• Downtown Westerly-Pawcatuck

  • Westerly, Rhode Island


    Westerly is located on the southern tip of Rhode Island, bordering the southeastern corner of Connecticut. 

    The Town has an atmosphere of an old New England village,and a unique history in the annals of U.S. History. The indian name for Westerly was Misquamicut - a place for taking salmon.

    Westerly was the first town incorporated in the King's Province on May 13, 1669, and the fifth town in the colony. On the 23rd of June 1686, the name was changed from Westerly to Haversham, but the former name was restored in 1689. The Towns of Charlestown, Hopkinton, and Richmond were later taken from the Town of Westerly.

    In its early beginnings, Westerly was the frontier town of the colony. Out of this beginning, many diversified industries grew, but Westerly has been best known for the granite that was once taken from its quarries for building purposes in neighboring towns and cities, and for monuments in various parts of the country. 

    Westerly is also known as a vacation area. The position of Watch Hill almost surrounded by the ocean and bay with beautiful formation of rocks and sand beaches all contribute to its beauty. The winds bring in the cool bracing sea air and the temperature in the summer is rarely oppressive. Rowing, swimming, ocean sailing, fishing, and hiking make this a favorite resort area. 

    WesterlyWesterly's seven miles of sandy beaches are a mecca for tourism. The seven-mile strip is composed of the Misquamicut State beach, Westerly Town beach, public and many private beaches. The State Beach is open year-round, while other beaches are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The town of Westerly is located just minutes away from Interstate 95 and is divided by US Route 1. Granite Street, a five-mile portion of Route 1, runs through the heart of Westerly. It is ranked the 10th busiest street in Rhode Island with average daily traffic of 25,750 (both directions ). Passenger and freight transportation is available via Amtrak Rail Service and the Westerly State Airport. The town of Westerly is composed of seven villages also known as fire districts: Westerly, Watch Hill, Dunn's Corners, Misquamicut, Bradford, Shelter Harbor and Weekapaug. Between 1980 and 1990 Westerly experienced a 14.05% population growth. Currently, Westerly supports a population of over 23,000, although it nearly doubles during the summer due to the large number of vacationers and seasonal residences. Encompassing an area of 33 square miles, the town's average population density is projected to be 626 per square mile. 

    In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Westerly as one of the 12 Most Distinctive Destinations in the country. The unique, well-preserved architecture downtown, coupled with 55 historic sites, such as the Babcock-Smith House and Flying Horse Carousel, makes it no surprise that Westerly received this outstanding designation. Westerly - Pawcatuck are two towns, one fabulous destination!


    Pawcatuck, Connecticut

    Pawcatuck is a river village in the historic town of Stonington. The first business was the trading post on the Pawcatuck River built by Thomas Stanton in 1661. Shortly thereafter a grist mill and later a sawmill was erected on the west bank of the river. The oldest standing house in Stonington is the Stanton-Davis Homestead in Lower Pawcatuck built in 1680.

    King Charles II set the eastern boundary of Connecticut at the Pawcatuck River in 1662, which explains why Westerly and Pawcatuck are in different states while still being entwined in many business and recreational enterprises.

    Pawcatuck has retained its neighborhoods and sense of community. Citizens take great pride in their schools. The Town of Stonington has made investments in beautifying their downtown with trees and flowers and with a pleasant park on the river. Marinas are busy launching and servicing boats for sportfishing in the Atlantic. Downtown retail shops feature unique gifts, trendy clothing and a pottery studio.

    Today Pawcatuck is the home of such modern enterprises as the Cherenzia Companies  and Cottrell Brewery which is known for its Yankee Ale. 


    Westerly / Pawcatuck two towns, one fabulous destination!

    The Official Town of Stonington Website

     Click here to view the Stonington Non-profit Impact Study

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