Rhode Island Lighthouse History

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Warwick Lighthouse


Warwick Lighthouse
© 2004 R. Holmes




Location: Warwick Neck
Location: 1826 - 1939l Lat 41 40 00 N - Long 71 22 43 W
Location: 1939 - presentl Lat 41 40 01 N - Long 71 22 41 W
Established: 1826

Original Lighthouse Constructed: 1826
Current Lighthouse Constructed: 1932
Automated: 1985
Original Illuminating Apparatus: Eight Lamps with reflectors (1826)
Second Illuminating Apparatus: Fifth Order Fresnel lens (1856)
Third Illuminating Apparatus: Fourth Order Fresnel lens
Current Illuminating Apparatus: 250-mm lens (1986)
Height: 30 feet 1826 - 1932
Height: 51 feet 1939 - Present
Status: Active Aid to Navigation
Light Characteristic: Fixed White (1906)

Light Characteristic: Fixed Green (1935)

Light Characteristic: Occulting Green every 4 seconds (2005)
Range: 13 miles (1894)
Range: 12 miles (1906)
Range: 13 miles (1952)
Range: 12 miles (2005)
Fog Signal: Bell Struck By Machinery (1894)
Fog Signal: Blower Siren (1906)
Fog Signal: Bell Struck By Machinery - Used if Siren is Disabled (1906)
Fog Signal: Compressed Air Siren (1912)
Fog Signal: Air Tyfon (1935)
Fog Signal: Air Diaphragm (1952)
Fog Signal Characteristic: Bell Struck 1 Times (1894)
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 20 Seconds
Fog Signal Characteristic: Bell Struck 2 Times
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 20 Seconds

Fog Signal Characteristic: Continuous Siren Blast (1900)

Fog Signal Characteristic: Bell Struck 1 Times (1900)
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 20 Seconds
Fog Signal Characteristic: Bell Struck 2 Times
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 20 Seconds

Fog Signal Characteristic: Siren Blast for 3 Seconds (1912 - 1952)
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 12 Seconds
Fog Signal Characteristic: Siren Blast for 3 Seconds
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 12 Seconds
Location: Established: Original Lighthouse Constructed: Current Lighthouse Constructed: Automated: Original Illuminating Apparatus: Second Illuminating Apparatus: Thrid Illuminating Apparatus: Current Illuminating Apparatus: Height: Status: Light Characteristic: Range: Fog Signal: Fog Signal Characteristic:


The first Warwick Light, a wooden tower on the stone keeper's dwelling, was built in 1826, on the southern tip of Warwick Neck. In 1833, at the keeper's request, a wooden three-room addition was attached to the back of the keeper's dwelling. Within a few years serious leaks developed at junctions between the lighthouse and the addition. The leaks were repaired in 1838. A new two-story keeper's dwelling was built in 1889. The wooden addition was removed in 1892 and was converted into a barn.

It is uncertain what kind of illuminating apparatus was placed in the light. A report in 1838 stated that it had eight lamps with reflectors arranged around a circular table. In 1856, a fifth order Fresnel lens, made by Henry Lepait of Pairs, replaced the lamps and reflectors.

In the late 1920's the Lighthouse Bureau feared the eroding cliffs near the Warwick Light would cause it to collapse. In 1932, a new iron light was built thirty feet from the old light. The lens from the old light was moved to the new light. The old light was torn down shortly after the new light was lit.

On morning of September 21, 1938 Warwick Light was fifty feet from the water. Within a matter of hours the 1938 Hurricane destroyed all that land, leaving the light just inches from Narragansett Bay. In 1939, the light was moved to it present location. It had to be placed on an eight-foot concrete base because the roof of the keeper's dwelling blocked some ships from seeing it.

The light was automated in 1986, when the fourth order Fresnel lens was replaced with a 250mm lens. The keeper's dwelling is still used by the Coast Guard as living quarters for it personnel.


Warwick Lighthouse


Updated 10/9/2016

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