Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dutch Island – July 26, 2016

Verrazano Bridge from Dutch Harbor
I took a road trip over to Jamestown to paddle at Dutch Harbor. The wind was quiet, and the West Passage was dead flat, so I paddled out to Dutch Island to check out the Dutch Island Light. 

Dutch Island is located in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay and took its name from the Dutch East India Company that established a trading post here around 1636. In 1654 English colonists purchased the island from the Narragansett Indians.

Remnant of Fort Greble
For many years, the island was fortified to protect the West Passage from invasion by sea. During the Civil War, soldiers of the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, an African American regiment who later served in the Battle of New Orleans, constructed first earthwork defenses on the island.

In the 1890’s the Army established Fort Greble here. Like Fort Weatherill on the East Passage, Fort Greble was active through World War II and was part of a series of heavily fortified artillery placements that protected Narragansett Bay.

Dutch Island Light
The first lighthouse was completed on the southern tip of Dutch Island in 1826.  The original tower was replaced with the current tower in 1857. The lighthouse remained in service until 1979 when it was replaced with a flashing buoy.  It then fell into disrepair until 2007 when it was restored by the Dutch Island Lighthouse Society.

I put in at Dutch Harbor, and paddled out into the calm water toward the Dutch Island Light.  After snapping a few pictures, I continued around the west side of island before retuning to the take out.

Dutch Island Light

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