One Square Mile

About once a year, our newsroom will devote an entire week to award-winning reporting that covers "one square mile," somewhere in Rhode Island.  One town/location gets in-depth look at variety of stories from a diversity of angles: politics, education, health care, the economy, its character and history.  

OSM locations have included:

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

In early 1860, Abraham Lincoln came to Rhode Island gathering support for his presidential campaign. He stopped in Providence and Woonsocket. and there's a rumor that he also visited Burrillville's Western Hotel, a popular stagecoach stop on the Douglas Turnpike. For the final installment in our series One Square Mile: Burrillville, Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman takes us to the Western Hotel, in the village of Nasonville, in the town's southeast corner. It turns out, this hotel has some interesting history, both real and imagined.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

This week, a Burrillville couple sued Warner Brothers over the movie “The Conjuring,” claiming it has turned their lives into a nightmare. The couple lives in the house that the supernatural thriller is based on. They claim their peace and quiet has been ruined by trespassers trying to check out their supposedly haunted property. Well, it turns out that tales about “The Conjuring” house are among several ghost stories told in Burrillville. 

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave chat with Burrillville Economic Development Director Thomas Kravitz about encouraging growth while maintaining the town's rural character and historic mill villages.


This week's episode of The Bottom Line is part of our series One Square Mile: Burrillville.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 p.m.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Want to take a trip through history with your own personal tour guide? Or better yet, want to send some relatives visiting for the holidays on an adventure? Try our audio walking tour of historic Harrisville, one of the main villages in the town of Burrillville.

Find out what it was like to work in a woolen mill in the late 1800s, meet the industrialist who embraced profit-sharing and paid vacations before most others had even heard of such practices, and follow the rise and fall of a town whose fate has been intertwined with the textile industry - until now.


Addieville East Farm in Burrillville, Rhode Island is a haven for sport hunting, and has gained an international reputation. And as part of our Series One Square Mile: Burrillville, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, running this massive operation is labor of love.

Elisabeth Harrison

School resource officers, police officers who are embedded in public schools, have become commonplace in Rhode Island. But the practice is under new scrutiny after a controversial incident in South Carolina, where an officer dragged a high school student from her chair, flipping the student and her desk onto the floor in the process.

In Burrillville, Officer David Beauchemin takes what I would describe as a community policing approach to the district's five public schools.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

There’s an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose unfolding across Rhode Island right now, and Burrillville, a small town in the northwestern corner of the state has been particularly hard hit.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

If there’s an epicenter of eating chicken in Rhode Island, it’s got to be Wright’s Farm in Burrillville. Frank Galleshaw the 3rd oversees this sprawling enterprise that began humbly more than 60 years ago.

Jesse M. Smith Library in Harrisville

Join Rhode Island Public Radio for a listening party for our series One Square Mile: Burrillville at the Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library in Harrisville!  Hear highlights from the series, meet the local reporters who produced the stories, and share your stories with us!

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

This week, we bring you the sights and sounds of Burrillville, Rhode Island, with our occasional series One Square Mile. Today we head to Spring Lake, in the village of Glendale with Rhode Island Public Radio's morning host Chuck Hinman.

This local watering hole is one of the closest things the town has to a public beach.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Burrillville has become the unlikely epicenter for controversy over natural gas. The town is home to a natural gas-fired power plant, two pipelines, and two compressor stations to push gas through the pipelines.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This week, we’re bringing you stories from Rhode Island’s picturesque Northwest. They’re part of our series One Square Mile: Burrillville.

We've put together an audio walking tour of one of Burrillville’s most historic villages, Harrisville. Here's an excerpt. Your guide is Betty Mencucci, president of the Burrillville Historical and Preservation Society.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s historic audio walking tour of Harrisville, plus a map and photos of each stop on the tour, will be available for download from our web site later this week.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

As part of our series One Square Mile: Burrillville, we're taking you on an insider's tour of a venerable Burrillville institution, Zambarano Hospital. In 1906, the Wallum Lake campus opened as a tuberculosis sanatorium. Today, the patients, and the times, have changed, but a sense of community remains.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

All this week, Rhode Island Public Radio is focusing on Burrillville, a small community in the northwest corner of the state. Burrillville’s most influential media source is a weekly, printed publication that most people have never heard of. It began publishing in 1970 and is called the Bargain Buyer.

At Monty’s Victory Diner in Burrillville, it’s easy to find local residents like Robert Wolstenholme who swear by the Bargain Buyer.

John Bender / RIPR

Today, Rhode Island Public Radio kicks off a week-long series we call `One Square Mile’ where we focus  on one of Rhode Island’s communities. This week the focus is Burrillville. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay brings us the story of Austin T. Levy, an unconventional industrialist, who built up one of the mill villages that now make up one of Burrillville’s central neighborhoods.