The Conimicut Lighthouse sits offshore on a rocky ledge at the edge of Conimicut Point Park, and is not open to visitors. Built in 1868 to help aid boats in the dangerous rocky waters between Rocky Point and Bristol, the lighthouse had no quarters; keepers were forced to take rowboats out to the lighthouse each day. The first quarters were built in 1874, but were soon destroyed by an ice floe and never were reconstructed.
In 1960, this was the last lighthouse in the country to be electrified; prior to that, it’s bright white light, which signals every 2.5 seconds, was powered by kerosene. Today, it stands proudly in the distance for those viewing it from the park.
Located at the very bottom of Warwick Neck, the Warwick Neck Lighthouse has always played an important role in helping to direct sea vessels in the upper part of Narragansett Bay. Even during colonial times, some sort of light beacon was always present at the point to aid the ferries that traveled between Warwick and Prudence Island and then onto Newport.
When Providence became the state’s most important seaport, the need for an actual lighthouse at Warwick Neck grew. In 1826, three acres of land was purchased from the Greene family for $750, and in 1827 the first lighthouse was built, followed two years later by the gatekeeper’s cottage. The cottage was remodeled in 1889 into it’s present six-room form.
In 1932, the cylindrical cast-iron light tower, standing 51 feet high, was erected, and this light tower has the distinction of being the last traditional lighthouse built in Rhode Island. The original location was 75 feet closer to the water, but because of extensive damage suffered to it’s foundation in the Hurricane of 1938, the lighthouse was moved back to it’s present spot.
Currently operated by the Coast Guard, this lighthouse has served as the site of the Easter Sunrise Service hosted by the Shawomet Baptist Church, since 1923, and it’s green light, signaling every 4 seconds, remains a visible symbol of Warwick’s early seafaring days.