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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Jamestown in Newport County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
 

History of the Beavertail Light Station

 
 
History of the Beavertail Light Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 29, 2015
1. History of the Beavertail Light Station Marker
Inscription.
1678
Town of Jamestown is incorporated. There are about 150 residents.

1705
Jamestown Town Council orders that a Watch House be built at "Beaver Tail."

1712
Jamestown Town Council orders Gershom Remington to build a "Fire Beacon" and Benedict Arnold to "look after the watch and see that it be faithfully kept".

1749
Peter Harrison, known as "America's First Architect," designs and builds the first light tower. It is the 3rd lighthouse built in Colonial America. Constructed of wood, the tower is 58 feet in height to the cornice with an 11-foot lantern on top.

1753
Tower burns down from an unknown cause. Second tower is constructed of stone and rubble left over from building Fort George (Goat Island) in Newport.

1776
Rhode Island is the first American colony to declare Independence from Britain.

1779
British Troops departing Newport during the Revolution set fire to the inside tower wood and remove some of the lighting equipment.

1787
Town windmill on North Road is rebuilt after the British destroy the previous mill.

1789
Beavertail Light and
History of the Beavertail Light Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 29, 2015
2. History of the Beavertail Light Station Marker
View of the marker looking south towards the southwest corner of the lighthouse complex.
11 other lighthouses are selected by George Washington to be transferred to the National Government.

1790
Rhode Island is the last of the thirteen colonies to join the Union, the United States Revenue Service (forerunner of the Coast Guard) is established.

1793
The deed to Beavertail is transferred to the United States Government.

1817
Beavertail beacon is lit with manufactured gas for one year in an experiment conducted by the Newport inventor David Melville.

1827
First Dutch Island Lighthouse is constructed.

1849
The United States Lighthouse Board is established to improve lighthouses throughout the country.

1851
An air fog trumpet powered by a horse driven compressor pump is installed.

1856
The present granite light tower is constructed to replace the deteriorating 1753 structure. A third-order Fresnel lens installed and a keeper's residence constructed. The old tower is removed and on its foundation a fog-whistle house built.

1857
First Ericssion coloric coal fed engine is install for use with the fog signal. Several other "firsts" in foghorn equipment are tested at Beavertail over the next 40 years.

1882
Whale
History of the Beavertail Light Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 29, 2015
3. History of the Beavertail Light Station Marker
View of the marker looking north along the Beavertail Road.
Rock Lighthouse is constructed.


1884
The Naval War College opens in Newport.

1898
An assistant keeper's residence is added. Ninety one years later this building will serve at the first Beavertail Lighthouse Museum.

1903
United States Lighthouse Board is transferred to the United States Department of Commerce.

1910
The Bureau of Lighthouses is established.

1930
America's Cup Yacht Race moved to waters off Newport and Jamestown where they remained the next 53 years (1983).

1931
The first electric light-beacon is installed at Beavertail.

1938
The Great Hurricane of 1938 destroys the fog signal building and exposes the original 1749 lighthouse foundation. A new fog signal building is erected adjacent to the granite light tower.

1939
The Bureau of Lighthouses is abolished. Responsibilities for navigational aids is transferred to the United States Coast Guard, which continues these duties today.

1940
First Jamestown Bridge opens at a cost of $3 million.

1969
The $61 million bridge between Jamestown and Newport is opened

1972
The
Beavertail Lighthouse as it Appears in 2015 image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 29, 2015
4. Beavertail Lighthouse as it Appears in 2015
View, looking south, of the Beavertail Lighthouse complex.
beacon and fog signal apparatus is automated. The last keeper and assistant keeper are transferred off site.

1977
Beavertail Light Station is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

1983
The Rhode Island Parks Association announces that they will restore the deteriorating Assistant Keeper's House as a lighthouse museum.

1989
The Beavertail Lighthouse Museum is announced; the result of a joint effort by the Rhode Island Parks Association, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Town of Jamestown, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

1991
The Fresnel lens at Beavertail is removed and replaced by a Rotating Aero Beacon.

1992
The $161 million Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge opens, replacing the former Jamestown Bridge.

1993
The non-profit Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association is organized and takes over management of the museum.

2007
A ground penetrating radar survey determines that the original 1749 light tower was octagonal in shape.

2009
The first major restoration of granite light tower in 156 years is completed.

2010
The oil storage building, built in 1905,
Beavertail Lighthouse as it Appears in 2015 image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 29, 2015
5. Beavertail Lighthouse as it Appears in 2015
View, looking north, of the Beavertail Lighthouse complex.
is restored by museum volunteers.
 
Erected by Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association.
 
Location. 41° 26.973′ N, 71° 23.979′ W. Marker is near Jamestown, Rhode Island, in Newport County. Marker is on Beavertail Road south of Clarkes Village Road, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. This marker is located in the Beavertail State Park, on the grounds of the Beavertail Lighthouse complex, just off of the northwest corner of the existing lighthouse building complex. Marker is in this post office area: Jamestown RI 02835, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Whale Rock Lighthouse (a few steps from this marker); The Assistant Keeper's House (a few steps from this marker); The West Passage to Narragansett Bay (a few steps from this marker); The Granite Light Tower (a few steps from this marker); Fog Signal Building (a few steps from this marker); Oil Storage Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Keeper's House (within shouting distance of this marker); The 1749 Foundation (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Jamestown.
 
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 149 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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