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Island, Rhode Island, U.S. It lies at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound, 9 mi (15 km) southwest of Point Judith, R.I. It has an area of about 11 sq mi (29 sq km) and is coextensive with the town of New Shoreham (pop., 2000: 1,010). Called Manisses by its original Indian inhabitants, Block Island (named for the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block) received its first European settlers in 1661 and was admitted to the colony of Rhode Island in 1664. Once dependent on fishing and farming, it is now primarily a resort.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Block Island, visit Britannica.com.