City of New Bedford
Contact Address Information:
133 William Street
The first two lighthouses built here were funded by local merchants. The third lighthouse (1804) was replaced by the present lighthouse on top of the fort in 1869. The 1804 stone tower remained standing until 1906. The restored lighthouse was relit as an aid to navigation on June 15, 2001.
Height of Focal Plane: 68
Characteristic and Range: Fixed white.
Description of Tower: Short cylindrical tower and black lantern on rectangular building, on top of fort.
This light is operational
c. 1860s fort (Fort Rodman, formerly Fort Taber).
1797: Wooden tower; burned down 1798. 1799: Wooden tower, 50 feet tall; burned down in 1803. 1804: 42-foot stone tower.
Date Established: 1797
Date Present Tower Built: 1869
Date Deactivated: 1898-2001
Current Use: Part of city park.
Open To Public? Grounds only.
Follow MA 18 south into New Bedford. Take the "downtown" exit onto Water Street. Turn left at Cove Road (at a traffic light). Follow to the right onto East Rodney French Boulevard. Follow to the parking area for the fort (free). Fort Rodman and the lighthouse can also be seen from the New Bedford-Martha's Vineyard ferry, leaving Billy Woods Wharf on East Rodney French Boulevard. For information call Cape Island Express Lines, Inc., at (508) 997-1688.
Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!
Listed on the
National Register of Historic Places
Keepers: Cornelius Howland (?-1835); Edward Howland (1835-?); Henry M. Smith (1842-?); Amos Baker, Jr. (?-1898).