The History of Misquamicut Beach!
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The area now known as Misquamicut Beach wasn't always so!

Up until the early 1900s, the area was formally known as Pleasant View, RI. The majority of the beach area was owned by the Indians. In the 1890s, settlers purchased the beach area property from Sosoa, a Montauk Indian chief. It was then that the development of the beach area began.

The Pleasant View name stuck around until 1928, when it was officially changed to Misquamicut. Misquamicut is an Indian word which means "red salmon at this place."

The hurricane of 1938 brought about some major changes to the physical look and shape of the beach area. It also brought about some major destruction and devastation to the buildings and properties of the area. Most of what was there previous to the hurricane was not there afterward. A major rebuilding of the area was in order. It was then that the prominence of the Misquamicut Beach area began to take shape.

In 1958 a 152 acre parcel of land was purchased by the State of RI, from the previous owner, the Department of Public Works and the Division of Harbors and Rivers. That parcel of land is now what is officially known as Misquamicut State Beach. The land had been severely damaged by the 1954 hurricane. The State of RI made the necessary repairs and the beach officially opened in 1959. The first official bathhouse was dedicated in June of 1960.

Misquamicut Beach was considered then to be a popular surf beach by RI residents. It is now considered by many to be RI's best known and most popular beach… particularly by beach goers visiting from nearby Connecticut.

In 1992, the beach's 40 year old septic failed and Misquamicut State Beach was almost forced to close for good. The construction of a new septic system was not allowed, which forced the Dept. of Parks and Recreation to seek other alternatives. Working closely with a Massachusetts engineering firm, a new type of waterless toilet was developed and put into service, allowing the beach to remain open to the public.

In 1999, a new $1.5 million pavilion was constructed. The new pavilion includes a bathhouse building with coin-operated hot showers, a concession building with an office and a gift shop, outdoor cold showers, shade gazebos and a lifeguard tower. The new pavilion also has a large boardwalk-style deck, constructed of wood-and-recycled-plastic compound.