Digest>Archives> Mar/Apr 2017

Remembering Rhode Island’s Gull Rocks Lighthouse

A Different Type of Light Station

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Early view of Rhode Island’s Gull Rock Lighthouse ...


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Rare vintage color post card image of Rhode ...

Built in 1887 at the entrance to Newport Harbor, Rhode Island, the Gull Rocks Lighthouse was not your typical looking lighthouse. The house was built as an A-Frame to allow two separate lights to be shown from the inside of the top peaks of the A-Frame. One light was a fixed white light and the other light was a fixed red light.

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1953 aerial photo of the Gull Rocks Lighthouse. ...

Other than surviving the Great Hurricane of 1938, probably the only noteworthy story about Gull Rocks Lighthouse occurred in September of 1894 when lighthouse keeper Frederick Purinton was found, badly beaten and unconscious, by his wife, who rowed to the mainland for help. Apparently Purinton and a local lobsterman had some type of altercation over lobster traps. Whatever the case, the lighthouse career of Frederick Purinton, who in 1887 had become the first keeper of the lighthouse, came to an end.

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Gull Rocks Lighthouse in Newport Harbor, Rhode ...

In 1928, the lights in the A-Frame were discontinued and replaced by a single acetylene light placed atop a skeleton structure that had been installed next to the house. By the 1960s, the house was destroyed and in 1969 the light on the skeleton tower was discontinued and demolished.

This story appeared in the Mar/Apr 2017 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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