Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Conimicut Light

At the entrance of the Providence River sits a small lighthouse that does not seem to be very well known outside of the Providence / Warwick, Rhode Island area. The lighthouse is the Conimicut Light. The Conimicut Light warns mariners of the shoal that bears the same name. The current light is 58 feet tall and flashes a white light every 2 1/2 seconds. It is made of cast iron and has a fog horn that sounds twice every thirty seconds.

Conimicut Light is the second lighthouse and third marker to sit at Conimicut Shoal. The previous two markers, including the first lighthouse, were both destroyed by drifting ice. Originally built in 1866 and first lit in 1868, the lighthouse did not have a keeper's residence until 1874. Keepers would stay in the old Nayatt Point Light which had been discontinued the same year Conimicut was first lit. Nayatt Point stood on the eastern side of Providence River's entrance into Narragansett Bay and required the keepers to row more than a mile to the western side in order to tend the Conimicut Light. Conimicut was automated in 1963 and is still an active aid to navigation maintained by the United States Coast Guard.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse

On a recent trip to New England, I had the opportunity to stay two nights near Providence, Rhode Island. Since I was staying two nights, I wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to see at least one lighthouse. I had stopped in Providence to conduct research for my Master's thesis at the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS). When I completed my research, I asked if there were any lighthouses that were viewable from land. I knew that many of Rhode Island's lighthouses stood in the middle of the water and were best seen by boat, but I had hoped to get a good view from land because I knew the departure times for the boat tours were not compatible with my research time. Maybe next time.

A very nice young lady, whose name I forgot to obtain, at the RIHS was kind enough to tell me about Pomham Rocks Lighthouse in East Providence, Rhode Island. She said it was viewable from the East Bay Bicycle Path (EBBP) and gave me directions on how to get there. I saw a parking lot for the EBBP, but the weather looked like it could downpour at any moment. Since I did not have my umbrella with my, I decided to see if the lighthouse was viewable from other places that would not have me walking a great distance should it start to rain. Pomham Rocks is visible from other locations, but the views are not as good.

The first place I viewed the lighthouse from was Sabin Point Park. Sabin Point Park is a few miles south of the lighthouse. It offers a decent view, but the distance really requires binoculars or a camera with a really good zoom. The following picture was taken from Sabin Point Park with a 10 X optical zoom and 4 X digital zoom camera. As you can see that zoom still did not allow for a very good picture

Since Sabin Point did not offer a very good view, I continued to seek out another venue. I found one off Crest Avenue at the entrance to the East Providence Public Works facility. This location gives a much closer view, but of the backside of the lighthouse. The view is also cluttered with the Public Works' buildings, not to mention the smell. Below is the picture I took from Crest Avenue, which I cropped to eliminate as much of the industrial clutter as possible.

It did seem as though the lighthouse might be visible from the Stonegate Condominiums on Bullocks Point Avenue (RI 103/Veteran's Memorial Highway), but the condominiums are private property and the owners may not appreciate people driving through to see the lighthouse. The lighthouse is visible from Narragansett Boulevard (US 1), Edgewood Yacht Club, or the Stillhouse Cove Boat Ramp on the west side of the river leading into Providence Harbor, but the distance again requires the use of a high powered zoom camera or Binoculars.

After snapping a couple of pictures, I headed back towards my hotel near the airport. It was great to see this very interesting lighthouse, but next time I am in town, I will definitely plan my schedule around the sightseeing boat tour so that I can get a close up of the lighthouse to share.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Catching Up!

Wow, has it really been almost a year since I last posted to this blog? Time really does fly when you are busy. I won't make excuses for not keeping up on this blog, but I must say a lot has happened in the past year. I finally made it into graduate school and after moving the family to Maryland, I have completed my first year of graduate school. It was a tough one. I am halfway through my Master's Degree and have started looking at PhD programs for the Fall of 2011.

With that being said, I had the opportunity to see a few lighthouses this month. Research for my Master's Thesis took me to New England and I found the opportunity to visit 3 "new" lighthouses (new to me) and revisit some old favorites. My three "new" lighthouses were in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, while my old favorites were in Portland, Maine. Additionally, I found time on my way home to stop by the Lighthouse Depot in Wells, Maine - undeniably the number one lighthouse store in America.

I will post pictures here in the next few days, so be on the lookout for them. In the meantime, please accept my apologies for neglecting this blog. Hopefully, my followers will find it in their hearts to forgive me, but I can only understand if they choose to go elsewhere.

Coming Soon:

Cape Elizabeth East Light
Conimicut Lighthouse
Pomham Rocks Lighthouse
Portland Head Light
Ram Island Light
Ten Pound Light

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Detroit River Lights

Well, it has been awhile since I have had the opportunity to post on this blog. I apologize. With our pending move later this summer, things have gotten a little behind. Unfortunately until we move, I don't see much improvement. I apologize and I will do my best to post as I can.

Recently, Lori and I had the opoortunity to travel to Detroit, Michigan for a friend's wedding. While there, we decided to visit some local lighthouses along the Detroit River. With varying degrees of success, we managed to see two lighthouses and a replica of a third.

The first lighthouse we attempted to see was the Grosse Ile Lighthouse. We drove down to the Detroit River after the wedding reception in hopes of getting some night photographs with the lighthouse lit up. It would be a very romantic end to what had been a very lovely evening and we don't have too many nightime photos. Fenwick Island on the Delaware - Maryland border is the only one I can remember taking a picture of at nighttime. Unfortunately, the Grosse Ile Lighthouse sits on private land and is only open one day a year, the Saturday after Labor Day. I actually knew this, but had forgotten about it until after we returned to the hotel. We attempted to see the lighthouse from the street, but it was not possible. A residential area blocks the view and because it was getting dark, we didn't want to ask permission to see the lighthouse, lest the homeowners think we were some sort of burglars. We left disappointed.

On Sunday, on the way home, we drove along the Detroit River and visited two lighthouses and a third that turned out to be a replica of the Tawas Point Lighthouse. The replica does not appear to be an actual working lighthouse. Below are pictures of the three lighthouses.

Windmill Point located between Windmill Point Park and Riverfront Lakewood Park

William Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse on Belle Isle where the Detroit River meets Lake St. Clair.

Replica of Tawas Point Lighthouse located at the Tri-Centennial State Park Harbor