Exploring the history of Rhode Island Lighthouses

Rhode Island Historic Lighthouses
From shore to sea I light the way to welcome you home

Rhode Island lighthouses have been an iconic symbol of the sea, the first lighthouse appeared in the United Stated in Boston Harbor in 1716, and lighthouses have provided a beacon of safety for centuries throughout the world.

During the 1700’s the waterways in the new world were bustling with activity up and down the east coast; with Rhode Island’s treacherous coastline these lighthouses provided safe passage.

Over time there have been 30 documented lighthouses in Rhode Island, the first lighthouse was erected in 1749.

The Beavertail lighthouse in Jamestown, RI pictured below in my lighthouse print called “Eye of the Storm” is the 3rd oldest lighthouse in the country. This lighthouse still shines brightly and has become one of Rhode Island most popular landmarks.

Lighthouse Art - Beavertail Lighthouse Print - Rhode Island Lighthouses

Beavertail Lighthouse Print – Rhode Island Lighthouses

From Block Island to Sakonnet Point these lighthouse have guided countless numbers of cargo and passenger vessels across Rhode Island Sound and into the safe harbors of Narragansett & Mount Hope Bay.

Unfortunately, many of these old lighthouses in Rhode Island have been torn down, destroyed by storms, fell victim to fire or the test of time. There are also several that are privately owned with no public access and a few that are under the jurisdiction of the United States Coast Guard and not open to the public.

Thankfully to the hard work and dedication of various organizations and communities, we still have many beautiful lighthouses to enjoy and explore.

These old lights have also become an integral part of my seascape art, capturing the beauty by the sea in a place I call home.

Rhode Island Lighthouses - Lighthouse Art - New England Lighthouse Prints

Point Judith Lighthouse Print

The historic list of Rhode Island lighthouses
* denotes still in existence

Beavertail Light – Jamestown*
Bristol Ferry Light – Bristol *
Bullocks Point Light – East Providence
Conanicut Light – Jamestown
Dutch Island Light – Jamestown*
Gould Island Light – Newport
Hog Island Shoal Light – Portsmouth*
Musselbed Shoals Light – Portsmouth
Newport Harbor Light – Newport*
Point Judith Light – Narragansett*
Poplar Point Light – Wickford*
Rose Island Light – Newport*
Sakonnet Point Light – Little Compton*
Warwick Light – Warwick*
Watch Hill Light – Westerly*

B.I.  North Light – Block Island*
B.I. Southeast Light – Block Island*
Castle Hill Light – Newport*
Conimicut Light – Warwick*
Fuller Rock Light – East Providence
Gull Rocks Light – Newport
Lime Rock Light – Newport* 
Nayatt Point Light – Barrington*
Plum Beach Light – North Kingstown*
Pomham Rocks Light – East Providence*
Prudence Island Light – Prudence Island*
Sabin Point Light – East Providence
Sassafras Point Light – East Providence
Whale Rock Light – Narragansett
Wickford Harbor Light – North Kingstown

Rhode Island Lighthouses -Sakonnet Point Lighthouse - Lighthouse Art Photography

Sakonnet Point Lighthouse – Lighthouse Art Photography

The most interesting thing to me when it comes to these Rhode Island lighthouses is the fact they all have a distinct charm and personality from a photographic standpoint. The jagged and rugged shoreline below Beavertail Lighthouse tends to portray the fierceness of the ocean while the Point Judith Lighthouse tends to provide me with the quaint seaside charm of New England. I have to say out of all the lighthouses left in Rhode Island, both the Beavertail lighthouse and the Point Judith Lighthouse are my two favorite to photograph.

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