Friday, November 1, 2013

Newport and Rose Island

Whenever I travel, I want to discover all that is in the area.  On this vacation I was able to take in a lot of unusual things.  My first tour was to Rose Island, off the coast of Newport, RI
The birds are looking for yachts
The America's Cup winner sailed by
The harbor was filled with all kinds of boats--from wooden hulled to million dollar yachts
Four foot thick walls of barracks now used as a
guest room 

Rose Island was used during World Wars I and II as part of the Navy Torpedo Station where explosives were stored. After World War II this use ceased and the island (except for the Lighthouse) was declared surplus by the Government. Since then, over the last 50 years, Mother Nature has been slowly creeping back, taking possession. Today, the only inhabitants of the Torpedo Station are three species of snakes, plus thousands of nesting birds that are protected by the State. There are no mammals -- therefore, no ticks! 

Rose Island Light House

The Lighthouse was operated until 1970, when it was abandoned and vandalized after the Pell (Newport) Bridge was built. The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation was organized in 1984 to restore and operate the lighthouse on behalf of the City of Newport which received it from the US Government at no cost.

Lighthouse keepers were not well paid, and they sometimes had to be creative to feed their families. At Rose Island, the keepers grew crops and kept farm animals, which sometimes wandered from the lighthouse grounds into the military compound, much to the officers’ annoyance. Two keepers at Rose Island, Charles Curtis (1887-1918) and Jesse Orton (1921-1936) both kept cows at the light station to supply milk. Curtis kept his cow in a long building behind the lighthouse that was also used for storing explosives.

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