North Light opens for season July 5

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 8:00am

Block Island's North Lighthouse Interpretive Center will open to the public for the 2019 season on Friday, July 5 at 10 a.m.

The maritime museum features exhibits on the history of the 1867 granite lighthouse and the three earlier lighthouses that were built at the tip of the island to warn mariners away from the reef extending north from Sandy Point. Equipment from the former U.S. Lifesaving Service station that stood further out on the point is on display. Photographs highlight the Block Island Wind Farm and the native and migratory bird species in the surrounding Block Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The century-old fourth-order Fresnel lens in the cast iron tower was designed to be seen in clear weather at a distance of 12 nautical miles. The lens was preserved in the 1970s when the lighthouse was abandoned. After a complete restoration of the building and the tower, the lens was put back in service and relit in October 2010. (Unfortunately, the tower is not open to the public.)

For the 2019 summer season, the maritime museum exhibits on the lighthouse’s ground floor will be open for self-guided tours daily (closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and rainy days) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Friday, July 5 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2. Fall hours are Saturday, Sept. 7 through Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 14: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The grounds are open all year.

The gift shop sells unique designs of tee shirts, hats, and other items, and bottled water. A public restroom is available.

Admission is $3 per person, free for children 12 years and younger when accompanied by an adult.

To reach the lighthouse, walk along the beach from the Settlers’ Rock parking area at the end of Corn Neck Road (about one-half mile). Transportation for disabled persons can be arranged in advance; call (401) 466-3220 for information and reservations.