Greg Gerritt talks about the Moshassuck River in Providence

The Narragansett people gave the Moshassuck River its name, “Mooshausick”, meaning the river where moose watered. In 1636 Roger Williams, European founder of Rhode Island, settled on the east bank of the River and learned its name from the Narragansetts. Friends of the Moshassuck River Executive Director Greg Gerritt gave a brief on-land tour of the River on May 2, 2023 from where it enters Providence to where it ends at the Providence River downtown. Click here for a five-minute video of this tour. Click here for a 13-minute tour of the River that Gerritt produced.

The River first enters Providence at the north end of the City and runs along the North Burial Ground in a remnant of the Blackstone Canal  until it disappears in a pipe underground.   The canal is eventually crossed by a bridge built by the Works Progress Administration in 1935-38.  Click here for a map of the entire river course.

The Moshassuck is joined by its major tributary, the West River, about a mile from the center of Providence. The headwaters of the River are only ten miles away in Lincoln. Between the two cities, the river has five ponds, a reservoir, and 11 dams. The River was used as part of the Blackstone River canal in the 1840s.

The River emerges downtown along Canal Street across from the Roger Williams Memorial and joins the Woonasquatucket River just below the Citizens Bank Plaza to become the Providence River.