Block Island

Block Island is located off the coast of Rhode Island, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Montauk Point, Long Island, and 13 miles (21 km) south from mainland Rhode Island, from which it is separated by Block Island Sound. It was named after Dutch explorer Adriaen Block.

The island is co-extensive with the town of New Shoreham, Rhode Island. The United States Census Bureau defines Block Island as census tract 415 of Washington County, Rhode Island. As of the 2010 Census, the island's population is 1,051 living on a land area of 9.734 square miles (25.211 km2).[1] The island is part of the Outer Lands region, a coastal archipelago.

The Nature Conservancy added Block Island to its list of "The Last Great Places", which consists of 12 sites in the Western Hemisphere, and about 40-percent of the island is set aside for conservation.[2] Presidents Bill Clinton,[3][4] Dwight D. Eisenhower,[5] Franklin Delano Roosevelt,[6] and Ulysses S. Grant[7][8] have visited Block Island. Other famous visitors include Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh, who each visited the island in 1929.[9]

Block Island is a popular summer tourist destination and is known for its bicycling, hiking, sailing, fishing, and beaches. It is also the location of two historic lighthouses: Block Island North Light on the northern tip of the island, and Block Island Southeast Light on the southeastern side. Much of the northwestern tip of the island is an undeveloped natural area and resting stop for birds along the Atlantic flyway.[10]

Popular events include the annual Fourth of July Parade, celebration, and fireworks. During these times, the island's population can triple over the normal summer vacation crowd.

Block Island
Block Island looking North over Block Island Sound; the coast of Rhode Island is seen in the distance
Block Island looking North over Block Island Sound; the coast of Rhode Island is seen in the distance
Manisses meaning Manitou's Little Island (used by Narragansett people)
Block Island, shown in red, off the coast of the State of Rhode Island
Block Island, shown in red, off the coast of the State of Rhode Island
Coordinates: 41°10′11″N 71°34′48″W / 41.16972°N 71.58000°WCoordinates: 41°10′11″N 71°34′48″W / 41.16972°N 71.58000°W
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • First WardenKen Lacoste
 • Land9.73 sq mi (25.2 km2)
 • Total1,051
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)401 Exchange: 466


Before 1637

Block Island was formed by the same receding glaciers that formed the Outer Lands of Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket during the end of the last ice age thousands of years ago.[11]

Wpdms aq block 1614
On this 1614 map, Block Island is named "Adrianbloxeyland"

The Niantic people[12] called the island "Manisses" (meaning "Manitou's Little Island"),[13] or just "Little Island".[14][15] Archaeological sites indicate that these people lived largely by hunting deer, catching fish and shellfish, and growing corn, beans, and squash, presumably with the Three Sisters technique. They migrated from forest to coastal areas to take advantage of seasonal resources.[16] One modern researcher has theorized that Indians may have established a settlement as early as 500 BC,[17] although there is no consensus on that idea.

Giovanni da Verrazzano sighted the island in 1524 and named it "Claudia" in honor of Claude, Duchess of Brittany, queen consort of France and the wife of Francis I. However, several contemporaneous maps identified the same island as "Luisa," after Louise of Savoy, the Queen Mother of France and the mother of Francis I. Verrazano's ship log stated that the island was "full of hilles, covered with trees, well-peopled for we saw fires all along the coaste." Almost 100 years later, Dutch explorer Adriaen Block charted the island in 1614; he simply named it for himself,[18] and this was the name that stuck.

Pequot War

Colonists on block
Former Massachusetts Governor John Endicott attacking the Niantics on Block Island in the summer of 1637

The growing tensions among the tribes of the region in this time caused the Niantics to split into two divisions: the Western Niantics, who allied with the Pequots and Mohegans, and the Eastern Niantics, who allied with the Narragansetts.

