Friday, July 24, 2009

Beavertail Lighthouse, America's third oldest, under restoration

Beavertail Lighthouse, at the southern tip of Rhode Island's Conanicut Island, in the town of Jamestown, is among New England's most visited coastal attractions. The beauty of the buildings and the surrounding rocky ledges, often pounded by heavy surf, combines with compelling history to make this a must-see for lighthouse aficionados. This is America's third oldest light station, established in 1749 to help guide mariners to the thriving harbor at Newport.

The lighthouse tower is currently under restoration, thanks to the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association (BLMA). Corroded ironwork is being replaced and the exterior is being repointed. New steel panels and decks have been installed below the lantern. The cost of this stage of restoration is $327,000, and it's estimated that $1.2 million will be needed for a full restoration of all the buildings.

The BLMA is reaching out to the maritime industry for help. This light, they point out, has benefited mariners for 260 years. It's certainly reasonable to expect those who have benefited to pay something back. That includes the thousands of citizens who have enjoyed the salty breezes and spectacular panorama at this lighthouse for so many years.

For more about Beavertail, check these links: