Rhode Island Lighthouses

Nayatt Point Lighthouse

Nayatt Point Lighthouse
This photograph has been colorized. 
© 2004 R. Holmes 

Location: Nayatt Point at the Entrance to the Providence River
Location: 1856 - present l Lat 41 43 30 N - Long 71 20 18 W
Established: 1828
Original Lighthouse Constructed: 1828
Current Lighthouse Constructed: 1856
Deactivated: 1868
Original Illuminating Apparatus: Six Lamps and Reflectors (1828)
Second Illuminating Apparatus: Fourth Order Fresnel lens (1863)
Current Illuminating Apparatus: None
Height: 23 feet 1828 - 1856
Height: 25 feet 1856 - Present
Status: Private Residence
Light Characteristic: Fixed White (1842)

Light Characteristic: None (2005)
Range: None (2005)
Location: Established: Original Lighthouse Constructed: Current Lighthouse Constructed: Deactivated:: Original Illuminating Apparatus: Second Illuminating Apparatus: Current Illuminating Apparatus: Height: Status: Light Characteristic: Range:

The first Nayatt Point Lighthouse, an octagonal brick tower faced with stone, was built in 1828, at the edge of a sandy beach. A stone wall was built to protect it from the water. It was equipped with six lamps and reflectors supplied by Charles Whitford of Newport. The lighthouse marked the channel between Nayatt Point and Conimicut Point. The tower was poorly constructed and was in need of constant repair. A five room stone keeper's dwelling was built near it.

In January 1855 a storm damaged the lighthouse. The lighthouse was repaired but it was in very bad shape. An 1855 inspection report said, "The tower was cracked on four sides from top to bottom; its floor is too low and the stairs are inconvenient." The inspector recommended a new lighthouse be built near the keeper's dwelling.

A new Nayatt Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1856. The light's lamps and reflectors were replaced with a fourth order Fresnel lens in 1863.

In 1866 the Lighthouse Board received a petition from captains and ship owners asking them to close Nayatt Point Lighthouse and move its light to a stone beacon on the shoal off Conimicut Point. The Board agreed with the petition and closed Nayatt Point lighthouse and moved its light to Conimicut Lighthouse, The new lighthouse didn't have any quarters for the keepers. Its keepers used the Nayatt Point Keepers dwelling until 1874, when a stone keeper's dwelling was built on a pier at Conimicut Point. The following year a large field of floating ice struck the pier and destroyed it and the keeper's dwelling. The keepers moved back to Nayatt Point and used it until 1883.

Nayatt Point Lighthouse and keeper's dwelling were sold in 1890 for $4,500. Over the years the lighthouse and its keeper's dwelling has been added to and modified so much that it bears little resemblances to the original structure. In 1997 the house was put up for sale. The asking price was $1,275,000.

Barbara Lesko and Leonard Lesko, Nayatt Point Lighthouse owners from 1983 to 2001, wrote a book called Lighthouse Life about living at the lighthouse. It tells about the joys of living and the hard work to restore and maintain the lighthouse.

Nayatt Point Lighthouse
Updated 1/18/2014