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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
  • If you are over 65 years old you can drive out to the lighthouse. If you are younger you have to park legally and hike to it. Be careful to be certain your parking space is legal. Parking fines are as...  more »
  • Like much in the Watch Hill area, access to this attraction is understated. Look for a red sign at a private-looking hardtop driveway winding down among posh homes on its way to the point. If you are ...  more »
  • Grew up in and around this lighthouse. It is beautifully maintained but not always easy to get to bec of the "you must walk the road there." There are exceptions ...so try. The views are, at once, sta...  more »