“the best kept secret in Rhode Island,” offers travelers an alternative to the hustle and bustle of fast paced urban life, but is under an hour’s driving distance from both Newport and Providence. With miles of coastline, Charlestown is the place for swimming, boating, sailing, wind surfing, and beach-combing, In our wildlife refuges, parks and ponds, you also can enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing, exploring, and bird watching.


History of Charlestown

For thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans inhabited what is today Charlestown. Their lives were centered around hunting, fishing and agriculture, which they carried out in all parts of Charlestown. Native Americans continued to play a substantial role in local affairs during the ensuing historical period. Their heritage lives on in the continuing presence of the Narragansetts – their lands, institutions and historic sites that are still in tribal use.

One of the first written records of European contact in Charlestown dates back as early as the 1630s, when Col. John Mason marched to Connnecticut to fight the Pequots and stopped for the night at what was known as Ninigret’s Fort. Evidence of Dutch trading with the Niantics at Fort Ninigret dates to the early 1600s, and archaeological research suggests this site was in use as early as 700 AD.

In 1660, a private company organized in Newport purchased the land known as Misquamicoke (Misquamicut) from the well-respected Indian Sachem, Socho. The agreement was called the Misquamicut Purchase. The land was comprised of the present-day towns of Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton. By 1669, the Town of Westerly was incorporated, and included the same four towns, becoming the fifth oldest town in the state.

At that time, there were only about thirty families in the entire area. Jeffrey Champlin, one of the original Misquamicut settlers, acquired a large tract of land in Charlestown, on which the Naval Air Station was later located. The Stantons also acquired large landholdings. Robert Stanton was one of the Misquamicut purchasers. Thomas Stanton had a trading post on the Pawcatuck River and set up a post in Quonochontaug around that time as well. A few of these earlier homes still stand.

The era of large plantations had begun and they were prosperous until around the time of the Revolutionary War, which caused their demise. The more northern plantations were generally livestock, dairy and the raising of Narragansett Pacers, a horse much in demand in the southern colonies. The Champlins, on their 2,000-acre plantation, specialized in sheep production. Reportedly, Joseph Stanton’s “lordship” in Charlestown consisted of a four-and-a-half mile tract on land containing 40 horses and as many slaves. The average coastal farm was said to have about 200 acres of cropland and pasture and up to 100 acres of woodland.

In 1738, Charlestown separated from the town of Westerly and was named in honor of Charles II, the English King who had granted Rhode Island its charter. Brought on primarily by the hardship to citizens traveling to attend town meetings and gatherings, the separation was finally passed, although not without much debate. At that point in time, Richmond was still part of Charlestown and would not separate until 1747.

A young, colonial Charlestown was active and prosperous with its many mills, farms and coastal environment. The establishment of the Old Post Road along its seaboard had become a well-traveled route, thankfully as a result of its presence as a Native American trail thousands of years old. It now served as a means of communication and commerce within the colonies. Charlestown would go through many growing pains over the next 300 years, along with the rest of Rhode Island’s early towns, but retained its diversity, cultural heritage and its rich history. (Information per the Charlestown Historical Society)


National Historic Places in Charlestown


Charlestown Today

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 59.3 square miles (154 km2), of which, 36.8 square miles (95 km2) of it is land and 22.5 square miles (58 km2) of it (37.86%) is water.

The town is bordered by Westerly on the west; Richmond on the north; and Hopkinton on the northwest; and South Kingstown on the east. As of the census of 2000, there were 7,859 people, 3,178 households, and 2,278 families residing in the town. The population density was 213.3 people per square mile (82.4/km²). The town government is directed by a 5-member town council that is headed by a council president. For the purpose of school administration, Charlestown is a member town of the Chariho Regional School District along with the neighboring towns of Richmond and Hopkinton.

The Charlestown, RI Chamber of Commerce holds an annual seafood and lobster festival in the first week of August. Local businesses and vendors set up booths for various seafood based events.  The Seafood Festival has been named one of the Top 100 Events in America by the American Tour Bus Association in 1988, 1996 and 2008. 

Ninigret Park, the former site of Charlestown NAAS, is in Charlestown. It is now an extremely popular place for recreational sports games including a small beachfront, a bike track, sporting fields, and tennis courts. Along with these features, the park also contains the Frosty Drew Nature Center & Observatory. Ninigret Park is also used for the majority of large events occurring within the town of Charlestown including the Charlestown Seafood Festival, the Big Apple Circus and the Rhythm And Roots music festival.