In 1632, Indians (likely Western Niantics associated with the Pequots)[19] killed colonial traders John Stone and Walter Norton, and the Pequots of eastern Connecticut were blamed. A Pequot delegation presented magistrates in Boston with two bushels of wampum and a bundle of sticks representing the number of beavers and otters with which they would compensate the colonists for the deaths. They sought peace with the colonies and also requested help establishing concord with the Narragansetts, who bordered them to the east. The colonial authorities, in turn, demanded the Indians responsible for killing Stone and Norton, a promise not to interfere with colonial settlement in Connecticut, and 400 fathoms of wampum and the pelts of 40 beavers and 30 otters.[20][21]

Natives on block
The Niantics defending themselves on Block Island in the summer of 1637

In 1636, John Gallup came across the boat of trader John Oldham, a noted troublemaker. Oldham had flirted with impropriety since the day that he landed on American soil. Not long after arriving in Plymouth in 1623, he "grew very perverse and showed a spirit of great malignancy," according to Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford. He was later accused of religious subversion and responded with impertinence, hurling invective at his accusers and even drawing a knife on Captain Myles Standish. He was banished from Plymouth and fled to Massachusetts Bay, settling first in Nantasket, then Cape Ann, and finally Watertown, where he continued to indulge his penchant for mayhem. Despite his unsavory reputation, Massachusetts Bay sought his extensive knowledge of the New England coast when they asked him to retrieve a hefty ransom on the colony's behalf. It was on this mission that Oldham was murdered and dismembered.[20][21]

Massachusetts sent ninety men to Block Island in August under John Endicott on a punitive expedition for Oldham's murder with instructions to kill every Niantic warrior and capture the women and children, who would be valuable as slaves. The expedition was ordered by Massachusetts Governor Henry Vane to "massacre all of the Native men on the island". The English burned sixty wigwams and the corn fields. They also shot every dog, but the Niantics fled into the woods, and the soldiers only managed to kill fourteen of them. Deciding that this punishment was insufficient, Endicott and his men sailed over to Fort Saybrook before going after the Pequot village at the mouth of the Thames River to demand one thousand fathoms of wampum to pay for the murder. They took some Pequot children as hostages to insure peace, and these incidents are seen as the initial events that led to the Pequot War.[22][23]


Massachusetts Bay Colony claimed the island by conquest. In 1658, the colony sold the island to a group of men headed up by Endecott. In 1661, the Endecott group sold the island to a party of twelve settlers that later grew to sixteen (of whom only seven actually settled here[24]) led by John Alcock, who are today memorialized at Settler's Rock, near Cow's Cove. In 1663, island settler Thomas Terry gave six acres of land at the island's largest fresh pond and its surrounding area to four "chief sachems". Their names were recorded as Ninnecunshus, Jaguante, Tunkawatten, and Senatick, but they were known by the colonists as Mr. Willeam, Repleave (Reprive), and Soconosh. This land was given to "them being the Cheife Sachems upon the Island there Heires & Assignes Forever to plant and Improve".[25] This land was then known as the Indian Lands. The Sachems called the Fresh Pond Tonnotounknug.[26] In 1664, Indians on the island numbered somewhere from 1,200 to 1,500. By 1774, that number had been reduced to fifty-one.[27] A Dutch map of 1685 clearly shows Block Island, indicated as Adriaen Blocks Eylant ("Adrian Block's Island").

In the late seventeenth century, an Englishwoman called New England's first woman doctor lived on Block Island. Her name was Sarah Sands née Walker and she has also been suggested as a very early abolitionist.[28] She married sea captain James Sands (one of the original sixteen, as recorded by Settler's Rock[24]) in 1645 and had possibly six children, including a daughter named Mercy, born 1663. In 1699, Scottish sailor William Kidd visited Block Island, shortly before he was hanged for piracy. At Block Island, he was supplied by Mercy Sands (then Mrs. Raymond). The story has it that, for her hospitality, Kidd bade Mrs. Raymond to hold out her apron, into which he threw gold and jewels until it was full. After her husband Joshua Raymond died, Mercy moved with her family to what would become the Raymond-Bradford Homestead in northern New London, Connecticut (later Montville) where she bought much land. The Raymond family was thus said to have been "enriched by the apron".[29] Mercy Sands died at Lyme in 1741.[30][31]

Block Island was incorporated by the Rhode Island general assembly in 1672, and the island government adopted the name "New Shoreham."

Since colonial times

Lighthouse on Block Island, RI 02
Southeast Light is a Block Island landmark.
First southside view of tourists at Block Island, RI IMG 1172
First view of southside Block Island from New London ferry
Historic Harbor Church at Block Island IMG 1070
American Baptist-affiliated Harbor Church is perched high on a hill on the western side of New Shoreham. The building was reconstructed from the former Adrian Hotel and was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 as part of Old Harbor Historic District in New Shoreham.

