Watch Hill Lighthouse, Westerly

4.4
#4 of 21 in Things to do in Westerly
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Watch Hill Lighthouse in Watch Hill, Rhode Island has served as a nautical beacon for ships since 1745, when the Rhode Island colonial government erected a watchtower and beacon during the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War. The original structure was destroyed in a 1781 storm, and plans were discussed to build a new lighthouse to mark the eastern entrance to Fishers Island Sound and to warn mariners of a dangerous reef southwest of Watch Hill.President Thomas Jefferson signed an act to build the lighthouse in 1806, and construction was completed in 1807. The first lighthouse stood tall.In 1827, a rotating light was installed to differentiate it from the Stonington Harbor Light in Connecticut. Erosion forced the lighthouse to close in 1855 and move farther away from the bluff edge. The next lighthouse opened in 1856 and remains as the present structure. It stands tall.The steamer Metis crashed off Watch Hill in 1872, killing 130 people. In 1873, lighthouse keeper Captain Jared Starr Crandall was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for rescue operations involving the Metis. In 1879, Capt. Crandall's widow Sally Ann (Gavitt) Crandall became the first woman lighthouse keeper there. A United States Life-Saving Service station was built next to it where it operated until the 1940s, but it was destroyed in 1963. Put Watch Hill Lighthouse on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Westerly trip website.
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Watch Hill Lighthouse reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
172 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The Watch Hill Lighthouse is a classic old lighthouse that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Bay. Some go to fish but I have no idea what they catch. I’ve seen people paint and take... 
    The Watch Hill Lighthouse is a classic old lighthouse that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Bay. Some go to fish but I have no idea what they catch. I’ve seen people paint and take...  more »
  • As others stated, the limited hours of the lighthouse should be noted before making a special trip here. We just wanted to stroll along and check out the mansions, though. Not a ton of shade midday... 
    As others stated, the limited hours of the lighthouse should be noted before making a special trip here. We just wanted to stroll along and check out the mansions, though. Not a ton of shade midday...  more »
Google
  • Very cool to look at. Wish you could tour it. Can only park near it if you’re a senior or disabled.
  • My favorite place to visit @ Watch hill in Westerly. People who are 65yrs and handicap are allowed to drive through the rest of us have to walk and it's short walk with spectacular homes along the narrow road and wide open where the lighthouse is located. I was given a tour inside and got educational about lighthouse. The view all the around was absolutely stunning. 😍 This is my 2nd visit here. Definitely a must see the tour is free so is parking. Bring your water bottle with you. There are no bathroom. So closes to bathroom short within minutes to town.

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