Newport Harbor Light
Newport Harbor Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1824
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1842
Year Automated: 1923
Tower Height: 35 ft.
Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 250mm Solar
Existing Keepers Quarters? No
Newport Harbor Lighthouse
(Goat Island Light)
(5 photos, 142KB total download)
Last Visited: August, 2000
Goat Island in Newport Harbor has a long, varied history. It is believed that 26 pirates hanged nearby were buried on Goat Island in 1723. The island was used for military purposes for much of the 19th century, including a naval torpedo station established in 1869.
In 1823 a lighthouse was erected at the northern tip of Goat Island at the entrance to thriving Newport Harbor. This light was inadequate, with poor ventlation causing condensation on the lantern glass. Apparently the location was confusing, and several vessels ran aground. In 1842 a new breakwater was built with a 29-foot stone lighthouse at its end.
In 1851 the original tower was moved to Prudence Island, where it still stands.
The keepers continued to live in the original house until a new dwelling, connected to the lighthouse, was built in 1864. A fourth order Fresnel lens was installed in the tower in 1857, and a fog bell was added in 1873. The light was visible for 11 nautical miles.
For a time in the late 19th century a beacon was operated by steamboat companies at the south end of Goat Island. This light, known as the Goat Island Shoal Dolphin, was electrified in 1891 and was taken over by the Lighthouse Service in 1905. The original light was replaced by a skeleton tower in 1912.
Newport Harbor Light was electrified in 1922. The foundation of the house was damaged in 1923 when it was struck by a submarine; the house was torn down the same year. The lighthouse was automated in 1963 and it continues to exhibit a flashing green light as an active aid to navigation. Today it stands on the grounds of a Hyatt hotel.
American Lighthouse Foundation
The lighthouse is on the grounds of the Hyatt hotel. You can get to the light by going through the hotel.
Nearest Address: 1 Goat Island Rd, Newport, RI
- Take the Newport Bridge (Route 138) over Narragansett Bay into Newport.
- Take the exit for the Connell Highway (follow signs for Newport).
- Follow the Connell Highway for about 0.5 miles and merge onto Americas Cup Ave.
- Once on America's Cup Ave, at the set of lights turn right onto Bridge St.
- Bear left onto the Goat Island Conn. which will then take you over the Goat Island Causeway (bridge).
- This will take you to the marina and hotel parking lot. The lighthouse is on the northern end of the island, closest to the Newport Bridge.
View Larger Map