Prudence Island Light

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Prudence Island Light 2007.jpg
Prudence Island Light is located in Rhode Island
Prudence Island Light
LocationPortsmouth, Rhode Island
Coordinates41°36′21.1″N 71°18′12.7″W / 41.605861°N 71.303528°W / 41.605861; -71.303528Coordinates: 41°36′21.1″N 71°18′12.7″W / 41.605861°N 71.303528°W / 41.605861; -71.303528
Year first constructed1852
Year first lit1823 on Goat Island
moved here in 1851
FoundationNatural / emplaced
ConstructionGranite blocks
Tower shapeOctagonal tower
Markings / patternWhite
Focal height28 feet (8.5 m)
Original lens5th order Fresnel lens, 1852
Current lens9.8 inches (250 mm)
Range6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi)
CharacteristicFlashing green, 6 seconds
Fog signalNone
Admiralty numberJ0566
ARLHS numberUSA-675
USCG number1-18125

[1] [2] [3]

Prudence Island Lighthouse
Prudence Island.jpg
ArchitectH. Vaugh, I.N. Stanley & Brother
MPSLighthouses of Rhode Island TR
NRHP reference #88000270[4]
Added to NRHPMarch 30, 1988
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

The Prudence Island Lighthouse, more commonly known locally as the Sandy Point Lighthouse, is located on Prudence Island, Rhode Island and is the oldest lighthouse tower in the state. Sandy Point is nicknamed Chibacoweda, meaning "little place separated by a passage", because the location is a little more than one mile offshore.


The lighthouse was constructed in 1823 and originally sat on a dike off Goat Island farther south in the Bay, where the Newport Harbor Light stands today. In 1851, it was transported to Prudence Island where it remains. It is one of the few lighthouses in the United States to retain its original bird-cage lantern. The light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.[4]

The lighthouse keeper's house was swept away in the 1938 New England hurricane, and five people were washed out to sea and drowned, including the lighthouse keeper's wife. The keeper was also washed into the sea, but he was thrown back ashore and survived.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2012. p. 170.
  2. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Rhode Island". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office.
  3. ^ Rowlett, Russ (2012-10-31). "Lighthouses of Rhode Island". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  4. ^ a b National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

External links[edit]