WESTERLY, a township of Washington county, Rhode Island, U.S.A., in the extreme S.W. part of the state, about 44 m. S.S.W. of Providence, separated from Connecticut on the W. by the Pawcatuck river, which forms the northern boundary of the township also. Pop. (1890) 6813, (1900) 7541, (1788 being foreign-born and 185 negroes), (1905, state census) 8381, (19 to) 8696. Area, about 31 sq. m. Westerly is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, and by interurban electric lines connecting with Norwich and New London, Conn. The township includes several small villages, connected by electric railways, the best known being Watch Hill, which has fine sea-bathing. Larger villages are Westerly, in the western part of the township and at the head of navigation (for small vessels) on the Pawcatuck river, and Niantic, in the northeastern part of the township. In Westerly there Js a public library (1894), with 23,323 volumes in 1909. Beyond Watch Hill Point on the S.W. point of an L-shaped peninsula, running first W. and then N., is Napatree Point, on which is Fort Mansfield, commanding the N.E. entrance to Long Island Sound. The township is the centre of the granite industry of the state; the quarries are near the villages of Westerly and Niantic. The granite is of three kinds: white statuary granite, a quartz monzonite, with a fine even-grained texture, used extensively for monuments; blue granite, also a quartz monzonite and also much used for monuments; and red granite, a biotite granite, reddish grey in colour and rather coarse in texture, used for buildings. 1 Among the manufactures are cotton and woollen goods, thread and printing presses. The water supply is from artesian wells. The first settlement here was made in 1661, and the township was organized in 1669, when the present name was adopted instead of the Indian Misquamicut (meaning " salmon ") by which it had 'been called. In 1686 the name was changed to Haversham, but in 1689 the present name was restored.
See Frederic Denison, Westerly and its Witnesses, for Two Hundred and Fifty Years, 1626-1876 (Providence, R.I., 1878).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)