Here for more than a century was the religious, business and civil center of Westerly. Near by in private homes, the people met in town meetings. Here crossed paths from what is now Hopkinton, Richmond and Westerly. Here were the first mill dam and grist mill.
On the hill to the northeast stood the first meeting house in Southern Rhode Island built by Seventh-day Baptists in 1680.
The members of this church suffered imprisonment in defense of the colony's domain, met the onslaughts of hostile natives, were foremost among these who established and developed the colony on the principles of freedom, furnished a Governor, Samuel Ward, who was leader in the struggle for independence and joined in founding Brown University.
In the river pool near by more than 3000 were baptized.
The first road was laid out in 1702, it led to the South Kingstown town line and to the town landing at Pawcatuck Rock.
In 1736 the people petitioned the General Assembly to divide the town, complaining that "some of us are obliged to go 10 miles to a town meeting and great and difficult rivers to go over."
Charlestown was set off from Westerly in 1738, Richmond from Charlestown in 1747, and Hopkinton from Westerly in 1757.