Tiverton was originally incorporated in 1694, as part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A long boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Massachusetts was settled in 1746, and Tiverton, by Royal Decree, together with the Towns of Cumberland, Barrington, Bristol and Little Compton was annexed to RI. The town was incorporated in 1747.
In its early day, Tiverton was chiefly a farming community with fishing and boat construction. Until 1900 the manufacture of menhaden oil, a fish derivative, was one of the primary industrial pursuits. Cotton and woolen mills were established as early as 1827. Recent years have seen Tiverton grow as a summer resort and residential area. Most development hes been concentrated in the area known as North Tiverton.
Tiverton is located in Newport County just northeast of Portsmouth between North Tiverton and Tiverton Four Corners along Highway 177 on the banks of the Sakonnet River River near Mt Hope Bay. Tiverton is part of the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area.