The Watch Hill Lighthouse, located on a peninsula in southeastern Rhode Island, is managed by the Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association under a mandate from the United States Coast Guard. The mission of the Association is to preserve and protect this historical landmark.
The Lighthouse can be accessed by foot via a private road and is open from 8AM to sunset throughout the year. Vehicles are permitted only for the handicapped and senior citizens. Parking is available in the village of Watch Hill, a short walk from Larkin Road which provides access to the Lighthouse property. The Lighthouse itself and its adjacent structures are restricted to the public. However, our museum is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-3 pm in July and August and through the week after Labor Day.
The use of fires and grills, consumption of alcoholic beverages, athletic endeavors such as ball or Frisbee playing and the launching of watercraft are strictly prohibited. Visiting dogs must be leashed. Sanitary facilities are not available. The property is regularly patrolled by the Westerly Police Department and a private security force. The Lighthouse surroundings are rocky and dangerous, and visitors are cautioned that they proceed at their own risk.
The Watch Hill Lighthouse Museum is a small, historic jewel that visitors are welcome to discover on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-3 pm in July and August and through the week after Labor Day. Commissioned by order of President Thomas Jefferson in 1806, the first Lighthouse was built in 1807. The current tower of gray Westerly granite was constructed in 1855-56. The Watch Hill Light has served the seafaring community of Watch Hill and its neighbors for over 200 years.
Within the museum, visitors will have the opportunity to view letters, bills and journals that offer insight as to how the lighthouse keepers lived and worked in the facility. Historical Items of interest include documentation of famous local sea-wrecks, photographs of the hurricane of 1938 and breath-taking shots of sailing vessels which frequented the sea lanes around Watch Hill during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Additionally on display are the original Fourth Order Fresnel Lens, a binnacle and mariner sea chests.
The Lighthouse Keepers and its volunteers invite visitors to stop by The Watch Hill Lighthouse Museum to enjoy the spectacular views and history of our village.
HOURS and RULES
When visiting the Lighthouse, please be advised that in accordance with the terms of our operations license, the gates to the property will close at sunset and open at 8am. As always, visitors who are able are encouraged to walk down Lighthouse Road to visit the grounds.
Daily Access Hours: Our normal hours are 8am - sunset.
Museum Hours: July and August, Tuesday through Thursday, 1-3pm
No Recreational Activities
The use or launching of fireworks is strictly forbidden.
The rocks are DANGEROUS. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.