The original town of King's Town, incorporated in 1674, included the present towns of South Kingstown, North Kingstown and Narragansett. It was in this area that the Narragansett Indians hunted, fished, raised corn and held forth against the rival Niantic Indians. The first settlement was in South Kingstown, and it was there in the Great Swamp Fight, in 1675, that colonial soldiers from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut gave King Philip his greatest defeat.
Recently, diversified small industry has replaced the town's former leading textile manufacturer. The J.P. Stevens Company, for many years operated the Peace Dale Mill, until the textile decline soon after the end of World War II. A drive for additional new industrial growth is currently underway.
South Kingstown is located in Washington County south of Kingston between Narragansett and Kingston along Highway 108 near Point Judith Pond. Narragansett Bay is just east.