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 American Lighthouse Foundation, Inc.

P.O. Box 565

Rockland, Maine 04841

Phone: 207-594-4174

 

info@lighthousefoundation.org

 

The American Lighthouse  Foundation is a  Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization dedicated  to the preservation of America's historic lighthouses.

 

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ALF Plans to Restore Goat Island

Light to its Former Splendor as a

Jewel of Newport Harbor

 By Bob Trapani, Jr.

 

 
 

The Newport Harbor Lighthouse – known locally as Goat Island Light, may not be the most widely recognized lighthouse in Newport Harbor, but it does have the distinction of being the very first sentinel established in the historic deepwater harbor to guide and protect the flourishing shipping interests of Newport merchants in the early 1800s. Despite the beacon’s faithful service to mariners though, the light station eventually found itself center stage in a whirlwind of dynamic change over the past century that forever reshaped Newport, Rhode Island.

 

No one captures the essence of the change enveloping the surroundings

Newport Harbor / Goat Island Light

Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani      

Newport Harbor Lighthouse

(also known as Goat Island Light)

Newport, RI

 
 

of Goat Island Lighthouse better than lighthouse historian Jeremy D’Entremont. An excerpt – courtesy of Commonwealth Editions, from D’Entremont’s upcoming book, The Lighthouses of Rhode Island, to be published in spring 2006, states, “No location is more emblematic of the blend – or clash, depending on how you view it – of Newport’s maritime past with modern development than Goat Island, where this modest and relatively ancient stone lighthouse stands alongside the massive Hyatt Regency Hotel. For almost 350 years, Goat Island, about six-tenths of a mile long in a north-south direction and now attached to the rest of the city by a causeway, has been utilized in just about every way imaginable – from fort to hotel, torpedo station to marina, barracks to condominiums. The lighthouse and its keepers have played no small role in the island’s historical pageant”

 

Yet despite the winds of change that have buffeted the present 1842 Goat Island Light over the years, its keepers remain primed in the 21st century

 
 

Newport Harbor / Goat Island Light

Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani        

A close-up view of the failing

mortar at the joints of the light's granite block construction

to maintain a key role in the “island’s historical pageant” by forging a new chapter in the storied history of the lighthouse. The American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF) -- the new “keepers of the light” thanks to a license granted by the U.S. Coast Guard that enables the organization to save and preserve the historic structure, is presently working to restore the 29-foot granite tower to its former splendor.

 

In the past year, the American Lighthouse Foundation has asked Keith Lescarbeau of the Abcore Restoration Company to examine the historic lighthouse and ascertain what measures must be

 
 

taken to preserve the structure. Lescarbeau’s findings included the need to remove old paint, clean the granite stone, remove failing mortar at all joints – then repoint the granite blocks, apply one prime coat and two finish coats to the exterior, replace deteriorated railings and repair other components to the lantern room and gallery and secure / repair the lightning deflection system. The estimated cost to enact these much-needed restoration measures totals around $120,000.

 

Steps are now being taken by ALF to raise the necessary $120,000 for the restoration of Goat Island Lighthouse – for today’s generation can ill afford to defer this responsibility for such a splendid monument to Newport’s way of life. The success of the American Lighthouse

 
 

Foundation lies in the organization’s ability to facilitate multiple preservation projects simultaneously through its local volunteer chapters, dedicated members, proven field experience and community spirit. As the steward for 21 lighthouses, ALF recognizes the fact that a historic beacon like Goat Island Light is naturally the most important project of all 21 lights under the organization’s care to the residents of Newport, Rhode Island.

 

Given this fact, the American Lighthouse Foundation is committed to working with the Newport community to save Goat Island Light. In order to ensure that the

Goat Island Light

Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani      

View of water damage inside the lighthouse due to leaking seals on the windows and lantern room

 
 

lighthouse remains a guardian of Newport Harbor in perpetuity though, ALF is reaching out to the local community – including residents, businesses and legislators, for financial assistance and volunteer support to “keep the light shining.”

 

The vanished whaling, fishing, seagoing trade and shipbuilding industries that helped build Newport’s timeless maritime past may now be relegated to the pages of history, but its indelible stamp lives on in the embodiment of the lighthouses that stand guard in and around Newport

 
 

Hyatt Hotel from Newport Harbor Light

Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.    

A view of the Hyatt Regency Hotel from the lantern room of Goat Island Lighthouse

Harbor. By working together to save and preserve Goat Island Light, the American Lighthouse Foundation and Newport community will ensure an old friend to the maritime images of the past will continue to stand tall and shine a bright light on Newport’s proud seafaring heritage for present and future generations.

 

 
 

Become a “keeper” of Goat Island Light today by making a much-needed donation towards the sentinel’s restoration…

 

 
 

 
 

For more information about the American Lighthouse Foundation’s efforts to save Goat Island Light, call (207) 646-0245 or email ALF at support@lighthousefoundation.org

 

 
 

Newport Harbor Light

Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.                              

Goat Island Lighthouse stands along Newport

Harbor as a tribute to Newport's proud

maritime heritage

 
 
       
 

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