Abandoned Hanton City | Ghost Town | Rhode Island

Abandoned Hanton City | Ghost Town | Rhode Island

Hidden in the woods of Smithfield, Rhode Island are the remains of a town that dates back to the late 1600s. These ruins are spread over a huge area and can be tricky to locate, which is why it took us two separate visits to track down everything there is to see here.

Filmed/Edited by Jason Allard

My website: www.UncomSenseMedia.com
Follow me on Instagram: @Uncomsense
Drone: DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo
Secondary Camera: GoPro Hero8 Black
Editing: Final Cut Pro w/ custom plugins

Listen to the Weird Island Podcast about Hanton City here | https://rb.gy/ztzfmd

Music By:
Dexter Yu | https://rb.gy/exmuzo
GLB Beats | https://rb.gy/cthxih

Welcome to the Abandoned Hanton City.

Visiting here in the summer is definitely exploring on hard mode, but I really wanted to experience it as a truly lost city – completely overgrown. And before you say um, calm down it’s just Smithfield – I grew up in the city so being out here is basically the wilderness, okay? Going off trail even for a few minutes places you in rocky sometimes swampy terrain that all looks the same.

The ghost town today consists mainly of stone foundations and walls, since the original buildings were abandoned and rotted away a LONG long time ago. How long ago?

Hanton City was abandoned sometime in the early 1800s – we can estimate this based on a Providence Journal article from 1937 that sought to identify the earliest settlers of the area.

The journalist mentions large trees growing out of a cellar hole and foundation here, using this to approximate the year it was abandoned.

He says “judging from the apparent age of these trees, which did not begin to grow there until long after the house had fallen to decay, this location hasn’t been inhabited for at least 100 years”. So, 1937 minus about a hundred years brings us to the early 1800s.

An interesting relic here is one of the wells, uncovered and still held together after all these years. If one thing here is haunted or contains a ghost, it’s 100% this creepy well in the woods.

Near here are the foundations to one of the houses with steps to the cellar still visible. Most houses during this time only had cellars beneath the kitchen, so it’s likely these structures were actually pretty big back in the day.

Nearby are the remains of a corn crib, a raised structure where farmers would store and dry their crops. The structure itself sat on these stones but has since completely rotted away.

There is also this dam deep in the woods that was used to help with irrigation – again, invisible here unless you know exactly where to go.

So where did all the people who lived here go?

The stories told are wild, ranging from a mysterious plague that wiped everyone out, to a mass alien abduction that made everyone vanish into thin air. My personal theory though, was that the nearest Dunkin Donuts was over 10 minutes away and they just couldn’t deal with that.

The 1889 Providence Journal article I mentioned earlier interviewed 80 year old Tom Hanton, who still lived on the edge of Hanton City in a one-room shanty. He was described in the story as “the last of the Hantons.”

Born around 1809 and about 80 years old at the time of the interview, Hanton told the reporter that his town “was a lively and enterprising place, when he was young.” The inhabitants worked in stone quarries and made shoes by hand, taking them to Providence to sell at the market. But, the quarry closed and factories full of machines took over the making of shoes, driving the residents of Hanton out of their occupations.

He goes on to say “They had all got poor, and sold out to anybody, and died off”.

Hanton City reached its peak in the 1730s and consisted mainly of poor tanners/bootmakers and their families. It was never more than a small town, and was already abandoned when official state maps were drawn in the 1850s. The residents all relocated once a new highway pattern diverted traffic away from Hanton, which was once a rural trading stop between Providence and Woonsocket.

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  1. Firecracker on November 3, 2022 at 9:24 am

    So many treasures in Rhode Island!!

  2. Mike Coglione on November 3, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Hello Jason as per your video do you have a map/coordinates of all the ruins? I explored the area hiking and with mountain bike for about a year before I found what I think was almost all of them on my own but it has interested me and I still go here fairly frequently as I enjoy the fire trails on my MTB. Would love to compare notes.

    Specifically did you manage to find Smithfield Historical Cemetery 97, the Brown Lot and the foundation where there is a collection of artifacts right next to it? It’s further north to the Southeast or at the 4 o clock position of Fidelity’s Vernal Pool Loop. If it wasn’t for another mountain biker and youbuter who posted videos on how to find it I would have never come across it, I spent many months looking for it as the historic cemetery database has incorrect GPS coordinates for it.

    If you’re into MTB I will be there next Wed 11-2 at 5pm with a friend to show him the area and riding the trails. It’s fine at night just bring good lighting of course thanks to modern LED’s you can see the trails pretty well but bring pepper spray. There are bears, deer sized coyotes and mountain lions in those woods! Seen a bear twice once near Rocky Hill rd where that puddle is on the power lines the other times on the gas line. Bears are terrified of you will run like rabbits only bigger and more dramatic. The BIG coyotes aren’t afraid of you though they’re scary.

  3. larry ciummo on November 3, 2022 at 9:26 am

    Jason – Have you done abandoned ski areas of RI – Pinetop, Ski Valley, and Diamond Hill? Might not be dramatic enough.

  4. AngelWolfPlays on November 3, 2022 at 9:28 am

    Awesome vid. Similar structures can be found at the Monastery in Cumberland. Lots of history there.

  5. Ray Ursillo on November 3, 2022 at 9:29 am

    I lived in Smithfield and we still hike through there and check out the area there’s a rumor that there’s a boulder with a bowl carved in the middle Indians used to bring their corn and grind it to make bread

  6. Rob Lavoie on November 3, 2022 at 9:30 am

    I’ve lived here in Rhode island my whole life and never heard of this city…..

  7. George Petrin on November 3, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Very, very interesting. Thanks to you and your mom for this entertaining and informative video.

  8. chatham117 on November 3, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Awesome video as always!

  9. Chris Keating on November 3, 2022 at 9:37 am

    Great video Jason…so much detective work ,reading and boring searching through records of old newspapers at the library and online to make such a cool video! I highly recommend you get a compass and learn land navigation from one of the Books they have out there like be an expert with a map and compass or the Ranger compass course, or any of the videos out on land nav by Corporal Kelly on tube you… he’s a good instructor on the subject … Thanks again for a Wicked Awesome video on the history of R I…CHEERS and till the next one, happy Hunting !

  10. Marc Spector Comics on November 3, 2022 at 9:37 am

    Great video jason! As someone who lives in Smithfield I’ve never heard of it would def love to check it out

  11. Joshua Lindberg & Films on November 3, 2022 at 9:38 am

    Greta video. there’s few things quite as mystic as finding something so historic and raw off a beaten trail

  12. Jeffrey Hernandez on November 3, 2022 at 9:38 am

    Love the channel!

  13. kevin turner on November 3, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Good Job very interesting

  14. Michael Caron on November 3, 2022 at 9:42 am

    I’ve read about the british loyalists. Awesome job, that is a neat place. You’ve certainly inspired me to go back and keep searching.

  15. NOKK on November 3, 2022 at 9:42 am

    I’m heading off Saturday. Any tips for my trip?

  16. 2eyeluvmac2 on November 3, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Great video.

  17. Dan Marion on November 3, 2022 at 9:46 am

    I love all you work. this was cool as I had no idea such a place existed.

  18. John Hartley on November 3, 2022 at 9:47 am

    You may consider doing a piece on the King Phillip War. I don’t think it’s history is general RI knowledge and there are several remaining landmarks to film. One recommended reference is Bourne’s “Red King’s Rebellion”.

  19. Therese Curran on November 3, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Wish your series could be a history course for high school!

  20. Laurie Andreoni Wilson on November 3, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Great story, thanks!!

  21. ldbagge on November 3, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Amazing as always!

  22. Mister Ed on November 3, 2022 at 9:51 am

    There’s no other channel I look forward to seeing as much, Jason. Everything is so well done. From concept to story to execution. Just excellent.

  23. Anna's Burning Curiosity on November 3, 2022 at 9:56 am

    cool story

  24. David Lawlor on November 3, 2022 at 9:57 am

    pretty rad dude!

  25. BackwoodsJeepin4.0 on November 3, 2022 at 9:58 am

    Thank You Jason for doing this piece! This place is very specia,, intriguing and historical to me. Well done man! Props to all who helped! Especially Momma dukes! Appreciate all your work!

  26. Jamie G on November 3, 2022 at 9:59 am

    This is so cool! My friends and I love exploring. We do it throughout CT. Follow our TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRao49S1/

  27. Madmok128 on November 3, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Where I grew up in western coventry there were those walls all over the woods we had 32 acres of land and were surrounded by thousands of acres of woods. I remembered these two pools of water that were made with cement and it had weird drill holes in it. The moss was thick I never figured out what it was

  28. Mỹ Thanh Trần on November 3, 2022 at 10:00 am

    I see that your channel is very valuable. I would love to repost your whole channel, without changing anything, on the nice platform named Gan Jing World. If you agree with that, please let me know. Thanks!

  29. Alex Medeiros on November 3, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Calm down it’s just Smithfield

  30. Bc Cam on November 3, 2022 at 10:02 am

    Great job on the video

  31. Sanchez Domingo on November 3, 2022 at 10:03 am

    been there before, no ghosts man…. more likely to stumble upon some redneck with a shotgun

  32. Christopher J on November 3, 2022 at 10:04 am

    Been an abducted captive of lil rhody almost 20 years. Thought ive seen all of this little…um state…not enough cool history to outweigh the wanton corruption

  33. Ryan Miech on November 3, 2022 at 10:04 am

    Great video Jason!
    Two thoughts,
    I would definitely recommend making a video on George E. Matteson. He is the fella that drew up that very cool map you showed. Very cool life, as a cartographer and forest ranger, and would travel the forests of RI, mapping things out and talking to residents in the area.
    Secondly, if you stumbled upon a more recent article about Hanton City, it might be featuring yours truly. Very cool experience having a journalist go find things out about a ghost town for you, then to go hunt it down. As such Hanton City holds a special piece of me, and thank you for giving it some thoughtful coverage

  34. Ryan Lynch on November 3, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Awesome 👏. If you have a mountain bike. Go up rocky hill rd and go into the fire road at the corner.. really cool site.. couple more cemeteries with a pretty big cemetery on the other side of the reservoir…. Cellar holes everywhere

  35. Michael Biscornet on November 3, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Always excited to see new material from you. Thank you again!

  36. Patrick McLaughlin on November 3, 2022 at 10:11 am

    I grew up in RI. Your videos are a taste of home. Please, keep them coming.
    And, thanks Mom.

  37. anthony banks on November 3, 2022 at 10:12 am

    always a Good watch ! I’m looking forward to the next adventure . cool find

  38. jim briggs on November 3, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Hanton is my families name. I wonder……..

  39. Frank B on November 3, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Wow Jason, as always your research and presentation are impeccable! The scenery was just beautiful and the stone walls and foundations are really nice. I only wish that history in school was this much interesting and fun! Thanks.

  40. Richard McCombs on November 3, 2022 at 10:16 am

    I love the Dunkin donuts comment as only a Rhode islander could understand. There had been 4 DD on mineral spring avenue between rte 7 and rte 146, think that was a mile and a half total .

  41. David Shaffer on November 3, 2022 at 10:17 am

    I just stumbled onto this video, (not even sure how I got here). Stone ruins of New England fascinate me. I’m in rural Maine. Thanks for all your work on this informative video, beautiful and entertaining! I’m looking forward to exploring your other work!

  42. Good Times Roll on November 3, 2022 at 10:17 am

    As a current resident of RI, it often feels like RI gets overlooked as a state because of how small it is. So it’s incredible to see such you, an incredibly talented film maker, researcher, explorer, historian, etc, focus your efforts on subject matter thats of particular interest to a relatively smaller audience. These videos feel like we have our own, local Johnny Harris. RI is lucky to have you. I love the content and look forward to learning a little bit more about this state with each video you put out. I hope you keep up the excellent work and start seeing some much deserved recognition.

  43. Gazebo Joe's on November 3, 2022 at 10:18 am

    Not that much of a mystery. The abutting farm was mine. “ Decotis farm”. Our farm house that my dad , Antino grew up in was the poor farm. i use to go up there all the time. one would think the main reason it was abandon was its poor soil for growing crops. There are other remains throughout the area.

  44. Krista P on November 3, 2022 at 10:18 am


  45. ben candelaria on November 3, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Excellent! Oh, and hi mom!!!

  46. birdaaayyy on November 3, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Now I know where I’ll be going for my next hike 🖤💪

  47. gothicjesus on November 3, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Very well done video, the editing is awesome and research is throurough, thank you for taking the time to make this! My friend and I go on explores like this, we watch your videos for inspiration 🙂 cheers from Massachusetts!

  48. Chip Tooth on November 3, 2022 at 10:21 am

    As a resident, please don’t promote this as a hiking destination. This is private property

  49. TehAwesomer on November 3, 2022 at 10:21 am

    Your content is great. Insta-watch. 👍

  50. David Lareau on November 3, 2022 at 10:22 am

    Been there many times, never gets old.

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