Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Narragansett Bay Lighthouse cruise Part II

The Castle Hill lighthouse was completed in 1890. It was a navigational aid for ship traffic entering the East passage of Narragansett Bay as they sailed for Newport and or Providence, RI. The first picture was taken several summers ago when I took Carol to see this light. The second picture was taken while we were on the bay cruise. As you can see the Castle Hill Light is being painted and is surrounded by staging. The light is built on the ledge and the adjacent land offers a very scenic view of Narragansett Bay. From this site, Beavertail is quite visible.

The cruise continued into Newport harbor. The Lime Rock Lighthouse is also known as the Ida Lewis Rock Light. Now named after the most famous light keeper. Her father Hosea was the first keeper. He suffered a severe stroke and the duties soon fell on the 16 year old Ida. She would row her siblings across the harbor so they could attend school. She rescued many persons who by one means or another capsized in the harbor. She often rowed out in heavy weather to perform these rescues. News of her heroics spread and she was honored for her deeds. The actual light was placed in a window which is painted black in the following picture. Today the building houses the Ida Lewis Yacht Club.

Goat Island Light was the first beacon erected to guide vessels into Newport Harbor. Complaints were noted that the location was poorly placed for aiding the mariners. A second tower was erected and placed in service in 1842. The original tower was deconstructed and erected on Prudence Island where it still stands to this day. Goat Island got its name because Newport residents pastured their goats there.

Rose island commanded a strategic location at the entrance to Newport Harbor. During the Revolutionary War both sides used this position at various times. The lighthouse went into service in 1869. Today this lighthouse can be rented for overnight use. Renters are required to perform several duties associated with the light. The Newport bridge is in the background. I believe it is now named the Claiborn Pell bridge. It is also a toll bridge.

The final lighthouse that we saw during the cruise was Conanicut Island lighthouse. First activated April 1, 1886. Light  keepers duty was considered prime at this location. The light tower was attached to the keepers quarters and it was not a very tall structure. It was close to Jamestown for supplies.

Today it is a private residence and is not open to the public and the only view is from the water. At some point the actual light was removed from the tower.

This completes the 10 lighthouses that the bay cruise visited. There are a several more lighthouses that were not on the tour in and around the entrance to Narragansett Bay.


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