Rhode Island Lighthouse Tours
The only lighthouse tour to include a stop at Pomham Rocks Lighthouse!
Enjoy the rich, historical sights of the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay and the Providence River. With breathtaking views of Gaspee Point, Hog Island, Prudence Island, and Conimicut Point, you'll view up to 10 active and inactive lighthouse sites.
Starting in Providence, this 3.5-hour tour includes a stop and a tour of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse.
Save The Bay educators provide expert narration on all tours.
Proceeds of lighthouse tours are used to support the restoration and preservation of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse and Rose Island Lighthouse.
2017 Tour Dates
- $50 for Save The Bay members
- $55 for non-members
Departure location and parking
Save The Bay100 Save The Bay DriveProvidence, RI 02905 (map/directions).Plenty of free parking is available.
Northern Bay Lighthouse Site List
Located just under the Mt. Hope Bridge, on the mainland of Bristol, this privately owned brick lighthouse was established in 1855 and discontinued in 1927 as its proximity to the bridge made it obsolete as a navigational aide.
Established in 1868, this light can be spotted from both Conimicut Point in Warwick and Nayatt Point in Barrington. Early lighthouse keepers had a treacherous one-mile crossing from the Nayatt Point Light to tend the Conimicut Light. The granite design was torn down in 1882. A “spark-plug” style with cast iron plates replaced the original. It was the last station in RI to be electrified in 1960. Soon after automation in 1963, the structure was boarded up for many years. Periodical maintenance was done over the years, but by 2005 the Conimicut Lighthouse was transferred to the City of Warwick and the Conimicut Lighthouse Foundation was formed. A major grant from the Department of Transportation helped restore it. .
The Spark-plug or coffee pot “towers” design of this lighthouse served as the standard from the 1870’s – 1900’s. Modeled after the Plum Beach Lighthouse, it is a cast iron caisson filled with concrete. It replaced a lightship and was completed by 1901 and automated in 1964. With the establishment of the NHLPA in 2000, (National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act) the light was sold to private owners in 2006.
As commerce grew on the Providence River in the early 1800’s, establishment of a light at Nayatt Point Shoals helped guide transports in and out of the narrow river shoals towards the Narragansett Bay. The original light was established in 1828. The present light was built in 1856. Discontinued in 1868, the Conimicut Light protected the entrance to the river further south, but keepers continued to live at Nayatt Point and row 1 mile to tend the Conimicut Light.
|Pomham Rocks Light
Pomham Rocks Light was named after a Narragansett Tribal Sachem who was killed in King Phillip’s War in 1676. Established in 1870, it was constructed on a tiny islet 800 feet from the shoreline of Riverside, on the eastern side of the Providence River. Built on a granite foundation, the wooden structure includes a mansard roof and a hexagonal shaped light tower. This light can best be viewed from the East Bay Bike Path. Discontinued in 1974, the property was sold to what is now ExxonMobil. Its intention was “to preserve the continuity of the waterfront area.” ExxonMobil eventually leased the lighthouse to the American Lighthouse Foundation for free. In 2005, the Friends of Pomham Lighthouse was established and ExxonMobil gifted $25,000 to the lighthouse foundation towards the restoration of the structure. Pomham Rocks Light can be easily seen from the Save The Bay Center at Fields Point in Providence.
This granite structure, with a “Birdcage Lantern” that serves Prudence Island, was originally located off the northern tip of Goat island in Newport Harbor in 1823. It was moved to Prudence Island’s Sandy Point in 1852. It is a one-mile walk from the Bristol/Prudence Island ferry landing. Prudence Light is the oldest lighthouse in Rhode Island. After its automation in 1972, both Coast Guard and island residents performed upkeep of the light. The Prudence Island Conservancy has maintained the light since 1987 and the U.S. Coast Guard granted the lighthouse’s license to the Conservancy in 2001.
A narrow sharp bend in the shipping channel of the Providence River necessitated the construction of the Sabin Point Light as a navigational aide. Built with the same design as the Pomham Rocks and Rose Island lights, it was a wooden structure with mansard roof and a hexagonal shaped light tower referred to as “Second Empire Styling”. During the hurricane of ’38, the keeper and his wife were each swept away and survived under different circumstances, but Mrs. Whitford was able to keep the light tended throughout the night. Located offshore from Riverside, RI, Sabin Point Light was established in 1872 and automated in 1956, and was deactivated in 1968. The East Providence Firefighters lit and burned the structure on July 4th 1968 after plans were made to dredge and widen the narrow channel.
A narrow channel between Warwick Neck and Patience Island in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay created the need for a beacon. (During colonial times, it was thought a privately operated light existed.) The original lighthouse was established on Warwick Neck in 1826. Its design was a bit unusual, in that the base was squared, but the top had octagonal cuts. Due to its exposure to wind and sea, the land was eroding which caused the old light to be demolished and a new Cast Iron Tower, the last of its kind in New England was erected in 1932. Erosion continued to be its worst enemy and after the ’38 Hurricane the tower was rolled back another 50 feet. In 1963, the last civilian keeper retired but was overseen by the US Coast Guard. Still used for Coast Guard housing, it is not accessible to the public and is best seen by boat. It was automated in 1985.
More lighthouse tours by Save The Bay:
For more information
Contact Dan Blount at (401) 439-0670