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Name: Beavertail Light   Map it!

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Nearest Town or City:
Jamestown, Rhode Island, United States

Location: Southern tip of Conanicut Island, entrance to Narragansett Bay.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont
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Managing Organization:
Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association


Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 83
Rhode Island, 02835, United States

This lighthouse in within Beavertail State Park. The assistant keeper's house is now a museum.

Tower Height: 45

Height of Focal Plane: 68

Characteristic and Range: Flashing white every six seconds.

Description of Tower: Square granite tower with black cast iron lantern.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1856 two story brick/stucco keeper's house, 1898 assistant keeper's house, oil house, garage, storage building.

Earlier Towers?
1749: 58-foot wooden tower; 1753: Second tower.

Date Established: 1749

Date Present Tower Built: 1856

Date Automated: 1972

Optics: 1856: Third order Fresnel lens, later fourth order Fresnel lens; 1991: DCB-24.

Fog Signal: 1719: Fog cannon; 1829: Fog bell and tower; 1851: Air-driven signal powered by horse; 1857: Steam whistle; 1868: Signal driven by hot-air engine; 1900: Compressed air siren; later diaphragm horns; today automated horn with one blast every 30 seconds.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation, museum.

Open To Public? Grounds & museum; lighthouse open occasionally.

The assistant keeper's house has been converted into the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum. A fourth order Fresnel lens is on display along with exhibits on Beavertail Light and other Rhode Island lighthouses. There is also a small gift shop. Admission is free but donations are welcomed. The Beavertail Lighthouse Museum is open weekends and Memorial Day, beginning May 24 through mid-June, noon to 3 p.m. It is open daily June 21 through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From Labor Day through Columbus Day, it is open weekends, noon to 3 p.m.

Eastbound on RI 138: Cross over the Jamestown Bridge and continue to an exit just west of the Newport Bridge, marked with a "Jamestown" sign. If westbound, cross over the Newport Bridge to the Jamestown exit. Then follow Wolcott Avenue south; turn right at Hamilton Avenue, then left at Southwest Avenue. Follow onto connecting Beavertail Road and follow to Beavertail State Park, where there is free parking.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: Abel Franklin (1749-?); Jerathmeel Bowers (1770), Josiah Arnold (1770-?); William Martin (c. 1780s-?); Philip Caswell (1803-1816); George Shearman (1816-1829); Sylvester Hazard (1829-1844); Robert H. Weeden (1844-1848); Demaris Weeden (1848-1857); Joshua B. Rathbun (1857-1858); Henry Rathbun (assistant, 1857); Silas Gardner Shaw (1858-1862 and 1863-1869); E. E. Taylor (assistant, 1859); William Spooner (assistant, 1859); William H. Carr (1859-1862); Benjamin W. Walker (assistant, c. 1862); W. Weeden (1862); Albert Caswell (assistant, 1862); Peter Lee (1862-1863); Christopher Austen (assistant, 1863); William Batchelder (assistant, 1863-1864); Ann N. Shaw (assistant, 1864-1869); Thomas King (1869-1873?); Andrew King (assistant, 1869); W. W. Wales (1873-1895); John Wales (assistant 1885-1888); George B. Wales (assistant 1888-1895, head keeper 1895-1913?); George T. Manders (1913-1937); Carl Chellis (1938-1948); Edward A. Donahue (assistant 1920-1947, keeper 1948-1953); Domenic Turillo (Coast Guard, 1954-1970); John Baxter (Coast Guard, 1970)


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