Discover Jamestown's most visited Landmark
Located on the southernmost tip of Jamestown, Rhode Island, the Beavertail Lighthouse museum features a collection of information, artifacts, and conversation about the history and site of the third-oldest lighthouse in North America. Come and enjoy New England hospitality as you engage with lighthouse history and with interesting elements of Narragansett Bay’s maritime science, technology, art, and culture. Visit our gift shop, and spend some time in the spectacular Beavertail State Park adjoining the lighthouse site.
The Museum is closed for the Winter
We will post our 2023 schedule in this space as soon as it is available.
See you in the Spring!
BLMA Shipwreck Database
Explore the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association’s (BLMA) shipwreck database. This search engine provides the most comprehensive list of maritime events that have taken place in Rhode Island waters from Colonial times to present day. Each event is a story in itself providing the reader historical information gleaned from hundreds of archival sources. Each event is accompanied by a detailed description of the vessel(s) involved and related information. Recently updated (February 2019), the database now contains 3403 records and 2,966 Wreck Data Sheets.
Group Tours and Events
To arrange Lighthouse tours for school or senior groups please contact Mrs. Linda Warner at email@example.com
Weddings and private events on the Lighthouse grounds are not allowed by the U.S. Coast Guard.
For scheduling special events, including weddings in Beavertail State Park contact the RI Dept. of Environmental Management (DEM) at 401-884-2010
QR Codes at Beavertail
BLMA’s “QR” (Quick Response Code) project is operational.
BLMA’s information matrix codes signs (QR Codes) on 21 different subjects are installed at various locations throughout Beavertail Park and the light station grounds. Each 4 x 6 inch sign scanned by a smart phone or tablet connects to www.beavertaillight.org and immediately provides historical or descriptive site information on the subject identified on the sign. All that’s needed is your smart phone with a bar code app and you can get information on any of the 21 subjects where a QR sign is located. This map showing the location of all the signs is also located in the museum on the hallway’s bulletin board.
The W.Craig Armington Memorial Scholarship
The W.Craig Armington Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by the BLMA for high school seniors living in Jamestown, RI who have been accepted at a college or university and will begin studies in the fall. The student selected will receive a $1,000 scholarship to be applied toward college tuition, books, or fees related to the courses of study.
Scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than May 15, 2023. Applications can be downloaded from this website. Copies are also available at the Jamestown Library
Weather At Beavertail
We have recently purchased a Tempest by WeatherFlow weather station. It is installed outside at Beavertail and is broadcasting current weather conditions.
What People are Saying
Fun for family
Beaver tail has a beautiful view of the rocky shore of Rhode Island. The lighthouse and the site of the previous light house have significant history that is revealed in the small museum there
Interesting and historical
Be sure to take the time to explore the museum. The original light is in the museum. Also explore along the coastline
Nothing better on a sunny, clear day than Beavertail State Park
Its free, its beautiful and lots to see, explore the grounds of the old military battlements, the lighthouse and museum are a thrill
Best Place in RI
Stopped here today and it was closed as it was not open for the season. We did meet with Richard who lived in the lighthouse when he was 6. He was full of knowledge and gave us a private tour!!! What an awesome place
Rhode Island at its best
A mid-week morning walk, few others there. After the rain, clear skies, moist rocks, and high tide. The colours and contrasts and fresh air… wonders of nature. Relaxing and refreshing. A spot that locals enjoy, and a place to tread lightly and carefully over rocks
Add Your Voice
Click below to complete our Visitors Survey and tell us about your visit to the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum
Beavertail Walk - A - Thon
The Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association (BLMA) is hosting a Walk-a-thon at the Lighthouse on Sunday, May 21, 2023, from 9 am-11 am to raise funds to support the Lighthouse property and Museum.
The Walk-a-thon will benefit our mission to preserve and maintain the historic buildings at the Lighthouse and to maintain its public museum for future generations. The museum provides education to the visiting public, school tour groups, historians, and researchers through exhibits, displays, presentations and docent interpretations.
