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Block Island North Light

July 9, 2019
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Block Island North Light New Shoreham, Rhode Island

Built in 1867.

BLOCK ISLAND (NORTH) LIGHT

SANDY POINT/NORTH END BLOCK ISLAND
Station Established: 1829; rebuilt 1837, 1857, & 1867
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1867
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1955
Deactivated: 1970-1989
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: GRANITE/WOOD
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL ON DWELLING ROOF
Height:    55-feet; height of focal plane 61-feet
Markings/Pattern: BROWN
Characteristics:    Flashing white light every 5 seconds
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1867
Foghorn:    None
CHARACTERISTIC: Fixed white light, fifth order fresnel, range is 11 nautical miles
FOGHORN:

HISTORICAL INFORMATION:

  • 1829: The original lighthouse and its 1837 replacement consisted of twin towers; they were both washed away into the sea.
  • 1857: The 1857 tower, which was moved further inland, was destroyed by fire.
  • 1867: The original optic in the 1867 tower was a fourth-order Fresnel lens, which was placed on display at the Interpretive Center when it was deactivated and replaced by an automated offshore beacon.
  • 1907: In February 1907 the steamer Larchmont ran into the schooner Henry Knowlton just off the northwest coast of Block Island. Only 19 of the 150 passengers and crew aboard the Larchmont survived in the freezing waters of Block Island Sound. The Henry Knowlton also sank but the crew managed to row to safety near the Watch Hill Lighthouse several miles to the northwest.
  • 1996: In 1996 the original lens was returned to the light tower and North Light was re-commissioned as an active lighthouse, replacing the offshore beacon.