Rose Island Light
Rose Island Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1870
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1870
Tower Height: 35 ft.
Original Optic: 6th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: Modern Nav. Light
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1870
Number of Stories: 2
Architectural Style: Modern Empire Reviva
Construction Materials: Wood
Rose Island Lighthouse
(4 photos, 103KB total download)
Last Visited: August, 2000
A mile offshore, beyond the reach of Newport's utility lines and services, the Rose Island Lighthouse stands as an independent, energy-efficient building that was home to keepers and their families for over a hundred years.
After the Newport Bridge was built the Lighthouse was abandoned. Between 1971 to 1984 it became badly vandalized. Over the course of the next eight years, members of the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation cleaned out and restored it to its 1912 appearance, installing new, environmentally sensitive utility systems for heat, water, sewer and electricity.
On August 7, 1993, when the funds had been raised to pay all the restoration bills, the light in the tower was joyously relit. The Rose Island Light is currently listed on charts as a private aid to navigation. The Lighthouse is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is maintained by keepers who sign on for a week at a time as part of our environmental education program, where people of all ages learn about the Lighthouse's history and they experience, first-hand, the keeper's self-sufficient, resourceful way of life...lessons that last a lifetime.
Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation
The Foundation keeps the Lighthouse property open year round from 10 AM to 4 PM -- but it's not so easy to get there except during the summer months when the Jamestown Ferry operates on a scheduled daily basis. All other times of the year the Lighthouse Foundation's boat takes overnighters and volunteers to the lighthouse aboard Light-A-Rose (our 30-foot lobster boat). School and group tours are offered by appointment from April through October. Individual public tours are limited to July and August when the ferry runs daily and our guides are on site.
Nearest Address: 5 Marina Plaza, Newport, RI
- The best views are from a boat but you can get distant views from Newport
- 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. Walk to the northern most end of the island, closest to the Newport Bridge and Newport Harbor Lighthouse. Off to the left you'll see Rose Island and the lighthouse at a distance.
View Larger Map