Jamestown in Newport County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
The Assistant Keeper's House
The first assistant keeper at Beavertail Light was hired about 1859. It appears that the early assistant keepers shared part of the keeper's quarters or lived in one of the outbuildings on site.
In 1898, the U.S. Lighthouse Board added this residence at Beavertail for the assistant keeper and family. The assistant keeper's house was smaller and oriented 90 degrees from the keeper's house. This gave an unobstructed view of the sea from both floors.
The Lighthouse Board not only took care of the keeper's and assistant keeper's physical needs, but their intellectual needs as well. The Board circulated portable libraries of 50 volumes they felt were a "proper admixture of historical, scientific, poetical, and good novels, together with a Bible."
In 1969, Beavertail's assistant keeper was George Light. He became well known for answering the phone: "Beavertail Light, Light speaking."
The building's use as a residence was discontinued when the light was automated in 1972. On June 25, 1989, the Rhode Island Parks Association opened a museum in the building. In 1993 the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association
You were up before five o'clock. When day light came you extinguished the light, trimmed the wick, got everything ready for the next night, took care of the tower, polished the lens, put the cover on, then you went about your duties of painting, maintaining, and general chores ... Toward evening, you'd just reverse what you did in the morning.
Charles Homan, grandson of a Prudence Island Light Keeper
Erected by Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list.
Location. 41° 26.965′ N, 71° 23.979′ W. Marker is in Jamestown, Rhode Island, in Newport County. Marker is on Beavertail Road south of Clarkes Village Road, on the left when traveling south. This marker is located in the Beavertail State Park, affixed to the outside wall, beside the front entrance door, on the southwest corner of the existing lighthouse complex. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jamestown RI 02835, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The West Passage to Narragansett Bay (here, next to this marker); Whale Rock Lighthouse (here, next to this marker); History of the Beavertail Light StationThe Granite Light Tower (a few steps from this marker); Fog Signal Building (a few steps from this marker); The Keeper's House (within shouting distance of this marker); Oil Storage Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The 1749 Foundation (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jamestown.
Also see . . . Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association. This is a link to information provided by the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association. (Submitted on September 14, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 293 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 14, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.