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Pomham Rocks Lighthouse

pomham rocks lighthouse

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 Keeper Aronson had a piano for his wife brought to the lighthouse on a schooner. sailboat by Pomham Rocks light

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.

early Pomham Rocks light ariel view

Early Pomham Rocks Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

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, acquired enough funding to restore the lighthouse's interior and exterior. Pomham Rocks light with sailboat in foreground

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.

By the way, did you know the birthplace of the American diner started in Providence?

The first and oldest diner is the current Haven Brothers Diner, still working over generations since 1888. haven brothers diner stand

The 14-mile long East Bay Bicycle Path in East Providence runs along the Providence River and is open to walkers as well as bikers.

sun breaks through clouds at Pomham Rocks light Vistors can get great views of Pomham Rocks lighthouse from the paved path, off Washington Avenue from Bullocks Point Road.

There is also the Blackstone River Bikeway, 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 nearly 50 miles 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.



sailboat moored by Pomham Rocks light


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


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 which includes a stopover at Rose Island Lighthouse grounds to explore.
100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905
Phone: (401) 272-3540 x103


Books to Explore

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available also from bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships: Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships. These true stories include competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.



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 various types of tours. You'll find over 360 images in the book to enjoy.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England





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