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Watch Hill Lighthouse, Watch Hill

Categories: Lighthouses, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 95+ 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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  • Although the road to the lighthouse has its challenges the end result is worth it, whether you walk it or attempt to drive the narrow road. 
  • Walk or ride if your 65. Spectacular viewing area for sunsets or crashing waves. Easy walk from Watch Hill business area if you park there. Free but no picnics allowed on grounds. 
  • great views from all sides of the light house and the park that surrounds it. Good for biking and picnicing. 
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