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Charlestown, Rhode Island

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Charlestown is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States The population was 7,827 at the 2010 census


  • 1 History
    • 11 Rocket experiments
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Government
    • 41 Politics
  • 5 Recreation
    • 51 Parks
    • 52 Seafood Festival
    • 53 National Historic Places in Charlestown
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Charlestown is named after King Charles II, and was incorporated in 1738 The area was formerly part of the town of Westerly It was in turn divided and the part north of the Pawcatuck River became the town of Richmond in 1747

Rocket experimentsedit

Since 1965 from Charlestown some sounding rockets were launched from 41°22′N 71°40′W / 41367°N 71667°W / 41367; -71667 The biggest campaign took place on May 30, 1965 in order to watch a solar eclipse

  • Rocket launches at Charlestown


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 593 square miles 154 km2, of which, 368 square miles 95 km2 of it is land and 225 square miles 58 km2 of it 3786% 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

In 2011, Charlestown became the first municipality in the United States to pass a ban on any size or type of electricity-generating wind turbines The sweeping prohibition applies to large commercial as well as smaller residential turbines3 This temporary measure was in order to draft a new ordinance providing for small turbines but prohibiting commercial turbinesResidential Wind Energy Facilities Amended 3-14-2011 by Ord No 338; 9-12-2011 by Ord No 341; 11-14-2011 by Ord No 344 Purpose The purpose of this section is to provide for the construction and operation of wind energy facilities as accessory uses and structures for residential and agricultural uses, and to provide standards that address public health, safety and welfare in the placement, design, construction, monitoring, modification and removal of wind energy facilities and minimize negative impacts on scenic, natural and historic resources of the town b


Historical population
1790 2,022
1800 1,454 −281%
1810 1,174 −193%
1820 1,160 −12%
1830 1,284 107%
1840 923 −281%
1850 994 77%
1860 981 −13%
1870 1,119 141%
1880 1,117 −02%
1890 915 −181%
1900 975 66%
1910 1,037 64%
1920 759 −268%
1930 1,118 473%
1940 1,199 72%
1950 1,598 333%
1960 1,966 230%
1970 2,863 456%
1980 4,800 677%
1990 6,478 350%
2000 7,859 213%
2010 7,827 −04%
Est 2015 7,773 −07%
US Decennial Census56

As of the census1 of 2000, there were 7,859 people, 3,178 households, and 2,278 families residing in the town The population density was 2133 people per square mile 824/km² There were 4,797 housing units at an average density of 1302 per square mile 503/km² The racial makeup of the town was 9626% White, 038% African American, 126% Native American, 061% Asian, 003% Pacific Islander, 053% from other races, and 093% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 111% of the population

There were 3,178 households out of which 283% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 604% were married couples living together, 78% had a female householder with no husband present, and 283% were non-families 218% of all households were made up of individuals and 81% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 246 and the average family size was 288

In the town, the population was spread out with 218% under the age of 18, 63% from 18 to 24, 294% from 25 to 44, 280% from 45 to 64, and 145% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 41 years For every 100 females there were 982 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 985 males

The median income for a household in the town was $51,491, and the median income for a family was $56,866 Males had a median income of $40,616 versus $29,474 for females The per capita income for the town was $25,642 About 30% of families and 51% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47% of those under age 18 and 47% of those age 65 or over

Students in Charleston are part of the Chariho Regional School District


The town government is directed by a 5-member town council that is headed by a council president7 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


Charlestown is the headquarters for the Narragansett Indian Tribe and the location of their reservation8

Charleston is served by the Charlestown Police Department The Police Chief is Jeffrey S Allen9



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 & Observatory10 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 sun11 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 area12

Seafood Festivaledit

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 events13 The Seafood Festival has been named one of the Top 100 Events in America by the American Tour Bus Association in 1988, 1996 and 200814

National Historic Places in Charlestownedit

  • Babcock House
  • District Schoolhouse No 2 1838
  • Fort Ninigret
  • Foster Cove Archeological Site
  • Historic Village of the Narragansetts in Charlestown
  • Indian Burial Ground
  • Joseph Jeffrey House
  • Shannock Historic District
  • Sheffield House 1700
  • Joseph Stanton House 1739


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2013-09-11 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names" United States Geological Survey 2007-10-25 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  3. ^ http://wwwecoriorg/government/2011/9/13/charlestown-strikes-up-the-ban-on-wind-turbineshtml
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Archived from the original on May 12, 2015 Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  6. ^ Snow, Edwin M 1867 Report upon the Census of Rhode Island 1865 Providence, RI: Providence Press Company 
  7. ^ Town of Charlestown profile, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
  8. ^ "Tribal Governments by Area" Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine National Congress of American Indians retrieved 26 June 2010
  9. ^ "Charlestown Police Department Chief's Message" 
  10. ^ "Frosty Drew" 
  11. ^ "South County Tourism Council" 
  12. ^ "Rhode Island Division of Parks and Recreation" 
  13. ^ Russo, Anthony 3 August 2012 "Annual seafood fest at Ninigret Park Aug3-5" Narragansett Times Archived from the original on 1 February 2013 Retrieved 21 September 2012 
  14. ^ "Top 100 Events 1982-2013" PDF American Tour Bus Association Retrieved 21 September 2012 

External linksedit

  • Media related to Charlestown, Rhode Island at Wikimedia Commons
  • Charlestown, Rhode Island travel guide from Wikivoyage

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