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Conimicut Lighthouse

conimicut light

Warwick, Rhode Island
Built in 1868


Location:

Entrance to Providence River in Narragansett Bay, sitting on Conimicut Point Shoal.

Latitude: 41° 43' 01" N
Longitude: 71° 20' 42" W

 

Historic Stories:

Conimicut Lighthouse is located on the entrance to the Providence River in Narragansett Bay, sitting on Conimicut Point Shoal. In 1868 a granite tower was built as a lighted aid for mariners. Early keepers were not provided with living quarters at Conimicut Lighthouse and had to make daily mile long trips that were sometimes quite dangerous in a rowboat to nearby Nayatt Point Lighthouse for overnight stays. Years later, in 1873, a five-room keeper's dwelling was built on the landing pier attached to the tower.  

One of the Keeper's, Horace W. Arnold, was an eighth-generation descendant of Benedict Arnold. He was famous for an incident that occurred at Conimicut Lighthouse one winter in March of 1875. As heavy ice floes were seriously threatening the lighthouse, Arnold decided, along with his son to abandon the station as the ice flows were breaking apart the keeper's dwelling. They were able to get on top of an ice floe with a mattress to escape the danger. Captain Sutton of the tug Reliance, who rescued the men two hours later, would write that the keeper appeared as if he were “sitting like a man on a magic carpet.” Keeper Arnold was frostbitten so badly that it was several months before he could resume his duty at the light station, his son was also hospitalized for frostbite. The lighthouse survived the ice floes, but the keeper's house was destroyed, so Arnold and his family stayed at nearby inactive Nayatt Point light until the quarters were rebuilt. Several years later Arnold's son was killed, when he fell from the lighthouse.

conimicut light
Vintage image courtesy of
US Coast Guard

1882, the old granite tower was removed and a new cast-iron style, known as “spark plug lights” was built.

By the 1930’s at times as many as 50 local fishermen would crowd the lighthouse area to fish off the rocky shore. It finally got to a point that the Coast Guard had to post the area as “off limits” for visitors.

Conimicut lighthouse was one of the last lighthouses in the US to convert to electricity in 1960.

In the spring of 1997, a Coast Guard crew was performing routine maintenance at the lighthouse, and found a stranded coyote that somehow had managed to swim to the lighthouse. They captured the animal and later released it back in the woods on shore.

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

Warwick offers plenty of parks, beaches, specialty shops and restaurants, and great golfing. As Rhode Island's second largest city, Warwick provides much history in exploring its architecture and culture along with plenty of recreational activities in its parks to enjoy along its 39 miles of coastline with great views. You'll also find a host of marinas for boaters.

As part of Rhode Island's Greenways system of hiking and biking trails, the Coventry Greenway is a 5-mile unpaved hiking trail along a former railway line that extends from Warwick, to Greenwich, to the town of Coventry.

Goddard State Park is Rhode Island's most popular metropolitan park with trees from all over the world, a nine-hole golf course, 18 miles of horse and hiking trails, and a performing arts center at a giant carousel. The Warwick Heritage Trail system is where you'll find plenty of examples of 17th, 18th, and 19th century architecture as well as one of the largest concentrations of retail stores for all you shopaholics.

Trees Blooming at Goddard State Park

 

Contact Info:
City of Warwick
3275 Post Rd
Warwick, RI 02886

 

 

Directions for a Distant View

Conimicut Lighthouse can be seen best from Conimicut Point Park in Warwick. It can also be viewed from a distance at Nayatt Point lighthouse in Barrington.

 

Local Boat Tours

Snappa Charters offers many types of cruises, including specific lighthouse cruises, special charters, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trip. Enjoy!

 

Rhode Island Bay Cruises
Offers weekly lighthouse tours in season. Their narrated cruise covers 10 Rhode Island Lighthouses in Narragansett Bay along with a complete Newport Harbor Tour.

347 Roger Williams Way
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-4040
info@rhodeislandbaycruises.com

 

Save the Bay Tours
Special organization for lighthouse and coastal preservation provides Ultimate Lighthouse Tour, Northern Bay Lighthouse Tour, Southern Bay Lighthouse Tour, and Providence Sunset Lighthouse Cruise on specific days during the summer.
100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905
(401) 439-0670


 

My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore, and tours.

Look inside!

 

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