Prudence Island Light

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Prudence Island Light 2007.jpg
Prudence Island Light is located in Rhode Island
Prudence Island Light
Location Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Coordinates 41°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 constructed 1852
Year first lit 1823 on Goat Island
moved here in 1851
Foundation Natural / emplaced
Construction Granite blocks
Tower shape Octagonal tower
Markings / pattern White
Focal height 28 feet (8.5 m)
Original lens 5th order Fresnel lens, 1852
Current lens 9.8 inches (250 mm)
Range 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi)
Characteristic Flashing green, 6 seconds
Fog signal None
Admiralty number J0566
ARLHS number USA-675
USCG number

1-18125 [1] [2] [3]

Prudence Island Lighthouse
Prudence Island.jpg
Architect H. Vaugh, I.N. Stanley & Brother
MPS Lighthouses of Rhode Island TR
NRHP Reference # 88000270[4]
Added to NRHP March 30, 1988

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]