Rhode Island - Hanton City

Hanton City ghost town

It took two tries, but Shawn DeCesari and I finally found the traces of the 19th- to early 20th-century settlement in Smithfield, RI. No one knows why it was abandoned, but the approximately dozen homesteads have all been completely destroyed, leaving very few traces of their existence. The photos on this page attempt to capture as much as is left of the settlement. There is also a graveyard close to RI Route 7 on Lydia Ann Road, but out of respect for the deceased, I do not show that here (that is the same reason my Centralia page doesn't show the smoking graveyard).

Traces of asphalt pavement remain on the Hanton City Trail, now completely inaccessible by vehicle, if it ever was accessible. Hanton City died sometime before the Great Depression, so it's curious that the Trail was paved at all, especially considering the condition of Rhode Island's current vehicular back roads.

The first lot on the left, after walking through an easily opened gate to the Hanton City clearing.

The second lot on the left, with remnants of some green wood (shingles? shutters? scrap?) in the second photo and a fence in the third photo. There is no way to know whether any of this material is original or whether locals have been using this clearing as a dump for assorted scrap.

Continuing around the west side of the clearing, the next lot has a rusty metal... thing... with no apparent use. It's not terribly deep in the ground, so I don't know how old it actually could be, but if it's not from Hanton City, it was at least probably in use before the city was abandoned.

The fourth lot is nestled beneath a cut hillside (third photo) that appears to be the result of a mini-landslide and not clearing for Hanton City. The metal... other thing... in the second photo is much newer than the thing from the previous caption, so almost definitely not from Hanton City.

This lot is on the north side of the lot, across from the gate.

Two more lots on the right side of Hanton City (the east side). There is a metric lot of multicolored glass pieces of things in the first photo, and similar bottle fragments are scattered around other lots as well. At least some of this must be from Hanton City, but I'm sure a lot is from late-night revelry. The first lot in particular had more glass than the other lots around Hanton City - was it a tavern or a restaurant, or were the inhabitants merely drunkards?

There was a lot of wood in fairly large pieces at the southeastern corner of the lot, just before I left again. Again, was any of this someone's house or shed from Hanton City, or did someone come out here with a lot of wood to dispose of in a questionable manner?

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