NORTH KINGSTOWN â€“ When the Great Northeast Blizzard struck Rhode Island in February 1978, Wickford was truly a self-contained village.
While the rest of the state was paralyzed in shoulder-high snowâ€“ people sleeping on the floors of hotels, cars abandoned on the interstate â€“ things hummed along as usual in this tiny place.
Founded nearly three-and-a-half centuries ago, Wickford had evolved into a place where everything you could possibly need was only a few steps away and those who lived in the antique Colonial and Victorian homes emanating from the T-shaped thoroughfares of Main and Brown streets saw no reason to go anywhere else to shop.
During the blizzard, state snowplow drivers showed up throughout the night at the Wickford Diner â€“ now part of Stu Tuckerâ€™s restaurant holdings â€“ which stayed open to accommodate them with hearty breakfasts and gallons of coffee.
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