• Bricks & Murals

  • In September 2017, a grassroots committee of volunteers, operating under the non-profit entity known as Bricks and Murals, created this unique artistic display.  This art trail of museum-quality original designs depicts many historic moments in our community.  The internationally recognized group of volunteers known as the Wall Dogs led the creative process.  Thanks to the generosity of numerous sponsors, hundreds of local volunteers, and the fiduciary management of the Ocean Community Chamber Foundation, the project was fully funded and a $5,000 maintenance account is managed by the OCCF. 

    Anyone wishing to make a financial contribution to support the future restoration or repairs should send a check payable to:

    OCCF, 1 Chamber Way, Westerly, RI 02891. 

    Donations are 100% tax deductible (Bricks and Murals organization dissolved with Rhode Island Secretary of State in 2023).



  • Mural #1: Industrial - Historic Mills of Pawcatuck

    Bricks & Murals #1 - Industrial

    16 Mechanic Street, Pawcatuck, CT

    This mural can be found on the side of the Pawcatuck Working Man’s Club next to C.C. O’Brien’s on Mechanic Street. The history of Rhode Island in the textile industry goes all the way back to the invention of the Arkwright Cotton-Spinning Machine in 1790 by Samuel Slater. This machine was the first of its kind in America and was installed in Pawtucket, however, the textile industry in Westerly did not thrive until the mid-19th century with the influx of immigrants locating to the United States for work. The impact the mills had on the Town of Westerly can be credited to O.M. Stillman who acquired several pieces of land surrounding his mills and created a mill village in his name. Today, this area is now known as Westerly’s North-End. O.M. Stillman operated his business until 1870 before it was purchased and named the Westerly Woolen Company. The property would then be sold two more times before being acquired by the G.C. Moore Company where it has remained in operation with Darlington Fabrics.


  • Mural #2: Westerly vs. Stonington

    Bricks & Murals Mural #2 - Westerly vs. Stonington

    8 Mechanic Street, Pawcatuck, CT

    This mural can be found behind C.C. O’Brien’s Irish Sports Bar and Café at 8 Mechanic Street in Pawcatuck.  While many paintings between downtown Westerly and Pawcatuck promote unity between these neighboring towns, this one celebrates their differences: the ongoing Thanksgiving rivalry game between the Westerly High School Bulldogs and the Stonington High School Bears.  Each year since 1913, the two teams have met on the football field on Thanksgiving morning.  The rivalry itself dates back to 1911 and is the most played series in the United States.  It is quite fitting that in a rivalry between two schools, which are less than three miles apart, the Thanksgiving Day series is so tight with the Bulldogs holding a slight 47-44-19 edge over the Bears (Stonington leads the all-time series 74-68-17).


  • Mural #3: Westerly and the Great Hurricane of 1938

    Bricks & Murals Mural #3 - Westerly and the Great Hurricane of 1938

    37 West Broad Street, Pawcatuck, CT

    This mural, found between 29 and 37 West Broad Street (next to Mel’s Downtown Creamery) in Pawcatuck, showcases the local impact of the Hurricane of 1938. September 21, 1938 started like any day in the town of Westerly until an unexpected and devastating hurricane struck. The powerful storm's fierce winds and torrential rains descended upon Westerly, ripping roofs from homes, toppling trees, and flooding the streets with a raging surge of seawater. The hurricane's unrelenting fury left the town in a state of shock, with homes destroyed, businesses shattered, and lives forever changed. In the aftermath, the community of Westerly rallied together, rebuilding their town and fortifying their spirit, determined to rise above the wreckage and rebuild their lives stronger than before. 


  • Mural #4: Pawcatuck River

    Bricks & Murals Mural #4: Pawcatuck River

    38 West Broad Street, Pawcatuck, CT

    This mural is located on West Broad Street next to Jewett City Savings Bank in Pawcatuck. The Pawcatuck River, flowing through modern-day Connecticut and Rhode Island, bears the historical weight of the Colonial Border Conflict. In the 17th century, this picturesque river became a source of contention between the English colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, each vying for control over its strategic location. The dispute arose due to faulty colonial charters and overlapping territorial claims. The tension escalated over time, leading to sporadic conflicts and legal battles. It wasn’t until 1728 that a settlement was created naming the Pawcatuck River as the defining line between Rhode Island and Connecticut. The border dispute over the Pawcatuck River symbolizes the struggles for dominance and land rights during the colonial era, offering a glimpse into the complexities of early American history and the efforts to define and defend territorial boundaries in an evolving landscape.


  • Mural #5: The Chorus of Westerly

    Bricks & Murals Mural #5: The Chorus of Westerly

    137 Main Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural is located on the back of Dick’s World of Wines. Founded in 1959 by George Kent, the Chorus of Westerly is a dedicated group of performers that has evolved into a renowned institution that captivates audiences with its performances. Membership ranges from children from the age of 8 to adults of all ages. The Chorus has not only entertained but also fostered a sense of togetherness among its members and the local community. Through its diverse repertoire, ranging from classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions, the Chorus of Westerly showcases the power of music to transcend boundaries and touch hearts. Its annual "A Celebration of Twelfth Night" has become a cherished tradition, bringing warmth and joy to the winter season. The Chorus of Westerly continues to create an enduring legacy of artistic achievement and cultural enrichment.

