Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation
Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 1419
Rose Island Light lost its importance as a navigational aid with the construction of the Newport Bridge in 1969. The light was discontinued in 1971. In the early 1980s the badly vandalized lighthouse was declared surplus property. A group of local preservationists founded the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation to preserve the structure. By 1992 the building was restored and opened to the public, and in 1993 it was relighted as a private aid to navigation. The lighthouse now has a first floor museum and is open for overnight stays.
Tower Height: 35
Height of Focal Plane: 48
Characteristic and Range: Flashing white every six seconds.
Description of Tower: Octagonal wood tower with black cast iron lantern, on roof of keeper's dwelling.
This light is operational
1870 two story wood Second Empire keeper's dwelling (integral to tower), 1912 brick fog signal building, oil house.
Date Established: 1870
Date Present Tower Built: 1870
Date Deactivated: 1971-1992
Optics: 1870: Sixth order Fresnel lens.
Fog Signal: 1885: Fog bell and striking machinery in fog bell tower.
Current Use: Private aid to navigation, museum, overnight accommodations.
Open To Public? yes
The Rose Island Lighthouse Museum is open to the public every day from July 16 to Labor Day from 10 am to 4 pm, and other times by appointment. The first floor museum is authentic to the 1912 period. To arrange a school field trip call (401) 847-4242.
Rose Island Lighthouse can be seen distantly from various points on shore. The island is reached via the Jamestown-Newport ferry. The roundtrip fare is $12 for adults, $6 for children 6-10. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The ferry stops at Rose Island on request, and there is a $1 landing fee per person. The ferry leaves Goat Island Marina in Newport. Call (401) 423-9900 for ferry information.
Listed on the
National Register of Historic Places
Keepers: John Bailey Cozzens (1869-1872); George C. Williams (1872-1879); Gustave A. Clark (1879-1887); Charles S. Curtis (1887-1918); Delaney E. Roode (1917-1919); Thomas Pickup (1919-1921); A. B. Bessett (1920-1921); E. W. Newton (1921-1926); Jesse Orton (1921-1936); Charles Eldridge (1926-1941); George S. Bell (1936-1952).
Nearby Lodging: The lighthouse is available for overnight stays. You can spend one night (in the first floor museum's bedrooms) or one week (in the modern upstairs apartment). Those who stay for a week become "keepers," performing cleaning and maintenance chores, and recording weather, water and electric data. Children are welcome, but pets are not. Call (401) 847-4242 for more information and reservations.