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Watch Hill Lighthouse, Watch Hill

(4.1/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
The Watch Hill Lighthouse in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, has served as a nautical beacon for ships since 1745, when the Rhode Island colonial government erected a watchtower and beacon during the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War. Destroyed in a 1781 storm, plans were discussed to build a new lighthouse to mark the eastern entrance to Fishers Island Sound and to warn mariners of a dangerous reef southwest of Watch Hill. President Thomas Jefferson signed an act to build the lighthouse in 1806 and construction was completed in 1807. The first lighthouse stood tall.In 1827 a rotating light was installed to differentiate the light from that of the Stonington Harbor Light in Connecticut. Erosion forced the lighthouse to close in 1855 and move further away from the bluff edge.The next lighthouse, opened in 1856, stands tall. Sixteen years later the steamer Metis crashed off Watch Hill in 1872 killing 130 people. A United States Life-Saving Service station was built next to the lighthouse where it operated until the 1940s and was destroyed in 1963. In 1873 Captain Jared Starr Crandall, keeper of the lighthouse, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for rescue operations involving the Metis. In 1879, Capt. Crandall's widow, Sally Ann (Gavitt) Crandall, became the first woman lighthouse keeper there.
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TripAdvisor
  • nice spot to visit... takes about 10 minutes to see the view and that is pretty much it. No bathrooms or any activities.... but nice.  more »
  • If you are a senior, you may drive down the narrow private driveway to the lighthouse parking lot. And there is a relatively self-contained open area for dogs who come when they are called. The settin...  more »
  • Fun to go before or after a storm to watch the waves & surfers. Also beautiful large homes where the rich and famous live.  more »