Charlestown contains several beaches that are frequently described as “the best kept secret in Rhode Island.” Miles of secluded, unspoiled, sandy beaches offer visitors a chance to enjoy many outdoor activities or just some relaxation under the sun. Some of these beaches include town operated areas such as “Blue Shutters Town Beach” and “Charlestown Town Beach” and other are state managed areas including “East Beach State Beach” and “Charlestown Breachway State Beach.”

Burlingame State Park and Campground is entirely contained inside the town of Charlestown. The campground is 3,100 acres of rocky woodland that surrounds Watchaug Pond in Charlestown. Activities at the park include 755 campsites, fishing, swimming, picnicking, boating and hiking. The area north of Buckeye Brook Road, abutting the Pawcatuck River, is primarily a hunting area. (Information per Wikipedia)



Schools in Charlestown

For a complete list of schools, visit:

363 Carolina Back Rd
Charlestown, RI
(401) 364-7716

Bradford Elementary School

Bradford, RI
(401) 348-2283


Chariho Career & Technical Center

459 Switch Rd
Wood River Junction, RI
(401) 364-6869



 Charlestown Real Estate




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About Dan


I would like to a take this opportunity to introduce myself, and my abbreviated life story so that you will feel comfortable with who I am and confident in working with me on your real estate transaction.

I was born in CT then moved to Springfield Illinois, Missouri Valley Iowa, East Greenbush New York and finally in RI. My Dad and Mom decided after a number of years of working at Pfizer in Groton CT that my Dad should follow his heart and become a minister for God and so he packed up their 5 young boys and moved to Springfield to attend 5 years of the Seminary to become a Lutheran minister. With my Mom and Dad both working 3-4 part time jobs juggling school and family they succeeded on his dream and we move to Iowa for his first church assignment.

I had the very best parents God could provide as they instilled a great work ethic, always do the right thing and never ever give up. Life was difficult financially and nothing was ever given to us so we were taught the basic fundamental values of you get what you work for. This instilled a very positive outlook on life and helped me develop my strong work ethic and attitude of never ever give up and always “do the right thing” as my Dad would say. During my school years I played as a four-sport athlete and was All State in Soccer and this also developed my competitive spirit to strive for excellence and perfection.

Fast forward to my first job working at Pfizer (yes that is where my Dad worked) where I reached the proverbial glass ceiling in Analytical Research after 16 years. A co-worker challenged me that I could not sell real estate in the worst real estate market in history in 1988. Oh Boy he did not know about my desire to excel and my positive attitude. I jumped in with both feet and left Pfizer for a full time career in Real Estate Sales and I have never looked back.

My Real Estate career in RI, CT and MA took off and in less than 4 years I was ranked as the #1 selling real estate agent in the 6 New England States for RE/MAX and sold 124 homes by myself. No one in RI has since sold that many residential resale listings by one person. To this day I keep a very high level of production of sales and have employed a full time administrative support staff to make sure every deal goes smoothly and my clients get superior service at no extra costs. My biggest concern with every

transaction I am involved with is that each client works with ME and my full time administrative support staff allows me to spend one on one time with each client.

A little bit about my family that I am so proud of and inspires me to work hard every day so that I can provide for them and enjoy my time off with them. My wife Marguerite of 38 years and counting (yes we got married early at 21 years old) and prior to that we dated for 4 years in High School. She is the hardest worker (great inspiration for me) and is always giving of herself and to others. She has set the standard as a standout employee at Westerly Hospital for 38+ years. We have two awesome sons Ryan 34 married to Beth with their two adorable twin daughters Madison and Hannah now 3 years old. Our youngest son Nick 30 married to Alicia with their handsome son Kaeson now 7 months. I love doing projects with them whether it is ripping apart and remodeling Nick and Alicia’s home or building a huge patio with concrete pavers and fire pit this last summer for Ryan and Beth.

When time permits I hit the golf course and one of the items on my bucket list was to win a club championship, which I did in 2010 at Fenner Hill Golf Club. Now some other items on my to do list are, for Marguerite and I to attend the Masters Golf tournament, Go to Hawaii, Visit Italy and spend time snorkeling in the Grand Cayman Islands.

Thanks for learning a little more about me and I hope to some day help you with your real estate needs or just have a cup of coffee.

Dan Liese “the hard working nice guy”