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Dutch Island Lighthouse

dutch island lighthouse

Jamestown, Rhode Island
Built in 1827


On a small island off Conanicut Island, in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay.

Latitude: 41° 29' 48" N
Longitude: 71° 24' 16" W


Historic Stories:

One of the islands that could prove dangerous to mariners was tiny Dutch Island which was jutting off from the larger Conanicut Island. Dutch Island lighthouse was built here in 1827 to guide mariners away from the island. vintage image of dutch island light
Vintage Image Courtesy of
US Coast Guard

William Dennis was the first keeper and was a Revolutionary War veteran. Although appointing war veterans as keepers was a common practice, in this case Williams was nearly 80 years old at the time he took the job in 1827. He went on to become one of the oldest lighthouse keepers in New England’s history, serving to the age of 93.

Dutch Island had two close shipwrecks on its rocky shores, In 1903, the steamer Steamboard landed about 30 feet from the tower with no casualties, and the Rosalie, with its cargo of white beans, spilling the cargo into the water which soon were washing up all over the shoreline.

In April 2000 the Coast Guard leased the light to the American Lighthouse Foundation. The lighthouse was recently restored after years of raising funds, it was relit in 2007 (photo above taken before the restoration).



Places to Visit Nearby:

Jamestown hosts a number of museums for visitors to learn about the area. Visitors will also find a diverse number enjoy. It's an area filled with history, 18th and 19th century architecture, and hosts many community events. There are parks to explore and small wildlife refuges for visitors to relax and enjoy. There are more than 40 museums located within 40 minutes of Jamestown, most of them are in nearby Newport across the Newport –Jamestown Bridge.


Contact Info:
Dutch Island Lighthouse Society
PO Box 435
Saunderstown, Rhode Island 02874


Local Boat Tours

The lighthouse can only be viewed by boat. Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises, but will pass by the beacon. Enjoy!

Rhode Island Fast Ferry
Their narrated high-speed ferry cruises cover ten Rhode Island lighthouses in Narragansett Bay. They also provde ferry services to Martha's Vineyard and Block Island.

1347 Roger Williams Way
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Phone: (401) 295-4040


Save the Bay Tours
Organization providing education for lighthouse and coastal preservation and provides nature and seal watching tours. There is an extensive 7-hour Ultimate Lighthouse Tour covering most of the lighthouses in Narragansett Bay on select dates in the summer.
100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905
Phone: (401) 272-3540


My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England



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