Sakonnet Point Light
Sakonnet Point Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1884
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1884
Year Automated: 1997
Shape: Conical on Cylindrical base
Tower Height: 66 ft.
Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1884
Number of Stories: 3
Architectural Style: Integral
Construction Materials: Cast Iron
Sakonnet Point Lighthouse
Little Compton, RI
(3 photos, 70KB total download)
Sakonnet Point Lighthouse Videos
Last Visited: February, 2004
In the early 1880s it was decided that a light was needed at Sakonnet Point, named for the Seaconnet Indian tribe, on the east side of the Sakonnet River. The Lighthouse Service wanted to build the tower on West Island. It so happened that some wealthy sportsmen with a cottage on the island were friends of President Chester Arthur, so the location was changed to Little Cormorant Rock.
Construction of the Sakonnet Lighthouse, Rhode Island's easternmost beacon, began in 1883. The iron pier was put into place on Little Cormorant Rock, about 800 yards offshore, and then filled with concrete.
Heavy seas in the fall of 1883 caused the remainder of the construction to be put off until the spring, and the lighthouse was completed in October 1884.
After Hurricane Carol in 1954 caused addtional damage, the Coast Guard elected to decommission and abandon Sakonnet Point Light.
Carl Haffenreffer bought the lighthouse for $1,300 at auction in 1961, saying, "I was afraid someone was going to paint it pink or haul it away for scrap," The Haffenreffer family kept the lighthouse painted, hiring bridge painters to do the job, but the upkeep was expensive. In 1985 the structure was donated to the The Friends of Sakonnet Point Lighthouse, Inc.
The group raised $100,000 to restore the lighthouse. Workers and volunteers dug out pigeon guano two feet deep, sandblasted the tower and repainted it, among other repairs.
New England Lighthouses - A Virtual Guide
Nearest Address: 98 Rhode Island Rd, Little Compton, RI
- From Newport take SR138 north to SR24 north.
- Once in Tiverton you'll go over a good sized bridge. Take the first exit after the bridge (should be signs for SR77).
- Get onto SR77 south and take it about 14 miles to the end in Little Compton.
- Once at the beach area, just before the road takes a sharp right to the parking lots, turn left onto a small road called Rhode Island Rd. Follow that to the end where you can get a view of the lighthouse.
View Larger Map