During the War of 1812, the island was briefly occupied by the British Navy under the command of Sir Thomas Hardy. British vessels included HMS Dispatch, HMS Terror, HMS Nimrod, HMS Pactolus, and HMS Ramillies. Hardy took the fleet to Block Island in search of food and to establish a strategic position at the mouth of Long Island Sound. The British were enraged to discover that nearly all Block Island livestock and food stores had been transferred to Stonington, Connecticut in advance of their arrival. On August 9, 1814, Hardy and his fleet departed Block Island for Stonington Harbor in part to lay claim to the Block Island food stores and livestock. Hardy's pre-dawn raid on August 10 was repulsed with damage to his fleet in a battle that has since become known as the Battle of Stonington.[32]

The original North Lighthouse was built in 1829, but it was replaced in 1837 after the original was washed out to sea. The ocean claimed the replacement lighthouse also, and the lighthouse that can be seen today was constructed in 1867.[33] Construction began on Block Island's Southeast Lighthouse a few years later in 1873.

Block Island has no natural harbors; breakwaters were constructed in 1870 to form Old Harbor. New Harbor was created in 1895 when a channel was dug to connect the Great Salt Pond to the ocean through the northwestern side of the island.

The Island Free Library was established in 1875 and is Block Island's only public library.

Isaac Church was the Island's last recorded full-blooded Manisses Indian; he died in 1886 at age 100. He was survived by one son and one daughter whose descendants still reside in Rhode Island today. The landmark Isaac's Corner is named in honor of him, located at the intersection of Center Road, Lakeside Drive, and Cooneymus Road. Isaac is buried to the east of the four corners in the Historical Indian Burial Ground. In 2011, the Block Island Historical Society dedicated the Block Island Manissean Ancestral Stone. In attendance at the unveiling ceremony were descendants of the Manisses Indians, with Tiondra White Rapids Martinez, a direct descendant of Isaac Church, opening the ceremony in their native tongue.[34]

Block Island was devastated by the 1938 New England hurricane. Many islanders and tourists lost their lives during storm surge flooding.

During World War II, several artillery spotters were located on the island to direct fire from the heavy gun batteries at Fort Greene in Point Judith which protected the entrance to Narragansett Bay. Lookout positions for the spotters were built to look like houses. The US government offered to evacuate the island, as it could not be effectively defended from enemy invasion. However, the islanders chose to stay. Days before the war ended against Germany, the Battle of Point Judith took place seven miles to the northeast of the island.

The island's airport was opened in 1950 and remains open today as a general aviation airport. In 1972, the Block Island Conservancy was founded. The Conservancy and other environmental organizations are responsible for protecting over 40% of the island from development.[35] In 1974, Old Harbor Historic District was declared a National Register historic district. More information can be found in the following books concerning Block Island's old buildings, islanders, history, and ongoing efforts to conserve the land, together with a collection of 800 period photographs of the island spanning the 1870s to the 1980s and all by historian Robert M. Downie:

  • Block Island—The Sea
  • Block Island—The Land
  • The Block Island History of Photography, 2 volumes


Block Island's weather is greatly influenced by the surrounding ocean and prevailing winds that generally blow offshore. The climate is oceanic (Köppen Cfb), a rarity on an east coast island in the Northern Hemisphere. Because the ocean stays cold during the spring and summer months, Block Island stays cooler than the mainland during this period. Summers are also cooler than the mainland; July and August average in the mid-and upper 70s instead of low and mid-80s that New York and southern New England experience. Block Island's record high temperature is 95 °F (35 °C) on August 26 and 27, 1948 and the record low is −7 °F (−22 °C) on January 16, 1994. The lowest high temperature on record was 8 °F (−13 °C) on December 31, 1962 and January 8, 1968, and the highest low temperature on record was 76 °F (24 °C) on August 2, 1979. Block Island stays warmer than the mainland during the fall and winter months when the ocean remains relatively warmer than the mainland.

