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Point Judith Lighthouse

Point Judith lighthouse

Narragansett, Rhode Island
Built in 1808

Location:

Western entrance to Narragansett Bay. Located at 1460 Ocean Road in Narragansett‎.

Latitude: 41° 18' 12" N
Longitude: 71° 51' 30" W

 

Historic Stories:

Point Judith Lighthouse was built in 1808, located on the western entrance to Narragansett Bay. As with most of the early light stations, dampness was always a constant, especially during New England’s fierce winters. The early keeper’s building at Point Judith only had a bedroom located in the attic. The keepers and their families would end up sleeping in the kitchen to stay warm during the winter season. After many complaints, a new 7-room keeper’s dwelling was constructed much to the delight of the occupants in 1857.

In 1857, the lighthouse was rebuilt with keeper's dwelling attached.

vintage image Point Judith light with keeper's house

Point Judith Light
with Keeper's House
Courtesy US Coast Guard

With heavy seas, dense fog, and dangerous rocky shoals nearby along the point, Point Judith has been designated by mariners as being one of a number of sites known to sailors as a “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

Point Judith shines as storm approaches With so much marine traffic going past the point with its dangerous rocky shoals it is no wonder that despite the lighthouse’s presence there were still many shipwrecks.

In 1855 alone, at least 16 ships either ran aground or sank within sight of the lighthouse. A partial list includes the Normandy (1864), American Eagle (1870), Acusionet (1870), Venus (1877), Cucktoo (1882), Harry Barry (1888), Anita (1888), Mars (1892), Blue Jay (1896), Amanda E. (1902), and the Comet (1973), among many others.

Shipping traffic continued to increase around the point into the 1900's.

In 1907, nearly 23,000 vessels were recorded passing by in the daylight, and nearly twice that amount at night. early 1907 image Point Judith Light

1907 Image
Point Judith Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

During the hurricane of 1938, the lighthouse survived without much damage, although nearly 250 feet of the seawall was destroyed

vintage image Point Judith light without adjoining keeper's house

Point Judith Light
Without Connected Building
Courtesy US Coast Guard


In 1954, the lighthouse was automated and the keeper's dwelling was removed.

In 2000, Point Judith Lighthouse underwent its first major renovation in nearly 100 years, which included repairing the lantern.

In 2013, Point Judith Lighthouse was chosen as one of five New England lighthouses, painted by artist Howard Koslow, for the "Forever" stamp collection sold at all US Postal stations.

Point Judith lighthouse on a stormy day

 

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

The lighthouse grounds are no longer open to the public but you can get views of the lighthouse and Coast Guard Station from a small park before the gate. The residence is still operated by the Coast Guard so be aware of no trespassing signs.

For the best fried dough and chowder near the lighthouse, check out Iggy’s Doughboy and Chowder House. Just look for the lines of people! Or, if you want to discover the birthplace of the New England clam cake, visit Aunt Carrie’s, across the street, which has been in business for nearly 100 years in Narragansett.

Fishermen's State Park and Campground offers campers a "seaside village" atmosphere where visitors will find tree lined paths and activities for the whole family. It is close to those popular state beach areas like Scarborough, Roger Wheeler, and Salty Brine.

Narragansett has four of the best beaches in Rhode Island. surfer riding wave

There are plenty of other recreational activities like golfing, camping and fishing that encourage tourists to visit and enjoy the area. 

If you feel like having a more active time at water slides, go-carts, or 18-hole mini-golf, visit Adventureland Fun Park.

You can kayak the Narrow River along with nearby Pettaquamscutt Cove and the John H. Chafee Wildlife refuge with Narrow River Kayaks. You can also go deep sea fishing and whale watching with the Frances Fleet of Vessels.

Visit the South Country Museum which provides exhibits that capture the life of farmers, fishermen, and home cooks of 150 years ago. It includes a carpentry shop, blacksmith shop, textile arts center, working print shop, and a small working farm.

 

Directions:

 

Contact Info:

U.S. Coast Guard District-Point Judith Station
408 Atlantic Ave
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 223-8515

 

Local Boat Tours

The Block Island Ferry may pass by Point Judith Light on its way out to Block Island, while Snappa Charters offers views of the lighthouse as part of their Block Island tour.

Block Island Ferry
(401) 783-4613
Block Island is accessible by ferry from Point Judith, RI.
Take Sandhill Cove Road from Point Judith lighthouse, to Galilee ferry landing.
Ferry service to Block Island is also available from Montauk Point, NY and New London, CT.

 

Snappa Charters
Offers specific lighthouse tours around Narragansett Bay and to Block Island in addition to other adventure tours like sport fishing, whale watching, and shark tagging.

Mailing Address: 2 Congdon Dr., Wakefield, RI 02816
Boat Location: 33 State Street, Narragansett, RI 02882
Boat/Cell (401) 487-9044
Email: snappacharters@cox.net

 

 

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