Westerly

Sitting on the south shore of Rhode Island, the town of Westerly is a quiet residential community in the winter, swelling in the summer to accommodate tourists eager to explore the local beaches, Narragansett Bay and the Rhode Island Sound. Just over the border from Connecticut, Westerly is conveniently located to the Aquarium at Mystic, as well as the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casinos. Nearby, the picturesque village of Watch Hill features ocean views, ice cream shops, and craft boutiques.

www.westerly.govoffice.com

 Westerly Watch Hill Carousel (Home page slot 1 left)

History of Westerly, RI

 

Westerly’s primary industries today are textiles and tourism, but historically Westerly was also famous for its granite, quarried in at least two locations in Westerly also in Bradford and Potter Hill.

Westerly was named for the settlement’s location, respective to Rhode Island’s geography, being the westernmost town in the state. There is also a possibility that Westerly got its name from the English village of Westerleigh, in the county of Gloucestershire. The English village was the home of one of Westerly, Rhode Island’s founding fathers, Elder John Crandall (ca. 1612-1676). Elder John settled in Westerly in 1661 and the early history of Westerly contains many references to him and his sons.

Westerly sits atop a glacial moraine, a series of small hills of debris left behind by receding glaciers in the last Ice Age. A pristine sample of the moraine encompasses a 140-acre (0.57 km2) preserve owned in perpetuity by the Westerly Land Trust. Within the trust land are the rare “kettle” formations that extend out under the sea to Block Island.

Four trolley lines – the Groton and Stonington Street Railway, Norwich and Westerly Railway, Pawtucket Valley Street Railway, and the Ashaway and Westerly Railway, converged in Westerly and shared trackage between the railroad station and Dixon House Square downtown. The lines were built in the 1890s and 1900s and ran until the 1920s.

Physician, American Revolution general, and Rhode Island Supreme Court justice, Dr. Joshua Babcock and Chief Justice and Governor of Rhode Island Samuel Ward were born in Westerly.

 

Historic Sites

 

Westerly Granite Theater (home page slot 1 left) 

Westerly Today

 

Westerly consists of a number of small villages. Downtown Westerly, on the Pawcatuck River, is the municipal seat of the area, with the old town post office, library, YMCA, railroad station, former police headquarters (which is now located on Airport Road), granite buildings and Wilcox Park.

Other villages include Avondale (with antique colonial and Queen Anne-style homes), Bradford (with its own post office and postal code), Dunn’s Corners, Mastuxet, Misquamicut (a beachfront community with small amounts of nightlife and several hotels), Potter Hill (where the Town Forest is located), Shelter Harbor, Watch Hill (with its beaches and summer cottages), Weekapaug, White Rock, and Winnapaug (with its public golf courses). Apart from Bradford, Shelter Harbor, Watch Hill, and Weekapaug, West’lyans normally identify themselves with the town, as opposed to the village in which they reside.

The town holds a number of annual events such as the Pawcatuck River Duck Race in April, Virtu Art Festival in May, Shakespeare in the Park and The Summer Pops (hosted by the Chorus of Westerly) in June, and Riverglow in July. In recent years, the Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce’s Big Screen Movies on the Beach through July and August, Westerly’s Columbus Day Parade in October, and several beachfront events have attracted many visitors.

The former granite mining and the stone-cutting industry is historically important. Its quarries produced blue granite, in addition to pinks and reds. The Smith Granite Company, which employed many granite cutting craftsmen, was one of the town’s major employers until the quarries stopped operating in the 1950s. Hundreds of examples of their work can be seen in the battlefields of Gettysburg and in city squares, municipal buildings, cemeteries throughout the United States, and even the Georgia State Capitol.

The Guild Guitar Company, founded in 1952 by Alfred Dronge in New York City, moved production to Westerly in 1967 and continued to make its well respected archtop, acoustic and solid body guitars there until 1996, when they were bought by Fender Musical Instruments and production was moved to Corona, California.

A number of figures from the history of sports were residents of Westerly. Eddie Sawyer, former major league baseball manager (Philadelphia), is from Westerly, as is former Washington Senators pitcher Dave Stenhouse. Frankie Frisch, player-manager of the St. Louis Cardinals’ famous “Gashouse Gang,” retired to and lived the remainder of his life in Westerly, and Elisson “Tarzan” Brown, one of the finest marathon runners in the world, is from the Westerly area. Another famous resident is country pop singer Taylor Swift who maintains a beachfront estate in the Watch Hill area.

As of the census of 2000, there were 22,966 people, 9,402 households, and 6,130 families residing in the town. The population density was 763.3 people per square mile (294.7/km²). There were 11,292 housing units at an average density of 375.3 per square mile (144.9/km²). The town has a total area of 74.8 square miles (193.8 km²), of which, 30.1 square miles (77.9 km²) of it is land and 44.7 square miles (115.8 km²) of it (59.78%) is water.

 

Westerly Public Schools

 

Dunn’s Corners School
8 1/2 Plateau Rd
Westerly, RI 02891

 

 

Helpful Links:

 

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.

Sincerely
Dan Liese “the hard working nice guy”