Exhibits · News · Shipwrecks

Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association Update

Beavertail Light Station, RI. Photo by Candace Clifford, 2011

According to their Fall 2016 newsletter, the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association (BLMA) has started a major fundraising campaign to create an endowment to continue the work they have already accomplished in preserving the light station. So far they have restored the foundation of the original lighthouse built in 1749, restored the 1938 fog signal building, restored the existing 1856 light tower, and tripled the size of their museum.

Beavertail Light Station welcomed a U.S. Lighthouse Society tour in June 2016. This photo dates to 2011

Interpretation of site now includes QR code signs on 21 different subjects installed in various locations throughout Beavertail Park and the light station grounds. According to BLMA’s website, “Each 4 x 6 inch sign scanned by a smart phone or tablet connects to www.beavertaillight.org and immediately provides historical or descriptive site information on the subject identified on the sign.”

BLMA had also created an impressive online shipwreck database. The interactive site provides data and stories in connection with 3,018 Rhode Island shipwrecks. You can filter the wrecks according to weather events such as the Portland Gale of 1898 or view their locations on NOAA maps.

The 1856 granite tower replaced a wooden tower built in 1753.

Beavertail continues as an active aid to navigation. The newsletter mentions that a new drum beacon was being installed by the U.S. Coast Guard. The old light recently failed and the backup light has been in service ever since. Once the old drum light is replaced, the BLMA has requested that it join the old Fresnel lens in the museum to help tell the continuing history of the light station.

When providing the newsletter, Board Member Varoujan Karentz wrote, “As America’s 3rd oldest light, we here at Beavertail take great pride and delight in providing information to our visitors and lighthouse friends. Our organization is 100% volunteer base operating our free admission museum during the summer months. This year 30,000 plus visitors passed through our doors with complimentary accolades for our new exhibits and interactive displays.”

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

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