Historic lighthouse will be changing hands

For sale as a private home, Bristol Ferry Lighthouse has drawn interest from hopeful buyers from around the country

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 9/8/22

The Bristol Ferry Lighthouse has been an iconic symbol of Bristol for generations, guarding the 3,000-foot-wide passage between Bristol and Portsmouth at the beginning of Mt. Hope Bay for nearly 170 …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Historic lighthouse will be changing hands

For sale as a private home, Bristol Ferry Lighthouse has drawn interest from hopeful buyers from around the country

Posted

The Bristol Ferry Lighthouse has been an iconic symbol of Bristol for generations, guarding the 3,000-foot-wide passage between Bristol and Portsmouth at the beginning of Mt. Hope Bay for nearly 170 years.

It was established in 1855 at the behest of mariners who frequented the area — mariners like William Brown, of the steamboat Bay State who, according to lighthousefriends.org, wrote a letter to the Lighthouse Board in 1853 saying “There is probably no locality in the country, certainly none within my knowledge, where a light-house is so much needed. …Those of us who have to pass through this strait on dark and stormy nights, or else are brought to a stand in the attempt to grope our way through, realize that, as it is now, we are subjected frequently to a responsibility more weighty than to be placed on any one.”

The lighthouse served its purpose well, but was discontinued as an aid to navigation in 1927, when the construction and lights of the Mt. Hope Bridge made its light redundant. Buffeted by weather and neglect, the keeper’s house fell into disrepair until new owners refurbished the historic building in the early 1990s, installing a new mahogany lantern on the 34-foot tower.

The Lighthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, feels like an oasis within an oasis with double-thick brick walls that keep the bustle of bridge and water traffic at bay; when you’re in the mood for salty breeze there is a picture perfect picket-fenced yard with a 1904 brick oil house that now serves as a potting shed.

A pergola with mature wisteria provides a perfect shady spot to take it all in. For a truly majestic view that looks up the bay in either direction, including the East Passage, Prudence Island and the Hog Island lighthouse, a quick climb takes you to the fourth-story lantern room — a perfect spot for morning coffee, a good book, or quiet reflection.

Idyllic location aside, this is a lovely home in its own right. Meticulously restored throughout with intact period details and original hardwood floors, high ceilings and a brick fireplace, the three-bedroom, two-bath property features a kitchen with an original marble sink and immaculate wood counters, finished to a high gloss and evocative of a classic wooden yacht.

Located on a private road, nestled under the bridge, this property at 7 Old Ferry Road is one of the most unique in Rhode Island — truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the lucky buyer. Offered at $750,000 and represented by Kim Holland of Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty, the sale is currently pending.

2022 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.