Rhode Island Tercentenary Issue First Day Cover
300th Anniversary of the Settlement of Rhode Island
Issued on May 4, 1936 in Providence, RI - Scott #777

Unofficial Town Cancel - Bradford, Rhode Island
1st John B. Kilton Cachet - Statue of Roger Williams - Planty #61d

According to Postal records, the first Post Office established at Bradford was the Pawcatuck Post Office established on November 8, 1847 with  John Hiscox acting as Postmaster. The name was chosen in error, as Pawcatuck is in Connecticut, not in Rhode Island. The name was changed to Dorrville, 18 days later on November 26, 1847. (There are no know covers in existence from the Pawcatuck era.) The Dorrville Post Office was disestablished on January 27, 1827 and the name changed to Niantic with Charles Vars as Postmaster. This post office was disestablished on March 31, 1911 and the name changed to Bradford. The Post Office at Bradford, (Westerly Township, Washington County) was established on March 31, 1911 under Postmaster Enoch Vars (son of Charles Vars). The post office is currently in operation under Postmaster Nadine A. Davidson appointed on November 1, 2003.

Bradford was founded as a mill village in 1846. It is located in the township of Hopkinton just west of Burlingame State ParkHopkinton was originally a part of the town of Westerly, but was incorporated as a separate township in 1757. It was first settled in 1704 by Daniel Lewis. The Wood River forms the boundary between Hopkinton and Richmond townships. There were a large number of mills in the area of which only a few remain.  Power for the mills was provided by several rivers including Wood River, Pawcatuck River and Ashaway River

The current population of Bradford is approximately 1750.  Bradford is 34 miles southwest of Providence as the crow flies and is a little over 6 square miles in area.

Source: Rhode Island Postal History: The Post Offices - Merolla, Jackson & Crowther

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