Wakefield is a village of the town of South Kingstown, located in the state of Rhode Island. Settlers came to Wakefield early in the 18th century due to it's proximity to the Saugatucket River. In the middle of the 19th century, Kenyon's Department Store was founded, and Wakefield soon became the business center of South Kingstown. As time progressed, the mills throughout the village became bigger and allowed for population growth. By 1895, there were 1,543 people living in the village. The first hospital was created in 1919 inside a house, and by 1925, the South County Hospital building was erected. It is still in the same location today. The village of Wakefield is rich in history, and its proximity to beaches and other attractions bring in thousands of tourists each summer. Wakefield is centrally located to all of Rhode Island's beaches, ranging from Misquamicut beach on the western edge of the state to Second Beach in Newport. South Kingstown, the township of which Wakefield is a village, is home to three of the most beautiful beaches in the state, East Matunuck state beach, South Kingstown town beach in Matunuck, and the Moonstone Beach National Wildlife Refuge, the longest stretch of undeveloped beach in the state.