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Friday, May 14, 2010

Southeast Lighthouse - Block Island

Now that summer is fast on our heels, we’ll return to a few lighthouse posts in the next few months. Standing sentinel on Mohegan Bluffs is the Southeast Light of Block Island. This Victorian Gothic structure was built in 1874.

The Hurricane of 1938 wreaked terrific damage on the lighthouse, as it did on pretty much everything else in the southern New England states, but even this mighty storm was nothing compared to the simple, slow ravages of time on the seacoast, when the ocean reclaims the land.

In August 1993, this building was moved back about 250 feet to save it from erosion. At that time, it had stood only 55 feet away from falling into the ocean, when once it had stood about 300 feet away from the bluff. The Block Island Southeast Lighthouse Foundation was responsible for raising the funds to have it moved.

The light had been deactivated in 1990, but the restored lighthouse was relit in August 1994. It is now a National Historic Landmark, and the renovations continue. There is a small museum here, and tours of the light.

For more information and history of the Southeast Light on Block Island, have a look at this website, and also this one.

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