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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whale Rock - Rhode Island

This is Whale Rock, whose menacing, haunting presence taunts us at the entrance to Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.

It is all that's left of a lighthouse destroyed by the Hurricane of 1938.  In a sense, it has returned to its former self: a foreboding rock ledge, resembling a surfacing whale's back, that had been a threat to navigation until a lighthouse was established on this ledge in 1882.  There had been many shipwrecks before the light was built.

Photo National Archives

Then on September 21, 1938, the day the Hurricane of 1938 made its surprise attack (see our previous post on the storm here) , the lighthouse was destroyed.  Walter B. Eberle, the first assistant keeper on duty, was in the lighthouse during the storm.  His body was washed away and never recovered.

Today, Whale Rock is what it was, except with the addition of a lump of concrete caisson jutting up from the stubborn rock ledge.

For more on Whale Rock, have a look at this website.

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