Beavertail Lighthouse NRHP

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Beavertail State Park

Beavertail Lighthouse is in Beavertail State Park. The state park encompasses 153 acres at the southern end of Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. From the air, the island resembles a beaver’s tail, hence the name. The state created the park in 1980 from federal surplus land.

At this park, you can visit a historic lighthouse, see the remnants of an old fort, explore tide pools and walk along coastal trails. Many people we saw were simply relaxing in the ocean breeze with the sound of waves crashing against the rocks.

Beavertail Lighthouse

The granite Beavertail Lighthouse sits at the tip of the park. It replaced an earlier lighthouse from 1749. The British burned the old light down and stole the optics when they withdrew from Newport in 1779.

The new 3rd order Fresnel lens lit up the entrance to Narragansett Bay once again in 1856. It is still an active navigational aid.

The stone foundation of the original structure sits 100 feet from the current lighthouse. A decorative concrete cap has been added along with a sign admonishing visitors to keep off the ‘Valuable Historical Artifact that has been here since 1749.’ Apparently, some people can’t read.

In 1898, the assistant keeper’s quarters went up next to the keeper’s house This building now houses the museum. The assistant helped the main Keeper with fog-signaling and other tasks.

The museum is staffed by volunteers who show the artifacts to visitors. There are storyboards and a short film. The tower is only open for climbing occasionally. It was closed the day I visited.

Newport Area Posts

  • Beavertail State Park
  • Beavertail Light
  • The Cliff Walk
  • Easton’s Beach
  • Ochre Court
  • The Breakers
  • Newport Historic District
  • Touro Synagogue
  • Old Colony House
  • Fort Adams
  • Brenton Point

Location: Beavertail Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835
Designation: National Register of Historic Places
Date designated/established: December 12, 1977
Date of my visit: October 2, 202