The Richard N. Fontaine Real Estate Agency began in 1969 with Richard N. Fontaine as the sole broker/agent. Shortly thereafter he moved from his home office to an office in the Brown Caroll Building located on North Main Street. Outgrowing that space a year later, Mr. Fontaine moved to a suite on Eddie Dowling Highway in North Smithfield where he hired his first secretary, high school classmate Patricia (Pratt) Robitaille. As the agency grew, he moved three more times within the City of Woonsocket until in 1988 when he opted to erect a brand new 6,000 sq. ft. brick contemporary building highlighting the comer of Social and Cumberland Streets to accommodate 25 full and part time agents as well as staff employees. In March of 1989, Mr. Fontaine was selected to be Rhode Islands’ first PRUDENTIAL Real Estate affiliate.
As times changed and more agents utilized a home office with the availability of the internet, the need for a large office building also changed. Mr. Fontaine moved the office 2 more times to the present location of 1028 Park Avenue ironically making a “Full Circle” to directly across the street from the home he was born in at 1087 Park Avenue.
An original bright yellow sign had been rescued from a home some 25 years ago that had been sold back in the 70’s & kept as a memento. A “back to basics” decision to return to “Fontaine Real Estate” was decided in June 2011 with a return to exactly what started the business – those bright yellow signs. This transition from Prudential has not affected what the area has grown to expect from our Agents, the exceptional service they will always receive.
Five decades later, we have continuously been a full service office with full time Sales Associates specializing in residential, commercial and relocation services practicing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
March of 2012, the torch was passed to Mr. Fontaine’s son Jeffrey and his wife Kristin. Jeffrey is now the Principal Broker/Owner with Kristin. Three generations of Fontaine family members call Fontaine Real Estate home. Mr. Fontaine’s two grandchildren are Stephanie Porter as a Real Estate Salesperson and Joseph Fontaine as a Trainee Appraiser.
Real Estate and the name Fontaine seem to go hand in hand in the City of Woonsocket.