The historic Bristol County courthouse is located at 260 High Street, Bristol RI 02809. There is no form of county government in Rhode Island.
Part of the original Plymouth Colony and Bristol County Massachusetts, it was incorporated in 1685. Bristol County Rhode Island was formed in 1746.
When the Plymouth settlers first visited the area in 1621, they found it occupied by a tribe of Indians known as the Wampanoags, under their chief, Osamequin or Massassoit. The Indian name of the area between Plymouth and Narragansett Bay was called Pkanoket.