Previous Light:
Rose Island
Next Lighthouse:
Ida Lewis Light

Newport Harbor
(Goat Island) Lighthouse

Newport Harbor lighthouse

Newport, Rhode Island
Built in 1824

Location:

Inside Newport Harbor, on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. With their permission, you can go right on the grounds and view the lighthouse up close. They are very accommodating if you respectfully ask them.

Latitude: 41° 29' 36" N
Longitude: 71° 19' 37" W

 

Historic Stories:

early image Newport Harbor light
Early Newport Harbor Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

Newport Harbor Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built in the Newport area on Goat Island in 1824.

It was built to mark a treacherous rocky shoal that extended out from the island. Even with the light established, ships rounding the northern part of Goat Island at night or in stormy weather would sometimes run aground on the shoal.

The Navy purchased the island and Fort Wolcott in 1869. In 1906, the Navy Torpedo Factory was built on the island employing thousands. The first self-propelled torpedo was developed, and during World War II, 80% of the torpedoes used in the war were produced at Goat Island.

Keeper Charles Schoeneman, who was appointed in 1883, stayed on for 39 years and would become so well known that locals often referred to his station as Schoeneman's Light. Newport Harbor light tower

Schoeneman was also responsible for saving the lives of several sailors from the destroyer Myrant in 1912. The men were fishing from a sailboat, which was hit and overturned by a sudden squall. The nearly 70-year-old keeper quickly went to their aid without hesitation.

In 1921, the submarine N-4, accidentally hit the breakwater, damaging the keeper's dwelling, which had to be torn down. Schoeneman who was now in late seventies, retired afterwards as the remains of the keeper’s house was demolished and the light was electrified, with personnel from the torpedo station maintaining operations.

During the hurricane of September 21, 1938, the Pequonnock struck the breakwater at Goat Island before finally going aground at nearby Gould Island. The severe damage to the breakwater left the lighthouse isolated for years.

Relaxing small park atmoshpere by Newport Harbor light Some time later, the area connecting the island to the mainland was filled in when the Goat Island Sheraton Hotel (today known as the Hyatt Regency Hotel) was constructed.

 

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

You can reach the grounds of Newport Harbor lighthouse by quietly passing through the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, ask permission first.

The tower and area is protected from storms by a large stone breaker. Newport Harbor lighthouse with stone breaker for protection

Newport is Rhode Island’s gateway for tourists with concerts and events. Newport plays host to a number of festivals during the summer months, including the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport special waterfront events, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Newport International Boat Show.

Visit the Museum of Newport History to learn about Newport’s rich history and architectural beauty in its many mansions.

Tourists from all over the world come to visit Newport's many attractions.

Breakers Mansion in Newport

The Breakers
(Vanderbuilt) Mansion

Including it’s most elaborate mansions with tours of the rich and famous that shaped America’s 19th and 20th centuries.

They include the Marble House, the Breakers, the Hunter House, Elms, Rosecliff, the Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, the Kingscote, the Isaac Bell House, and Belcourt Castle which offers another unique opportunity to step back in time and enjoy the atmosphere of the Gilded Age.

The Cliff Walk is 3.5 miles along an elevated path, where you'll get the chance to see the many mansions that define Newport along with picturesque views of the harbor. It begins at First Beach, or Easton's Beach, and finishes at the private Bailey's Beach.

Other walks in Newport include the Newport Harbor Walk and the Ten Mile Ocean Drive with many of those miles you have public access to the shoreline, starting at the Breakers mansion.

 

Directions:

small park by Newport Harbor lighthouse

 

Contact Info:

Friends of Newport Harbor Lighthouse
c/o American Lighthouse Foundation
PO Box 565
Rockland, ME 04841

sailboat moored near Newport Harbor light

 

 

Local Boat Tours

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips to New England’s shorelines. Enjoy!


Rhode Island Bay Cruises
Offers weekly lighthouse tours in season.

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

 

Jamestown-Newport Ferry

They provide a stop over at Rose Island lighthouse and harbor tours for views of Newport Harbor light and Ida Lewis light, departing from Jamestown, RI.
Lighthouses: Newport Harbor (Goat Island), Lime Rock, Castle Hill, and Rose Island.


Classic Cruises of Newport
Newport Harbor excursions aboard a newly restored Elco Motor Yacht, built during prohibition in 1929, or go sailing on the 72-foot Schooner Madeleine. Both offer views by the Newport lighthouses.

Dockside/Reservations: (401) 847-0298

Save the Bay Tours
Special organization for lighthouse and coastal preservation. In addition to various educational, nature, and historical tours, they provide an Ultimate Lighthouse Tour, and Southern and Northern Bay Lighthouse Tours on specific days during the summer. Tours may include stopovers to tour inside a particular lighthouse.
100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905
(401) 439-0670


 

 

My 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 and tours you can explore.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal attractions in southern New England

 

Back to Top