving spaces. From crumbling facades to overgrown vegetation, these sites are a stark reminder of the passage of time and the impermanence of human endeavors. Despite their dilapidated state, these places hold a certain beauty and mystery that captivate visitors and inspire curiosity about their histories and inhabitants.

As Rhode Island continues to evolve and modernize, many of these abandoned places face an uncertain future. Preservation efforts are underway to protect and revitalize these sites, but many still remain at risk of being lost to time. It is crucial for visitors to respect these spaces and tread lightly, preserving them for future generations to enjoy and learn from. By raising awareness about these abandoned places and their significance, we can help ensure that Rhode Island’s forgotten history is not lost to the sands of time.

What are the most fascinating abandoned places in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island, despite its small size, is home to a number of intriguing abandoned places that are steeped in history and mystery. These abandoned buildings, factories, and homes offer a glimpse into the past and serve as a reminder of how time can change a place. From the majestic ruins of the Ladd School to the eerie Feel Good Farm, each location has its own story to tell.

The Ladd School, located in Exeter, Rhode Island, was once a state-run institution for the mentally disabled. Over the years, it gained a dark reputation for its mistreatment of patients and harsh living conditions. Today, the crumbling buildings and overgrown grounds serve as a haunting reminder of the facility’s troubled past.

Feel Good Farm, on the other hand, was once a thriving dairy farm in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Abandoned in the 1980s, the farm’s barns and outbuildings now stand empty and decaying. Despite its dilapidated state, Feel Good Farm remains a popular spot for urban explorers and photographers looking to capture its unique charm.

Other notable abandoned places in Rhode Island include the former Cranston Street Armory, a grand castle-like building that has stood empty for decades, and the Pawtucket/Central Falls Train Station, a historic site that has fallen into disrepair.

Exploring these abandoned places offers a chance to connect with Rhode Island’s past and uncover hidden stories. From the faded grandeur of forgotten buildings to the eerie silence of deserted homes, each location has its own atmosphere and sense of intrigue.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the history and significance of these abandoned places in Rhode Island, highlighting their unique features and exploring the reasons behind their abandonment. Join us as we uncover the secrets of these fascinating locations and discover what they can teach us about the past.

Exploring the Abandoned Places of Rhode Island

Rhode Island, despite being the smallest state in the United States, is home to a number of abandoned places that are rich in history and intrigue. From forgotten factories to crumbling mansions, each abandoned site has a story to tell about the past of this coastal state.

Exeter Tuberculosis Hospital

Located in the town of Exeter, the Exeter Tuberculosis Hospital operated from 1902 to 1975, treating patients with tuberculosis. The hospital was eventually abandoned and now stands as a haunting reminder of a bygone era. Visitors can explore the decaying buildings and learn about the history of tuberculosis treatment in Rhode Island.

Ladd School

The Ladd School, also known as the Exeter School for the Feeble-Minded, was a state-funded institution for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The school operated from 1908 to 1993, and was infamous for its poor living conditions and mistreatment of residents. Today, the abandoned campus serves as a chilling reminder of the dark history of institutionalization in Rhode Island.

Belcourt Castle

Belcourt Castle, located in Newport, was once a grand mansion owned by the Vanderbilt family. The castle was built in the late 19th century and is now abandoned and in a state of disrepair. Visitors can explore the opulent interiors and imagine the grandeur that once existed within its walls.

King Philip’s Cave

Located in Bristol, King Philip’s Cave is a natural rock formation with a fascinating history. According to legend, the cave was once used by the Wampanoag chief King Philip as a hiding place during the King Philip’s War in the 17th century. Today, the cave is abandoned and overgrown, but it remains an important historical site in Rhode Island.

  • Exeter Tuberculosis Hospital
  • Ladd School
  • Belcourt Castle
  • King Philip’s Cave

1. Are abandoned places in Rhode Island safe to explore?

It is important to exercise caution when exploring abandoned places in Rhode Island. Many of these locations may be structurally unstable, have hazardous materials, or be off-limits for legal reasons. Always do thorough research and consider the potential risks before entering any abandoned site.

2. Can I legally enter abandoned buildings in Rhode Island?

Trespassing on private property, including abandoned buildings, is illegal in Rhode Island. It is essential to obtain permission from the property owner before entering any abandoned site to avoid legal consequences.

3. How can I find abandoned places to explore in Rhode Island?

There are various resources available online, such as forums, websites, and social media groups, where enthusiasts share information about abandoned places in Rhode Island. Additionally, historical records, books, and local archives can provide leads on interesting locations to explore.

4. What should I bring with me when exploring abandoned places in Rhode Island?

When exploring abandoned places in Rhode Island, it is recommended to bring essentials such as a flashlight, first aid kit, sturdy footwear, water, and any necessary protective gear. Additionally, consider bringing a camera to document your journey responsibly.

5. How can I respect the history and integrity of abandoned places in Rhode Island?

Respecting the history and integrity of abandoned places in Rhode Island is essential. Avoid vandalism, theft, or any actions that could damage or disturb the site. Take only photographs, leave only footprints, and preserve the history for future generations to enjoy.


Abandoned places in Rhode Island offer a glimpse into the state’s rich history and intriguing past. From the eerie Ladd School to the majestic Cranston Street Armory, these deserted locations are filled with stories waiting to be discovered. Exploring these abandoned sites not only provides a sense of adventure but also allows for a deeper appreciation of Rhode Island’s heritage.

Despite their decay and neglect, these abandoned places serve as reminders of the passage of time and the impermanence of human existence. They also highlight the importance of preserving historical landmarks and cultural sites for future generations to appreciate. Whether it’s the haunting beauty of the Newport Tower or the mysterious allure of the abandoned Belcourt Castle, each location tells a unique tale that adds to the tapestry of Rhode Island’s history. In a state known for its vibrant culture and picturesque landscapes, these abandoned places offer a different perspective that is both captivating and thought-provoking.