Location: Rhode Island
The Dutch Island Light Society – a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, was founded in 2000 for the purpose of restoring and preserving Dutch Island Light. ALF’s chapter completed a restoration and the lighthouse was relit as an aid-to-navigation. Today, the Dutch Island Lighthouse Society is an independent non-profit organization.
Quick Lighthouse Facts:
- Year Built: 1857
- Height of Tower: 42 feet
- Description: White square tower. Located on south point of island. Lighthouse was automated in 1947.
The first lighthouse at Dutch Island was established on January 1, 1827 to mark the west passage of the Narragansett Bay and to aid vessels entering Dutch Island Harbor. The tower’s construction was of a modest nature as it was built to a height of 30 feet utilizing available stones found on the island. According to lighthouse historian Jeremy D’Entremont, “The four-room keeper’s dwelling and the lighthouse were described around the mid-nineteenth century as the “worst constructed of any in the state,” and the lantern was described as “wretched.” The poorly constructed light station eventually caused the U.S. Lighthouse Service to have to rebuild the tower and dwelling in 1857. When completed, the 42-foot brick tower showed a fixed white light from a fourth order Fresnel lens and was attached to new keeper’s dwelling. The characteristics of the light were changed to occulting red in 1924. The lighthouse was automated in 1947. The combination of the light’s lack of necessity to the maritime community and uncontrolled vandalism caused the U.S. Coast Guard to decommission the lighthouse in 1979.
The Lighthouse was completely restored and is now preserved under a maintenance schedule.
Offshore – Island