Rhode Island Lighthouse History

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Poplar Point Lighthouse


Poplar Point Light
© 2004 R. Holmes




Location: Entrance to Wickford Harbor
Location: 1831 - present lLat 41 34 16 N - Long 71 26 21 W
Established: 1831
Lighthouse Constructed: 1831
Discontinued: 1882
Original Illuminating Apparatus: Eight Argand Lamps with reflectors (1831)
Second Illuminating Apparatus: Sixth Order steamer lens (1855)
Current Illuminating Apparatus: None
Height: 37 feet
Status: Private Residence
Light Characteristic: Fixed White (1855)

Light Characteristic: None (2005)
Range: None (2005)


On March 3, 1831, Congress appropriated $3,000 for a beacon at or near the entrance to Wickford Harbor. A site on Poplar Point, at the Southern entrance to the harbor was chosen and purchased from Thomas Albro for $300.

Charles Allen of Kingston, Rhode Island built the lighthouse, a stone keeper's dwelling with an octagonal wooden light tower attached to the roof, in 1831. Samuel Thomas, Jr was appointed Poplar Point's first keeper in November of that year. He was paid $300 a year.

Poplar Point Lighthouse 's illuminating apparatus consisted of eight Argand lamps with concave reflectors arranged around two hoops. The Argand lamp looks like a kerosene lamp. The reflector was 14 inches in diameter and weighed three pounds. In 1855, they were replaced by a sixth order steamer lens lens and an Argand lamp.

The lighthouse was discontinued in 1882. It was replaced by the Wickford Harbor Lighthouse.

On October 15, 1894, Poplar Point Lighthouse was sold, at public auction, to Albert R. Sherman for $3,944.67. In later years, it was added to, by subsequent owners, altering its original appearance.


Polpar Point Lighthouse and Wickford Harbor Lighthouse in 1900
Rose Island Lighthouse
 Courtesy of N.L. Stebbins


See more of Poplar Point Lighthouse in Rhode Island Lighthouses: A Pictorial History by R Holmes.



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