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 Charlestown Rhode Island Home Improvement


Charlestown, named for King Charles II, was taken from the Town of Westerly, and incorporated in 1738. In 1747, it was divided, and the north portion of the Pawcatuck River became the Town of Richmond.

The town of Charlestown is located along the southern shore of Rhode Island approximately equidistant from Groton/New London, Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island, each a drive of approximately 40 minutes. Charlestown is bounded to the west by the towns of Westerly and Hopkinton. Charlestown's neighbor to the east is the town of South Kingstown. To the north is the town of Richmond, with which Charlestown shares the villages of Carolina and Shannock. The lands of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians, approximately 1,900 acres, are almost entirely surrounded by Charlestown and adjoin Richmond to the north. These lands comprise a community separate from Charlestown.

The town landscape is divided by a ridge of steeply rolling hills (glacial moraine) that run north of U.S. Route 1 parallel to the shore. The flat sandy coastal area extends roughly from Route 1 south to Block Island Sound. North of the moraine, the terrain is more gentle with large wetlands such as the Cedar Swamp and open water bodies such as Watchaug, Schoolhouse, and Pasquiset Ponds. The northern boundary of the town is defined by the Pawcatuck River.

Most salient landmarks within the town reflect the natural features and historic use: the breechways, the ponds, Quonochontaug, the former Naval Air Station (Ninigret Park and Wildlife Refuge) and the Old Post Road, Cross Mills, and Arnolda, for example. The tribal lands, designated in a recent settlement, reflect the historic presence of the Narragansett Indian Tribe.

The town contains several natural resources features that define its character. The unusually large amount of conservation and recreation land in Charlestown reflects the amount of important natural resources in the town. Burlingame State Park, Ninigret Wildlife Refuge, Ninigret Park, and East Beach comprise approximately 20 percent of the total land area of the town and protect wetlands, fresh and salt ponds, a barrier beach system, and other valuable habitats. Charlestown contains a considerable amount of fresh water wetlands, including the Pawcatuck River, the sizable ponds, smaller "kettle" ponds, and many swamps and marshes. Ninigret Pond and Quonochontaug Pond are coastal salt ponds located behind a barrier beach system. They are connected to the ocean by natural (but maintained) breach-ways. The coastal ponds, fronted by barrier beaches, provide a recreational resource for the state as well as the town, attracting visitors and serving as a focal point for development.





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