Although Small in size but long in coastline, Rhode Island has 21 lighthouses, 13 of them active, plus at least 6 former light stations where ruins or foundations are visible. Six of the smaller surviving towers are privately owned. As stoic, beacons of safety in the infamous stormy seas of the Atlantic and rough waters of Narragansett Bay, picturesque lighthouses can be found throughout Newport and Bristol County.
These lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, safe entries to harbors, and can also assist in aerial navigation. Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and replacement by modern electronic navigational systems. The lighthouses of Aquidneck Island can be seen and heard on especially foggy and/or stormy nights. I feel the need to write this blog only to say, I have over heard guest questioning the need for the fog horn when we have the technology of today . . . a soft fog horn, that can be heard from the Ivy bed and breakfasts that reminds us of the rich maritime place in which we live and for those who visit this city by the sea. There are many vessels active in the Narragansett waters long after we have all safely tuck away for the night. Some of these boats have no navigation and still rely on the sights and sounds of these beacons. It makes me smile, when I hear the fog horn. I snuggle underneath the covers with a heady thought of . . . wow I live on an island!
Below, are a few lighthouses that surrounds you on the island of aquidneck, as so know as Newport RI:
Castle Hill Lighthouse : Newport RI
The Castle Hill Lighthouse is a traditional location for weddings, this lighthouse is accessible by a short walk from the nearby Castle Hill Cove Marina, adjacent from the Castle Hill Inn Restaurant, where you can enjoy fine dining in their formal dining room or outdoors on there water front lawn. Located at Castle Hill Point at the southwestern end of Newport, Inside the light house is closed from the public but the grounds are open for all the enjoy. Built in 1890 and is currently active. The granite structure has a focal plane of 40 ft (12 m); and a 34 ft (10 m) round granite tower with lantern and gallery, 300 mm lens. The light house is equipped with a fog horn (1 s blast every 10 s). The beautiful coastline building has a upper half of tower painted white, lower half unpainted; lantern painted black.
How to get to the Castle Hill Light House:
By Car or bike: Enjoy the 10mi scenic Ocean Drive located at the end of Bellevue Southbound.
By Boat: Classis Cruises Of Newport, cruise aboard the 72 foot nineteenth century Madeleine or the 60 foot motor yatch Rumrunner II.
Ida Lewis Rock Lighthouse (Lime Rock) Newport RI
Built in 1854. Inactive since 1927 (a decorative light is now displayed in season). 13 ft (4 m) lantern mounted on one corner of a 2-story granite and brick keeper's house. The original 6th order Fresnel lens is on display at the Museum of Newport History Building painted white, lantern black. This tiny lighthouse is famous for its legendary keeper Idawalley Lewis (1857-1911)whom is the most celebrated lighthouse keeper in American history.
By the middle of the nineteenth century, passenger ferries, commercial traffic, and military personnel heading to and from Fort Adams combined to necessitate a navigational light in Newport's inner harbor.
The light was moved to a skeletal Tower in 1927 and discontinued in 1963; the skeletal tower was demolished. The lighthouse building, including modern additions, is now part of a yacht club, and the island has been connected to the mainland by a causeway. Located off Wellington Avenue between Chastellux and Halidon Avenues in Newport. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Ida Lewis Yatch Club.
How to get to the Ida Lewis lighthouse:
By Boat: Classic Cruises Of Newport, cruise aboard the 72 foot nineteenth century Madeleine or the 60 foot motor yacht Rumrunner II.
Although Newport had been an important center of seaborne commerce since the early 1700s, the first lighthouse on Goat Island , which welcomed ships at the of entrance to Newport Harbor, the first goast island lighthouse was not completed until 1823. Activated on New Year’s Day of 1824, the stone tower was twenty feet tall with a multi-lamp and reflector apparatus showing a bright white light.
How to get to Newport Harbor Lighthouse: Located on the northern tip of Goat Island in Newport Harbor; the island is accessible by a bridge from RI 238 in downtown Newport and the lighthouse is accessible by walking through the hotel lobby. Site open, tower closed.
Sakonnet Point Lighthouse: Little Compton RI
Our neighboring town , Little Compton, is home to a brick 66 foot lighthouse located at the entrance of the Sakonnet River; the Sakonnet Piont Light house. As early as the late 1700s, the area around what is today Little Compton, Rhode Island was a fledgling port featuring fishing and farming as ways of life for the settlers. By the late 1800s, Sakonnet Harbor was much more developed and had a distinguished fishing fleet.
Little Cormorant Rock and several other submerged rocks and ledges sit several hundred yards offshore from Sakonnet Point making the area very dangerous for those vessels wishing to enter the harbor. To remedy the danger, the Lighthouse Board sought to establish a lighthouse to mark the area.
The lighthouse sits offshore in the entrance to the Sakonnet River and Rhode Island Sound. A viewing area is available by following Highway 77 south to Sakonnet where the lighthouse will be visible.
Accessibility:The lighthouse is not open to the public. It can be seen from the beach at Sakonnet Point or by Boat.
Beaver Tail Lighthouse: Jamestown RI
Located on the southernmost tip of Jamestown, Rhode Island, is the home of the Beavertail Lighthouse and museum. Here, guests will be able to access a collection of information, artifacts, and learn about the history and site of the third-oldest lighthouse in North America. The present lighthouse was biult in 1856 and was origianlly established in 1749. The 45 foot tower is constructed of granite. Today, the light station reamins amoung one fo the most popular hustoric destinations in the state and is a prime spot for panoramic views at the mouth of Narraganset bay.
Accessibility: The lighthouse is located in Beavertail State Park at the end of Beavertail Road, at the southern tip of Conanicut Island. There is free parking on site and the grounds are open to the public. Guests can tour the museum in the assistant keeper's house. The tower is sometimes opened to the public during scheduled open houses.
By Boat: Newport Harbor Tours departing from Quonset Point.
Prudence Island (Sandy Point) Lighthouse: Portsmouth RI
The thirty-foot-tall octagonal granite tower at Prudence Island is the oldest lighthouse in Rhode Island and one of the few lighthouses in the country to retain a “birdcage” lantern. Originally built on Goat Island near Newport in 1823, the structure was dismantled in 1851 and moved to Sandy Point on the east side of Prudence Island, where it was reassembled and returned to service on January 17, 1852. The light is only twenty-eight feet above the water and is visible for ten miles.
Today, the Prudence Island Lighthouse remains an active aid to navigation.
Accessibility: Prudence Island can be reached byFerry from Bristol. The lighthouse is about a 25 minute walk from the ferry landing. The tower is not open to the public. Grounds are open.
Hog Island Lighthouse
Hog Island lies off Bristol Township and is situated just north of the passage leading from Narragansett Bay to Mount Hope Bay. The Bristol Ferry Lighthouse, completed in 1855, markedthe narrow passageway. This very dangerous reef, extending south from Hog Island to the main shipping channel, was also a threat to ferries and other vessels transiting between the two bays.
The 200 acre island was a perfect place for settlers to rase their livestock, with out the need of a fence the animals could not wander afar and natural predetors such as wolves and foxes could not reach the island. Hogs were regularly raised on the 1.5 like length island, earning it's name by the locals, Hog Island.
Accessibility: The lighthouse is privately owned. It is not open to the public and is best seen by boat.The Prudence Island Ferry from Bristol passes fairly close by.
When you book your stay with the Ivy Lodge Bed and Breakfast, we will happily concierge you on the sites and sounds of surrounding lighthouses. They are our national treasures and symbols of the maritime past.
For more details, you can contact the Ivy Lodge at 1-800-834-6865 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ivy wishes you fair winds and safe seas