Rhode Island Lighthouse History

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Point Judith Lighthouse


Point Judith Lighthouse
Courtesy of National Archives


Location: Point Judith
Location: 1810 - present lLat 41 21 39 N - Long 71 28 53 W
Established: 1810

Original Lighthouse Constructed: 1810
Second Lighthouse Constructed: 1816
Current Lighthouse Constructed: 1857
Automated: 1954
Original Illuminating Apparatus: Ten lamps with 15 inch reflectors
Current Illuminating Apparatus: Fourth Order Fresnel Lens
Height: 35 feet 1816 - 1857
Height: 51 feet 1816 - Present
Status: Active Aid to Navigation
Light Characteristic: Flashing White every 15 seconds (1906)

Light Characteristic: Group Occulting (3) White every 15 seconds (2005)
Light Characteristic: 5 seconds flash, 2 seconds eclipse
Light Characteristic: 2 seconds flash, 2 seconds eclipse
Light Characteristic: 2 seconds flash, 2 seconds eclipse
Range: 13Ĺ miles (1906)
Range: 14 miles (1952)
Range: 16 miles (2005)
Fog Signal: 1st-class Steam Siren (1900)
Fog Signal: 1st-class Compressed Air Siren (1912)
Fog Signal: 1st-class Air Tyfon (1935)
Fog Signal: Air Diaphragm Horn (1945)
Fog Signal Characteristic: Siren Blast for 5 Seconds (1912)
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 40 Seconds
Fog Signal Characteristic: Siren Blast for 5 Seconds
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 40 Seconds

Fog Signal Characteristic: Blast for 3 Seconds (1935)
Fog Signal Characteristic: Silent for 17 Seconds
Location: Established: Original Lighthouse Constructed: Second Lighthouse Constructed: Current Lighthouse Constructed: Automated: Original Illuminating Apparatus: Current Illuminating Apparatus: Height: Status: Light Characteristic: Range: For Signal: Fog Signal Characteristic:


The first Point Judith Lighthouse, an octagonal shaped wood tower, was built in 1810. There's no record of what kind of lighting apparatus was used in the light. The light was blown down during a hurricane in 1815.

The second Point Judith light, a stone tower, was built in 1816. It is uncertain how many lamps and reflectors were first installed in the light. In 1838 Lt. George M. Bache reported that the light had ten lamps with attached reflectors. They were also fitted with two-inch green bullís-eye lenses. It was believed that they would intensify the light from the lamps. They didnít and were later removed. The interior of the light was very damp. During the winter ice would sometimes form on windows in the lantern room.

In 1857, Point Judith light was rebuilt. It was during this reconstruction that a keeperís dwelling was attached to the light tower. A fourth order Fresnel lens was installed in the new light.

The lighthouse was automated in 1954. The keeperís dwelling was removed after the light was automated.

In 2000 the Point Judith lighthouse underwent its first major renovation in a hundred years. The lantern was removed and repaired. It took four months to complete the work. A temporary light replaced it while it was dark.

Point Judith Lighthouse is located on Point Judith Coast Guard Station.

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


Point Judith Lighthouse in 1900
Point Judith Lighthouse
 Courtesy of N.L. Stebbins

Updated 10/25/2015

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