Block Island Southeast Lighthouse Foundation
Contact Address Information:
In 1990 the Coast Guard deactivated Block Island Southeast Light and replaced it with a skeleton tower. The lighthouse, once over 300 feet from the edge of the cliff, was then about 55 feet from the edge of the eroding bluff. The Block Island Southeast Lighthouse Foundation raised about $2 million and in August of 1993 the lighthouse was moved back 300 feet from the edge by International Chimney of Buffalo, NY. The light was reactivated on August 27, 1994.
Tower Height: 52
Height of Focal Plane: 261
Characteristic and Range: Flashing green every five seconds.
Description of Tower: Octagonal, pyramidal brick (unpainted) tower with black cast iron lantern, attached to keeper's house.
This light is operational
Attached 1873 2.5 story brick keeper's quarters, storage building, garage, 1961 ranch house.
Date Established: 1875 (2/1/1875)
Date Present Tower Built: 1875
Date Deactivated: 1990-1994
Date Automated: 1994
Optics: 1875: First order Fresnel lens; 1929: First order Fresnel lens with flash panels; 1994: First order Fresnel lens (originally in Cape Lookout Light, NC).
Fog Signal: 1873: Steam-driven fog whistle; 1906: Compressed air fog signal with kerosene engines; 1974: Electonic fog signal, now automated with one blast every 30 seconds.
Current Use: Active aid to navigation, museum.
Open To Public? Yes.
The Block Island Southeast Lighthouse Foundation operates a small museum and gift shop in the lighthouse, and tours are offered in summer. The lighthouse is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm July to Labor Day, weekends only from Labor Day to Columbus Day. There is an admission fee for the lighthouse tour with discounts for seniors and children. Call (401) 466-5009 for more information.
Block Island can be reached by ferry from Point Judith (RI), New London (CT) and Montauk (NY). For information on the Point Judith and New London ferries call Interstate Navigation at (401) 783-4613. For information on the Montauk ferry, call Viking Fleet Ferry Lines at (516) 668-5700. You can also fly to Block Island via New England Airlines from Westerly (RI) Airport; call (800) 243-2460 or (401) 596-2460. Block Island Holidays offers a wide range of tour packages and activies on the island; call (800) 905-0590 or (401) 466-3115. From the ferry, walk to the road and turn left; Block Island Southeast Light is about a 30-minute walk (some of it uphill). Taxis are readily available in the area near the ferry.
Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!
Listed on the
National Register of Historic Places
Keepers: Henry W. Clark (1873-1887), J. W. Tougee (1st assistant, 1873-1874), Nathaniel Dodge (1st assistant, 1874-1882), Chad E. Dodge (2nd assistant 1874-1878), Uriah D. Dodge (asst., 1879-1881), Bauis E. Dodge (2nd assistant 1878-1882), John T. Hayes (2nd assistant 1882, 1st assistant 1882-1883), T. H. Littlefield (2nd asst., 1882-1883), Charles F. Milliken (2nd asst., 1883, 1st asst., 1883-1886), Simon Dodge (2nd asst., 1883-1886, 1st asst. 1886-1887, head keeper 1887-1923), Willet H. Clark (2nd asst., 1886-1887, 1st asst., 1887-1908), Charles E. Westcott (2nd asst., 1887-1905), Everett A. Hoxie (2nd asst., 1905-1907), William Baker (2nd asst., 1907-1908), George L. Hoxie (2nd asst., 1908-1912), Lewis Schutt (2nd asst., 1908-1912), Samuel Pickup (2nd asst., 1912-1918), Ezra Dunn (2nd asst., 1918-1919), Edward Murphy (2nd asst., 1919-1921), Lawrence H. Congdon (2nd asst. Jan 7, 1920 to April 1, 1922), John H. Miller (2nd asst., 1923-1927), Hugo R. Carlson (2nd asst., 1927-1931), Willet H. Clark (1924?-1930), Charles M. Ball (1st asst., 1923-1929), Earl E. Carr (1st asst., 1929-1939, head keeper 1938-?), Carl F. W. Anderson (2nd asst., May 1923 to Nov. 1924 and head keeper Sept. 1930 to Mar. 1938), Elmer F. O'Toole (2nd asst. 1931-1939, 1st asst. 1939-1941), Charles A. Rogers (2nd asst. 1935-1941), Alfred L. Bennett (1st asst. 1941), BMC2 Earl A. Rose (2nd asst. 1941)