|Beavertail ~ Rocky Shore|
What was the land called "Beavertail" originally used for?
Conanicut Island was named for a native american indian king, Conanicus. It was purchased from the Narragansett Indians by a group of settlers from Newport, RI in 1657 for a grand total of 100 pounds, to be paid in wampum and peag.
The largest land holders were Benedict Arnold and William Coddington. This group of settlers evidently bought the land as an investment. Most of Beavertail was used for grazing by Benedict Arnold's livestock.
More recently, due to the strategic position where Beavertail rests (where Narragansett Bay meets the ocean) there have been significant military structures erected over the years; Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP), Battery 213, and Battery Whiting.
The HECP was established in 1941. It was responsible for reporting all ships approaching or seeking entry to Narragansett Bay. Battery 213 was an establishment for "modern" gun batteries. This battery commanded the west passage of Narragansett Bay. Battery Whiting, constructed on the east side of Beavertail Point, was assigned to guard the East Passage to Narragansett Bay.
At present, the HECP lay unused and is occupied by a caretaker. The two batteries are covered with a thick growth of vegetation.