Block Island SE 2011 by JCC (7) copy.jpg (2.74 MB)
Photo Courtesy of:
U.S. Lighthouse Society
Collection / Donor:
MOHEGAN BLUFFS/BLOCK ISLAND
City / Town:
OWNER & ACCESS
Open to Public:
Light List Data:
Year Tower Established:
Tower Construction Material:
Height of light above mean high water, in feet:
201 feet above water
Height, in feet, from base of structure to center of lantern:
OCTAGONAL PYRAMIDAL ATT TO DUPLEX
Fog Signal Building?:
Year Fog Signal Building Constructed:
Fog Signal Bldg Construction Materials:
Year Keeper's Quarters:
Keeper's Quarters Style:
GOTHIC REVIVAL DUPLEX
Keeper's Quarters Construction:
STORAGE BUILDING, RADIOBEACON, GARAGE, MODERN BRICK RANCH HOUSE (1961); MODERN FOG SIGNAL (C. 1988); DESTROYED: CISTERNS, BOATHOUSE
FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL
Original Optic Type:
FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL
Year Original Lens Installed:
USCG Access to Optics:
- 1856: Congress appropriated $9,000 to build the lighthouse in 1856; however, the Lighthouse Board spent the money to rebuild the Block Island North Lighthouse on a site further inland after the 1837 lighthouse was swept into the sea.
- 1872: Subsequently, President Grant signed the congressional appropriation bill in 1872 to build the station.
- 1875: Block Island Southeast Light was first lighted on February 1, 1875. The original optic was a first-order Fresnel lens with four circular wicks feeding on whale oil.
- 1880: In 1880 this optic was replaced by a single kerosene-fed lamp inside a modified first-order classical lens that rotated on a bath of mercury and was driven by weight powered clock work that had to be rewound every four hours.
- 1990: The light was deactivated by the Coast Guard in 1990 and transferred its mission to a beacon placed on a nearby steel tower.
- 1993: In 1993 the 2,000-ton lighthouse was moved about 300 feet back from the eroding cliffs. The Fresnel lens was removed from the tower for the move. However, due to the potential hazard caused by the mercury float of this lens, it was decided not to reinstall and re-light it. It was replaced with Cape Lookout’s original first-order lens, which had been on display at the Coast Guard’s Support Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. The original Block Island lens is on display in the museum. The same firms that moved Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – International Chimney Corp. and Expert Movers of Maryland, carried out the move of the Southeast Lighthouse.
Jul 21, 2017