Beavertail ~ Rocky Shore


How old is the lighthouse on Beavertail Point?

In 1749 construction of the first Rhode Island lighthouse, the third in America, began in May and ended in September. The tower was 58 feet high with an 11-foot lantern on top. Abel Franklin was appointed the first keeper.

Is the lighthouse that we will see the original lighthouse?

This tower was set on fire by the British as they left the during the American Revolution. And in 1779 British soldiers, retreating from neighboring Newport, removed the lighting equipment, leaving the beacon darkened for the rest of the Revolution. The lighthouse was repaired and remained in service until 1854.

In 1856 a new lighthouse was constructed to replace the deteriorating old structure. In 1898 a building was added to house an assistant keeper, who helped with fog signal duties. This house now serves as the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum.

In 1931 the first electric light beacon was installed. In 1972 the beacon was automated. In 1991 the fourth lens was removed and replaced by a rotating beacon, which operates to the current day.

An old postcard of the Beavertail Point Lighthouse.