Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lighthouses of Rhode Island

Rose Island Lighthouse

Rose Island Lighthouse
Rose Island Lighthouse
Source: Mary Beth Granger

History of Rose Island Lighthouse

Rose Island lighthouse is found on an island in Narragansett Bay near Newport Rhode Island. It was originally built in 1870 and helped to guide ships around the rocky area near Newport.
On a recent cruise stop, I was able to take a tour of Rose island and the lighthouse. The tour guide gave us interesting information on the lighthouse and I was able to explore the grounds and climb the tower to the lighthouse. The lighthouse operated from 1870 to 1970 when it was abandoned due to the construction of the nearby Newport Bridge. The Newport Bridge lit up the night and the lighthouse was no longer needed. The lighthouse then remained vacant until 1984 when a foundation was formed to restore the lighthouse.

The guide below is a great way to learn more about Rhode Island lighthouses.  It comes with directions to each lighthouse.

Living Area of Lighthouse

Interior of Rose Island lighthouse
Interior of Rose Island lighthouse
Source: Mary Beth Granger

Experience Life in a Lighthouse

Today Rose Island lighthouse is beautifully restored in early 1900's furniture and accessories. Our tour guide told us when they were ready to furnish the lighthouse they got advice from a grandson of one of the lighthouse keepers. He was able to give the ideas of where the furniture should be placed and what accessories his grandparents had in their home.
The restoration is very well done and the rugs and quilts give it a very homey feeling.
I enjoyed touring the house and climbing to the top of the tower for a view of the harbor.
Today the lighthouse is also available for guests who stay on the first floor and get to be honorary lighthouse keepers. Would you like to experience life in a lighthouse? For more information go to Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation.
The lighthouse grounds are also home to weddings and other parties. I think it would be a great place to host an event.

Newport Rhode Island Lighthouses

Map data ©2015 Google
Newport Harbor Rhode Island -
Newport Harbor, Newport, RI, USA
 [get directions]
The five lighthouses that I photographed were in and around the Newport Harbor area.

Touring the Harbor

On our way to and from Rose island lighthouse our guide gave a us a narrative tour of the harbor. We passed by the beautiful mansions on the coastline and found out that they were summer "cottages" for many of the wealthy people who visited the area.
We also saw beautiful yachts and sailboats that were moored in the bay area.
One of the sights that really interested me were the other lighthouses that also were in the harbor. The guide pointed out two other lighthouses Lime Rock and Newport Harbor Light. He also told us of two lighthouse to watch for when our cruise ship left the area that night. I was able to capture all four of these lighthouses in my photographs.
Ida Lewis Yacht Club/Lighthouse
Source: Mary Beth Granger

Lime Rock Lighthouse

During our tour of the harbor our guide pointed out Lime Rock Lighthouse and gave us a bit of information.
The lighthouse was first lit in 1854 and was run by a lighthouse keeper and his wife and small daughter. When the keeper had a stroke in 1858 his wife Ida Lewis took over the running of the lighthouse. In 1879 her daughter, also named Ida, took over the lighthouse keeper duties. She remained the keeper until 1911. In 1924 Lime Rock lighthouse was renamed the Ida Lewis lighthouse.
Today the lighthouse is used as a yacht club.

Newport Harbor Light on Goat Island

Built in 1842 this lighthouse has a 35 foot tower.
Built in 1842 this lighthouse has a 35 foot tower.
Source: Mary Beth Granger
Castle Hill Light
Short lighthouse at the east passage of the bay.
Short lighthouse at the east passage of the bay.
Source: Mary Beth Granger
Narragansett Bay Lighthouses
As our cruise ship left the bay in the early evening I was able to photograph two more lighthouses.
The first was a short lighthouse on the eastern passage. This lighthouse is adjacent to Castle Hill Inn and Resort which sits high on the hill above the bay. I can imagine the beautiful views the people staying in this resort have of the ships coming into and out of the harbor.
The lighthouse below is the second lighthouse I photographed as our cruise ship left the bay. It is Beavertail lighthouse which is at the southern end of Cononicut Island. It was built in 1856 and has a 45 foot tower.
Beavertail Lighthouse
Source: Mary Beth Granger

A Final View of Rose Island

Rose Island lighthouse photographed from the dock.