Historic Bristol Ferry Lighthouse on the market as a personal residence


The Bristol Ferry Lighthouse is in search of a brand new “keeper.”

However the brand new keeper, or keepers, will not be as busy as previous keepers, like Elizabeth Diman or Edward P. Hoxie, for the reason that lighthouse was retired in 1927. That may depart them extra time to benefit from the “most superb water views on the southern tip of Bristol.”

Situated below the Mount Hope Bridge, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,276-square-foot lighthouse is on the market as a personal residence for $750,000.

“Wealthy in historical past, renovated, listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic locations, Rhode Island’s treasured and architecturally vital Bristol Ferry Lighthouse provides panoramic views of Narragansett Bay, East Passage, Prudence Island and Hog Island lighthouse,” reads the outline from Mott & Chace Sotheby’s Worldwide Realty. “Benefit from the scenic views out of your fenced yard, mild crammed residence, fourth ground lighthouse tower or deck off the second ground bed room.”

Historical past of the Bristol Ferry Lighthouse

The little constructing’s historical past contains saving boats and lives, one in every of them a person delivering Windfall Journal newspapers in a rowboat. The station opened on October 4, 1855, after Congress listened to an “impassioned plea” from steamboat Captain William Brown and accepted $1,500 for its development, based on the web site Lighthousefriends.com.

Whereas the passage in entrance of the lighthouse, between Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay, is 3,000 toes vast, shoals on either side might make navigation treacherous. Trying to “grope our method” via “this strait on darkish and stormy nights,” weighed closely on Captain Brown. “There may be in all probability no locality within the nation, actually none inside my data, the place a light-house is a lot wanted,” Brown wrote to the Lighthouse Board, based on Lighthousefriends.com.

The lighthouse is probably the most distinctive property that Kim Holland, a gross sales affiliate for Mott & Chace Sotheby’s Worldwide Realty, has dealt with in her 20-year profession.

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“I have been lucky to record a whole lot of historic houses. I dwell in a historic residence,” Holland stated. “I like the texture of this.” Strolling into the constructing “feels nearly such as you’re going into a ship,” she stated. The Bristol Ferry Lighthouse is one in every of solely three in Rhode Island which have an connected keeper’s dwelling.

The itemizing has introduced quite a bit inquiries and requests for showings. “I’ve individuals calling me from everywhere in the nation,” Holland stated.

In 1894, the lighthouse was nearly shut down, however the Lighthouse Board stored it open after complaints from the Outdated Colony Steamboat Firm and different transport corporations in Narragansett Bay, based on data compiled on the web site Rhode Island Lighthouses.

The rescue of the lighthouse was excellent news for A.H. Barney, who was rescued 4 years later by lighthouse keeper Edward Sherman and members of the family after Barney’s rowboat overturned in tough waters. Barney was delivering The Windfall Journal.

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In response to an 1898 story from the Fall River Globe and copied to the Rhode Island Lighthouses web site, Barney ran the horse categorical route from Windfall to Newport and delivered the newspaper. Getting The Journal to Newport meant using a horse from Windfall to Bristol, then rowing throughout to Portsmouth the place he dropped the newspapers for another person to take to take the remainder of the best way.

With the wind “blowing a howling gale from the northeast” on Could 8, 1898, Barney made it throughout safely, as he had for 14 years, however his Windfall Journal rowboat swamped and overturned as he rowed again towards the lighthouse. Luckily, Sherman was watching on that early morning and went out to rescue him.

The little lighthouse lastly misplaced its mission with the development of the Mount Hope Bridge, which made “its mild redundant,” based on Lighthousefriends.com. In 1929, it was offered at public public sale by the Lighthouse Service to an area resident named Anna Santulli, who bid $2,050.

“After the lighthouse had fallen into disrepair following years of neglect, new house owners Robert and Carol Lundin refurbished the historic constructing throughout the early Nineties and put in a brand new mahogany lantern on the tower”, based on Lighthousefriends.com.

The lighthouse was put up on the market with an asking value of $469,000 in 1999, based on Lighthousefriends.com. It offered in 2000 for $365,000, based on city data.

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In 2012, Superstorm Sandy brought on “intensive” inside and exterior water harm. Homeowners Todd and Paula Butlin later obtained a $99,999 catastrophe aid grant to make repairs.

In change for the grant, administered by the Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Fee, the Butlins gave an easement, guaranteeing they would not hinder individuals from viewing the property from public areas. It additionally permits, for “an inexpensive price,” pre-arranged visits inside from architectural, historic and academic organizations.

Whoever buys the previous lighthouse is probably not keepers of the sunshine, however they are going to be keepers of the historical past, for the reason that 10-year easement continues into 2024.

Regardless of all its tales and its location on the fringe of the water, the within of the lighthouse is remarkably quiet, Holland stated, exterior sounds muffled by two layers of brick.

“I believe,” she stated, “it will be an excellent place for an artist or a author.”


(401) 277-7614

On Twitter: @jgregoryperry

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