BEAVERTAIL STATE PARK
Beavertail State Park, located in Jamestown, Rhode Island, is known for offering some of the most beautiful vistas along the New England coastline. The Park attracts people from all over the country, to enjoy its pristine environment. Beavertail's most popular activity is sightseeing, and can be done from the comfort of a vehicle, in one of the four overlooks or on foot, from the rocky coastline. Beavertail also provides some of the best saltwater fishing in the area, along with offering hiking trails, and a naturalist program that attracts hundreds of people each year.
The first Beavertail Lighthouse was built in 1749 and was the premier lighthouse in Rhode Island, third in the country following the 1716 Boston Harbor light and the 1746 Great Point light on Nantucket. Although this wooden tower was burned to the ground just four years later, the rubble tower which replaced it lasted until the present granite lighthouse was constructed in 1856. The base of the older tower was exposed by the Hurricane of 1938, and today is marked by a granite plaque erected by the Jamestown Historical Society.
Known for many years as the Newport Light, the Beavertail beacon was first to witness the triangular trade which contributed to Newport's prominence before the Revolution, when ships carried molasses, rum, and slaves between the colonies, the West Indies and Africa. The British damaged the building in their retreat from Rhode Island in 1779, but a few years later, the light was reactivated to guide vessels of Rhode Island merchants engaged in the trade with China.
The Lighthouse and Lighthouse Museum are now operated by the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association.