The Prudence Island Lighthouse, more commonly known locally as the Sandy Point Lighthouse, is located on Prudence Island, Rhode Island and is the oldest lighthouse tower in the state.[2][3][4] Sandy Point is nicknamed Chibacoweda, meaning "little place separated by a passage", because the location is a little more than one mile offshore.

Prudence Island Light
LocationPortsmouth, Rhode Island
Coordinates41°36′21.1″N 71°18′12.7″W / 41.605861°N 71.303528°W / 41.605861; -71.303528
Constructed1852 Edit this on Wikidata
FoundationNatural / emplaced
ConstructionGranite blocks
Height8.5 m (28 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
ShapeOctagonal tower
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
Fog signalNone
First lit1823 on Goat Island
moved here in 1851
Focal height28 feet (8.5 m)
Lens5th order Fresnel lens (1852), 9.8 inches (250 mm) (current)
Range6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi)
CharacteristicFlashing green, 6 seconds
Prudence Island Lighthouse
ArchitectH. Vaugh, I.N. Stanley & Brother
MPSLighthouses of Rhode Island TR
NRHP reference No.88000270[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 30, 1988

History edit

The lighthouse was constructed in 1823 and originally sat on a dike off Goat Island farther south in the Bay, where the Newport Harbor Light stands today. In 1851, it was transported to Prudence Island where it remains. It is one of the few lighthouses in the United States to retain its original bird-cage lantern. The light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.[1]

1938 New England hurricane edit

The lighthouse keeper's house was swept away in the 1938 New England hurricane, and five people were washed out to sea and drowned:

  1. the keeper's wife, Mrs. George T. Gustavus (née Mable Gertrude Norwood; 1888–1938),
  2. the keeper's son, Edward J. Gustavus (1926–1938),
  3. the former keeper, Martin Thompson (1868–1938),
  4. James George Lynch (1863–1938) and v, his wife, Ellen Lynch (née Ellen Wyatt; 1870–1938) – both of whom had sought refuge at the lighthouse residence.

The lighthouse keeper, George Theodore Gustavus (1884–1976), was also swept into the sea, but was swept back ashore and survived.[3][5][6]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2012. p. 170.
  3. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Rhode Island". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01.
  4. ^ Rowlett, Russ (2012-10-31). "Lighthouses of Rhode Island". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  5. ^ Hartford Courant, The (September 24, 1938). "Reports from Hurricane Stricken Territory Summarized by Regions: Rhode Island". Vol. 102. Hartford, Connecticut. pp. 1 (columns 4–5) & 8 (columns 4–5). Retrieved February 22, 2021 – via  Re: 1938 New England hurricane.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  6. ^ D'Entremont, Jeremy (born 1956) (June 2003). "Keeper George T. Gustavus, Survivor of Terror and Tragedy". Lighthouse Digest (magazine). East Machias, Maine. ISSN 1066-0038. OCLC 26863953. Retrieved February 22, 2021 (D'Entremont is president of and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation, founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and the historian for the United States Lighthouse Society){{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: postscript (link)

External links edit