  • Mural #6: Italian Heritage

    Bricks & Murals Mural #6: Italian Heritage

    Bricks & Murals Mural #6: Italian Heritage

    Bricks & Murals Mural #6: Italian Heritage

    Bricks & Murals Mural #6: Italian Heritage

    100 Main Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, located at 100 Main Street on the right side of Avie’s Ski Sports facing McQuade’s, pays tribute to the culture and customs that shaped Westerly into the city we know today. It focuses on four key aspects of life in this town for Italian-American families, all of which have long been central to Italian-American culture. Although Italian immigrants began flocking to the United States in the late 1800s, most did not settle in Westerly until the early 1900s. Westerly presented several work opportunities for the immigrants due the up-and-coming granite industry. At the heart of the mural is the importance of family to Italian-American culture. Many generations of families continue to share homes and pass down recipes and traditions.


  • Mural #7: Welcome

    Bricks & Murals Mural #7: Welcome

    87 Main Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, located next to the Washington Trust Skating Rink on Main Street, celebrates community unity, as it blends Westerly, RI and Pawcatuck, CT as one harmonious community.


  • Mural #8: Children’s Mural

    Bricks & Murals Mural #8: Children's Mural

    19 High Street, Westerly, RI (Rear Parking Lot)

    Located off of High Street at the entrance to Wilcox Park by the Westerly Post Office and behind Miceli's Furniture, this mural celebrates the creativity of Westerly’s children as they volunteered their time alongside professional arts to leave their mark on the town.


  • Mural #9: Granite Industry

    Bricks & Murals Mural #9: Granite Industry

    39 High Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural can be found on High Street in the alley next to Fret’s Guitar Workshop and FUN Company. If there's one industry that's been integral to Westerly's history for two centuries, it’s the granite industry. This industry has been a major part of Westerly's economy since 1846 with the discovery of a large deposit of granite on the Babcock family’s farm by Orlando Smith. Through generations of the Smith family, they developed some of the largest quarries in the United States. Westerly Granite began to prosper following the American Civil War in the 1860s with war hero memorials and monument commissions. With the increase in demand for granite, there was a significant increase in new granite companies and an influx in immigration to Westerly. More than half of the town’s population was involved in the granite industry by 1892. The industry flourished until the early 20th century with the impact of the Great Depression slowing down business. Many of the granite companies in Westerly were sold off to larger firms. Today, there are a few remaining companies that operate on a much smaller scale, but the presence of Westerly Granite can be found throughout several businesses and monuments throughout town.


  • Mural #10: The Westerly Band

    Bricks & Murals Mural #10: The Westerly Band

    42 High Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, located on High Street right above Pooch’s Pour House, is inspired by the history and creation of the Westerly Band. In the mid 1800’s, a passionate group of musicians came together to form the beloved Westerly Band, uniting their talents to create harmonious melodies that echoed through the streets. Comprising a diverse ensemble of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments, the Town Band rehearsed diligently infusing the air with notes of camaraderie and dedication. Through the years, the Westerly Band continues to inspire generations, passing down musical tradition and fostering a deep sense of pride in their tight-knit community.

  • Mural #11: Wilcox Park

    Bricks & Murals Mural #11: Wilcox Park

    1 Canal Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, located next to Christina’s LTD on Canal Street, is inspired by the beautiful Victorian strolling park across the street. Wilcox Park, nestled in the heart of Westerly, Rhode Island, has a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. It was established in 1898 through the generous donation of land and funds by the Wilcox family, prominent members of the community. The park's design was influenced by the Victorian garden movement, featuring meandering pathways, lush flower beds, and a picturesque pond. It quickly became a centerpiece of Westerly's cultural and recreational life. Over the years, Wilcox Park evolved into a hub for community gatherings, hosting concerts, art exhibitions, and other events. The iconic Victorian gazebo became a symbol of the park's charm and served as a stage for musical performances. In the late 20th century, efforts were made to restore and preserve the park's historical elements, ensuring that its beauty and significance would endure for future generations. Today, Wilcox Park remains a beloved oasis, a testament to the enduring legacy of the Wilcox family's generosity and the town's commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and natural beauty.

