The street is named after a rebellious British minister, William Wickenden, who had a farm on the original strip of land comprising modern-day Wickenden Street. Wickenden was one of the first settlers in Providence in the 17th century. The area was home to a large Portuguese-American community starting in the 19th century. In 1885, Bishop Hendricken organized one of the first Portuguese-American churches in the area on the site of a former Wickenden Street skating rink. Some of the houses on the Street are still painted in pastel colors in the Portuguese style.