Check back after April 10 for more details and to sign up to Walk in the Walk-A-Thon.
Become a Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association Member or Renew your Current Membership
Saving Rhode Island's Lighthouses
“Small State Big History” the online review of Rhode Island History, has recently published an article by Varoujan Karentz, titled “Saving Rhode Island’s Historical Lighthouses“.
According to “Small State Big History”,
“Rhode Island is fortunate that many of its original lighthouses have been preserved, thanks in large part to nonprofit organizations and their volunteers and contributors. Towns and cities have also stepped in on occasion. More needs to be done. Find the story here by one of the organizers of the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association and a historian of Rhode Island’s lighthouses and light ships” .
Varoujan, a retired corporate executive, experienced off-shore sailor, and author of three Rhode Island history books and numerous articles, is a native of Rhode Islander, living in Jamestown, Rhode Island and Vero Beach, Florida. He has served on the boards of a number of historic organizations, including Heritage Harbor Corporation, Beavertail Lighthouse Museum, and the Armenian Historical Association. Varoujan is currently an Advisory Board member of the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association.
Click here to read “Saving Rhode Island’s Historical Lighthouses”.
Other articles on the Small State Big History web site by Varoujan include
The Lightships Of Rhode Island, 1853-1962
Beavertail’s Top Secret Spraycliff Observatory During World War II
Beavertail Lighthouse On Conanicut Island, 1712-1793
The Life Savers: Rhode Island’s Forgotten Service, 1872-1914
A QR Armchair Tour at Beavertail
We are very excited to bring you an Armchair Tour of Beavertail State Park. The QR Tour signs placed at various locations throughout the park a few years ago are a popular activity for visitors to explore and learn about park. You can now take the guided virtual tour by clicking the button below. Click each step listed on the web page and then click the blue marker placed on the map at the QR sign location for that step, or you can simply click red circles on the map for each QR sign location.
Either way, a page for that location will open to give you its related information. Within the 21 sites, you will find facts about the Fog Signals, Battery Whiting, Brenton Reef, Vessel Identification, and environmental material. The QR Armchair Tour is an enjoyable way to educate yourself about Beavertail Park’s unique characteristics and the significant activities that have helped shape the landscape in the past years.
Beavertail Archives Web Site
Over the years The Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association has collected literally thousands of documents and photos dealing with the history and operation of the Light Station.
We have recently begun the task of creating an on line Archives for the purpose of documenting and organizing these items and to give us the ability to share them with you.
We have started with a collection of the “Lighthouse Logs”, the BLMA newsletter. The “Lighthouse Log” has been published quarterly since the formation of BLMA. So far we have scanned over 50 issues going back to 1986, and are in the process of adding searchable Tables of Contents to these scans.
If you visit the archives you will see, in addition to the Newsletters Collection, several exhibits utilizing videos and slideshows that we have developed over the years for use in the museum. Click the “Browse Exhibits” button to see what’s there.
Our plan is to continue adding items to the Archives, building exhibits and collections that will be of interest. We also plan to include “Virtual Tours” of our buildings.
Visit the Archives by clicking “The Archives” button in the menu at the top of this page or going directly to https://beavertaillight.org/archives/
From the Lighthouse Log
This space will feature selected articles from our quarterly newsletter, “The Lighthouse Log”
Rhode Island’s Perilous Coast Southeast Light, Block Island (Continued)
Reprinted from “The Lighthouse Log” Spring 2018.
This article was contributed by Jim Jenney, BLMA Maritime Historian
Although fog is the most common culprit for totally wrecked vessels that have ended their days off Block Island’s Southeast Light, the ESSEX is an exception to this. Measuring 259 feet in length and displacing just over 3,000 tons, the iron hulled freighter ESSEX, bound from Lisbon, Portugal to New York with a general cargo which included 600 tons of cork and 300 tons of sand ballast to counterbalance the empty cargo space, simply foundered off Block Island with no other reason given.