  • Mural #12: Westerly Telephone Company

    Bricks & Murals Mural #12: Westerly Telephone Company

    15 Canal Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, found outside Surf Cantina on Canal at 15 Canal Street directly across from the former location of Martin House Books in Westerly, celebrates a time when making a private phone call was a new and exciting endeavor.  In 1902, a man named Dr. John Champlin saw the potential in new telephone technology and took advantage of his financial status as well as spark for innovation by bringing Westerly into a new era of communication.  By 1902, he had gained a reputation within town as a great leader, and, being highly respected and admired by his peers, gained support around town for his latest idea, the automatic telephone.  Dr. Champlin traveled to Chicago, where he met with an undertaker who had developed this new concept, before returning to Westerly with his newfound knowledge when he set out to implement the automatic telephone in his hometown.  The slogan “Prompt, Private, Perfect” was selected for the new Westerly Automatic Telephone Company since it summarized all of its advantages over the former operator based telephone system.  Dr. Champlin acted as president of the business until his retirement in 1937, when his son, Dr. John Champlin Jr., stepped in as vice president.  Dr. Champlin Sr. recognized the potential of the automatic telephone for Westerly and worked to turn his idea into a reality.  Because of his forward-thinking attitude, for a moment in time, Westerly was “the most famous telephone town in the country.”  John Champlin and the Westerly Automatic Telephone Company took the town into the future, making it easier than ever for residents to communicate with one another in an easy and efficient manner.  This leap forward brought about changes that are still being felt today and for this reason, Dr. Champlin and his company are rightfully commemorated with a mural in downtown Westerly.


  • Mural #13: Ships & Ferries

    Bricks & Murals Mural #13: Ships & Ferries

    10 Canal Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, found on the side of 10 Canal Street, is best viewed from the intersection of High Street and Canal Street in downtown Westerly. In the early 20th century, the New London Steamboat and Shore Line Trolley emerged as a visionary solution to the transportation challenges facing the coastal communities. As steamboats connected New London, Connecticut, to nearby islands, and trolleys efficiently navigated the picturesque shoreline, a new era of alternative transport was born. Passengers embarked on steamboats from New London's bustling harbor, journeying to the tranquil islands for leisure and escape.


  • Mural #14: Beach Trolleys

    Bricks & Murals Mural #14: Beach Trolleys

    21 Canal Street, Westerly, RI

    Located at 21 Canal Street in Westerly, the Shore Line Trolley mural celebrates the tramcar that glided along the coast to offer seamless connections between towns, beaches, and cultural attractions. Travelers indulged in the convenience and scenic beauty of this alternative mode of transport, witnessing stunning coastal homes from the trolley's windows and breathing in the salt-scented breeze on the steamboats' decks. During the summer months, these transport options came alive with activity, becoming integral to the region's tourism and creating cherished memories for generations. The New London Steamboat and Shore Line Trolley served as more than just conveyances; they became emblematic of an era, weaving a tapestry of coastal life, adventure, and exploration that continues to captivate imaginations to this day.  Funding for this mural was provided by the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce.


  • Mural #15: Civil War Veterans/Congressional Medal of Honor

    Bricks & Murals Mural #15: Civil War Veterans/Congressional Medal of Honor

    29 Friendship Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, located on Friendship Street on the side of the Westerly Education Center, pays tribute to Westerly’s Civil War Veterans. Corporal James Albert Barber of Westerly, Rhode Island, stands as a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of American soldiers. Serving during the American Civil War, Barber's legacy is one of selflessness and honor. Enlisting in the military at a young age, he demonstrated exceptional courage and dedication on the battlefield. On April 2, 1865, Barber was one of 20 soldiers in the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery Regiment who volunteered to join an assault mission in Virginia. The group was able to turn the enemy guns against themselves and eliminate the threat. Barber was discharged in 1865 after being wounded twice in action, but his efforts during combat earned him the prestigious Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration. Barber passed away in his home in Westerly in 1925 and is buried in River Bend Cemetery with his tombstone memorializing his service to his country.


  • Mural #16: Railroad

    Bricks & Murals Mural #16: Railroad

    29 Friendship Street, Westerly, RI

    This mural, located adjacent to Mural #15 on Friendship Street past the Westerly Education Center, celebrates the history of train access in Westerly through the town’s train station.  Constructed in the late 19th century, the station emerged as a vital transportation hub along the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad line, linking Westerly to major cities in the region. It also facilitated the movement of passengers and goods, driving economic development and transforming Westerly into a bustling center of trade. Over the years, the station witnessed various renovations and changes in function, adapting to evolving transportation needs. The original train station was later relocated to its current location and now operates under Amtrak.


  • Mural #17: Blues

    Bricks & Murals Mural #17: Blues

    Bricks & Murals Mural #17: Blues

    Bricks & Murals Mural #17: Blues

    35 Railroad Avenue, Westerly, RI

    Located on Railroad Avenue on the side of the building that inspired its design, this mural pays tribute to the Knickerbocker Music Center. Also nicknamed “The Knick”, The Knickerbocker Music Center was built shortly after the end of Prohibition in 1933. The club was named after the Knickerbocker train that passed through Westerly. With the club positioned across the street from the train station, it became a thriving entertainment center in southern New England. One of the most notable bands to play at the Knickerbocker was Roomful of Blues. Created in Westerly in 1967, Roomful of Blues played a wide range of Chicago blues, swing, and jumping blues. Their music has received five Grammy nominations and seven Blues Music Awards. Today, The Knickerbocker Music Center’s mission is to preserve and develop Westerly blues and other forms of music.

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