Previous Light:
Watch Hill
Next Lighthouse:
Beavertail

Point Judith Lighthouse

point judith light

Narragansett, Rhode Island
Built in 1808

Location:

Western entrance to Narragansett Bay. Located at 1460 Ocean Road in Narragansett‎. Grounds are open to the public. ‎

Latitude: 41° 18' 12" N
Longitude: 71° 51' 30" W

 

Historic Stories:

With heavy seas, dense fog, and dangerous rocky shoals nearby along the point, Point Judith has been designated by mariners as being one of a number of sites known to sailors as a “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” With so much marine traffic going past the point with its dangerous rocky shoals it is no wonder that despite the lighthouse’s presence there were still many shipwrecks. In 1855 alone, at least 16 ships either ran aground or sank within sight of the lighthouse. A partial list includes the Normandy (1864), American Eagle (1870), Acusionet (1870), Venus (1877), Cucktoo (1882), Harry Barry (1888), Anita (1888), Mars (1892), Blue Jay (1896), Amanda E. (1902), and the Comet (1973), among many others.

In 1857, the lighthouse was rebuilt with keeper's dwelling attached. In 1954, the lighthouse was automated and the keeper's dwelling was removed.

Shipping traffic continued to increase around the point into the 1900's. In 1907, nearly 23,000 vessels were recorded passing by in the daylight, and nearly twice that amount at night.

pt judith with keeper's house

Point Judith Light with keeper's dwelling
Courtesy US Coast Guard

During the hurricane of 1938, the lighthouse survived without much damage, although nearly 250 feet of the seawall was destroyed

In 2000, Point Judith lighthouse underwent its first major renovation in nearly 100 years, which included repairing the lantern.

In 2013, Point Judith Lighthouse was chosen as one of five New England lighthouses, painted by artist Howard Koslow, for the "Forever" stamp collection sold at all US Postal stations.

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

Point Judith lighthouse allows visitors to explore the area and the surrounding rocky beach. The lighthouse grounds are open to the public with free parking. The residence is still operated by the Coast Guard so be aware of no trespassing signs. If you follow the path by the shoreline, you can walk to the remains of an old fort nearby.

For the best fried dough and chowder near the lighthouse, check out Iggy’s Doughboy and Chowder House. Just look for the lines of people! Of if you want to discover the birthplace of the New England clam cake, visit Aunt Carrie’s, across the street, which has been in business for nearly 100 years in Narragansett.

Narragansett has four of the best beaches in Rhode Island with plenty of other recreational activities like golfing, camping and fishing to encourage tourists to visit and enjoy the area. Fishermen's State Park and Campground offers campers a 'seaside village' atmosphere where visitors will find tree lined paths and activities for the whole family. It is close to those popular State Beach areas like Scarborough, Roger Wheeler, and Salty Brine.

If you feel like having a more active time at water slides, go-carts, or 18-hole mini-golf, visit Adventureland Fun Park.

You can kayak the Narrow River along with nearby Pettaquamscutt Cove and the John H. Chafee Wildlife refuge with Narrow River Kayaks. You can also go deep sea fishing and whale watching with the Frances Fleet of vessels.

Visit the South Country Museum which provides exhibits that capture the life of farmers, fishermen, and home cooks of 150 years ago. It includes a carpentry shop, blacksmith shop, textile arts center, working print shop, and a small working farm.

 

 

Directions:

 

Contact Info:

First U.S. Coast Guard District
408 Atlantic Ave
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 223-8515

 

Local Boat Tours

The ferry passes by Point Judith on its way out to Block Island, while Snappa Charters offers views of the lighthouse as part of their Block Island tour.

 

Block Island Ferry
(401) 783-4613
Block Island is accessible by ferry from Point Judith, RI.
Take Sandhill Cove Road from Point Judith lighthouse, to Galilee ferry landing.
Ferry service to Block Island is also available from Montauk Point, NY and New London, CT.


Snappa Charters
Offers specific lighthouse tours around Narragansett Bay and to Block Island in addition to other adventure tours.

(401) 782-4040
22 Colvintown Rd.
Coventry, RI 02816
Home (401) 821-7373
Boat/Cell (401) 487-9044

 

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!

Back to Top