Misquamicut State Beach
|Misquamicut State Beach|
|Rhode Island state park|
|- elevation||7 ft (2 m) |
|Management||Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Parks & Recreation|
Misquamicut State Beach is a state park in Westerly Rhode Island. It is a part of Misquamicut Beach which is a three-mile length of beach that extends westward from Weekapaug to Watch Hill. It was called Noyes Beach after Reverend James Noyes from the 18th century to the late 1890s. Watch Hill is also a small district in Washington County. Misquamicut is in southern Washington County and is part of the town of Westerly, Rhode Island. Misquamicut is an Indian word for "Red salmon at this place." Misquamicut is a public state beach where lifeguards are on duty for some of the year. Misquamicut has hotels, cottages, restaurants, nightclubs, shops as well as an amusement park and other parking areas. Many events take place each season in Misquamicut.
The fire district known as Misquamicut was once called Pleasant View, Rhode Island. The land was purchased from Chief Sosoa of the Montauks in 1894. The name was changed from Pleasant View to Misquamicut in 1928.
Misquamicut Beach became a state beach in 1959 after the 1954 hurricane had destroyed and forever changed many parts of it. In 1992 the state beach area was nearly forced to close when their forty-year-old septic system broke. The division of parks and beaches was not allowed to build a new septic field so they switched to a waterless form of waste management. Then in 1999 the State of Rhode Island built a $1.5 million bathing pavilion (The James J. Federico Jr. State Beach Pavilion) with heated shower stalls and Clivus Multrum composting toilets. It also included a gift shop, shade gazebos, lifeguard towers and outdoor cold showers. The building project was completed in 2000 with a $700,000 expansion and paving of the parking lot. The lot now holds up to 2700 cars.
It was the site of the Misquamicut Music Festival held 2005-2009 and presented by the Misquamicut Business Association. Featured performers since 2005 have included Jefferson Starship, Davy Jones, Jan and Dean and Eric Burdon and the Animals as well as two American Idol contestants.
In 2011 the Music Fest changed to the three day Misquamicut Springfest held each May and Fallfest each September with rides, amusements, petting zoo, national music headliners, vendors and more. Misquamicutfestival.org
- Misquamicut State Beach Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Parks & Recreation
- Misquamicut Business Association
- The Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce
- Town of Westerly Official Website
- Misquamicut Fire District
- Indian Place Names