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Pomham Rocks Lighthouse

pomham rocks light

East Providence, Rhode Island
Built in 1871


The lighthouse marks the east side of the Providence River. Best viewed from the bike path along the river.

Latitude: 41° 46' 39" N
Longitude: 71° 22' 10" W


Historic Stories:

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse sits atop a tiny rock island that juts out of the waters on Providence River. The lighthouse was built in 1871, as others were in this area, to guide mariners around these rocky islands and shorelines.

Keeper Adolf Aronson’s wife was suffering from appendicitis at the lighthouse. They were unable to get her ashore to be operated on, but were lucky enough to find a local doctor in time to perform the operation successfully at the lighthouse.

It is also a fact that Aronson had a piano for his wife brought to the lighthouse on a schooner. The piano had to be swung between the two masts while the crew tilted the vessel to one side in order to get the piano carefully onto the rocky shore.

Pomham Rocks was also famous for having the most annoying fog signal installed in 1900, driving the local residents crazy. Even the ship captains and local mariners complained, as it was so loud they would have trouble navigating around the lighthouse in poor weather.

Pomham Rocks never had any running water installed; instead the keepers used a large cistern to collect rainwater.

Pomham Light was discontinued in 1974, and was replaced nearby with a light on a skeleton tower. In 1980, when the Coast Guard put the light up for bid, Mobile Corporation placed the highest bid for the light, and in 2005, Exxon Mobil leased the Pomham Rocks Light to the American Lighthouse Foundation. The Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, a chapter of the ALF, had acquired enough funding to restore the lighthouse's interior and exterior. Work was completed and Pomham Lighthouse was relit on August 30, 2006.



Places to Visit Nearby:

Providence offers diverse ethnic and cultural events and concerts in the arts year round for visitors. The Providence Performing Arts Center provides plenty of events and entertainment in theater, music, dance, etc. Visit the Museum of Art as part of the Rhode Island School of Design with exhibits and events from students and professionals from many cultures and ages. The Museum of Natural History is the state’s only natural history museum with its own planetarium. The Roger Williams Park Zoo educates visitors not only in the many animals it houses, but also the need for people to be active conservationists. The Providence Children's Museum is a hands on learning activity museum for the whole family.

For the shopaholics, the Providence Place Mall is a 3-story retail palace in the downtown area with over 170 stores. For the entertainment fans, the Dunkin Donuts Center provides lots of hockey and other sports events, major concerts, trade shows and family shows.

For the dining enthusiasts, the Providence Chauffeured Dine Around allows you to choose 6 restaurants from more than 15 participating restaurants to taste parts of their menus all night long.

By the way, did you know the birthplace of the American diner started in Providence, with the current Haven Brothers Diner, still working over generations since 1888. Try their murder burger!

The 14-mile long East Bay Bicycle Path in East Providence, where the lighthouse is best viewed, runs along the Providence River, and is open to walkers as well as bikers. There is also the Blackstone River Bikeway, with 10 of the proposed 48 miles completed, you can take the completed bike path from nearby Central Falls, Lincoln, or Cumberland. When completed, it will connect to the East Bay Bike Path, and continue into Worcester Massachusetts. The Crescent Park Looff Carousel is one of the oldest and largest carousels with 62 beautifully carved and painted horses.

To get a view of the lighthouse by boat, take the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority using the Providence to Newport Route and enjoy the view of the mansions at Newport if you plan to visit Newport.

North of Providence, in Pawtucket, you can visit the Slater Mill Historic Site, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution as the first successful textile mill in America, and the Slater Memorial Park nearby.




Contact Info:

Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse
P.O. Box 15121
Riverside, RI 02915
Phone: (508) 226-1185 or
(401) 438-1212


Local Boat Tours

Rhode Island Public Transit Authority
Goes past Pomham Rocks Light.


Save the Bay Tours
Special organization for lighthouse and coastal preservation provides Ultimate Lighthouse Tour, Northern 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. You'll find over 360 images as well.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses in southern New England



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