New Shoreham

New Shoreham, Rhode Island
The public library in New Shoreham
The public library in New Shoreham
Location of New Shoreham in Washington County, Rhode Island
Location of New Shoreham in Washington County, Rhode Island
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
IncorporatedNovember 6, 1672
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Town CouncilAllan MacKay
Christopher G. Warfel
Mark A. Emmanuelle
 • Town ModeratorMargaret M. O'Neill
 • Total38.3 sq mi (99.2 km2)
 • Land36.6 sq mi (94.8 km2)
 • Water1.7 sq mi (4.4 km2)
13 ft (4 m)
 • Total1,051
 • Density231.4/sq mi (89.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)401
FIPS code44-50500
GNIS feature ID1220043[38]

New Shoreham is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island which is coextensive with Block Island. The town was named for Shoreham, Kent in England. Harbor Church was founded on October 23, 1765 and is located at 21 Water Street in New Shoreham.[39] The population was 1,051 at the 2010 census, making it the least-populous municipality in the state. According to the Census Bureau, it has a total area of 109.5 square miles (284 km2), of which 9.7 square miles (25 km2) is land and 99.8 square miles (258 km2) (91.11%) is water.

The students of New Shoreham in grades kindergarten through 12th grade attend Block Island School.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,010 people, 472 households, and 250 families residing in the town. The population density was 103.8 people per square mile (40.1/km²). There were 1,606 housing units at an average density of 165.0 per square mile (63.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.82% White, 0.59% African American, 0.79% Asian, 0.30% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population.

There were 472 households out of which 21.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.0% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the town, the population was spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,779, and the median income for a family was $59,844. Males had a median income of $39,432 versus $28,125 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,188. About 8.0% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.2% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Annual events

One of the most popular celebrations on the island is the Fourth of July Parade. Anybody can enter a float into the parade, as long as it coordinates with the theme of that respective year. For example, the theme in 2016 was sports and recreation. In addition to the parade, there is a fireworks display on the beach on the night of July 3. The parade is on the fourth and is judged by officials who give out prizes in three categories: family floats, company floats, and overall floats. They also give out one extra prize for the overall category which is the grand prize, consisting of $500.

Every summer, the island hosts Block Island Race Week, a competitive, week-long sailboat race. On odd years, the event is held by the Storm Trysail Club, and on even years by the Block Island Race Week. Yachts compete in various classes, sailing courses in Block Island Sound and circumnavigating the island.

Tourist attractions

Harborside Inn, Block Island, RI IMG 1150
Harborside Inn is a restaurant and hotel on the south side of Block Island.
Boating off Block Isalnd IMG 1057
Boating is popular around Block Island.

Southeast Lighthouse is located at the southeast corner of the island on the Mohegan Trail. The lighthouse was constructed in 1875[40] and remains to this day an active US Coast Guard navigational aid.[33] The lighthouse was moved in 1993, in danger of falling off the bluffs due to erosion. In addition to offering tours of the tower, the lighthouse has a museum that is open during the summer season.[41]

The Mohegan Bluffs are located a short distance to the west of Southeast Lighthouse. The bluffs are the site of a pre-colonial battle between the invading Mohegan, and the native Niantic in which the Mohegan were driven off the edge of the tall cliffs to their deaths on the beach below. A long staircase of over one hundred stairs leads to the bottom of these clay cliffs and looks out over the Atlantic. On clear days, Montauk, New York can be seen in the distance from the southern and western sides of the island.

Rodman's Hollow is a 230-acre (93 ha) glacial outwash basin, near the southern shore of the island. The hollow has several walking trails.[42] Horseback rides through Rodman's Hollow are also offered.

North Lighthouse is located at Sandy Point on the northern tip of Block Island. The North Lighthouse warns boaters of a sandbar extending from this end of the island. The surrounding dunes are part of the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to many species, including the piping plover and American burying beetle.[43] A short walk away from the North Lighthouse lies the tip of the island, with ocean on both sides of a thin strip of land.

The Block Island Historical Society Museum is located near the downtown area and contains a broad array of Block Island artifacts.

U-853 is a U-boat wreck 7 miles (11 km) east of the island, lying in 130 ft (40 m) of water. Recreational divers frequently visit the wreck, though at least three have died there.[44][45]

The Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind farm built in the United States, is located 3 miles (4.8 km) from south-east of the island.[46][47][48][49] The five turbines, each 600 ft (180 m) high, commenced commercial operation in December 2016.[50]

The island has at least 40 restaurants, but most are closed outside of tourist season; mainland restaurants use New England Airlines to deliver food to the island.[51]

Parks and recreation

Block Island ocean waves IMG 1147
Beach waves near the National Hotel on Block Island
Crescent Beach Block Island July 2015
Crescent Beach on Block Island July, 2015
Swimmers at Block Island IMG 1078
Swimmers in smooth waters at Block Island
Settler's Rock on Block Island IMG 1082
Settler's Rock is the most northerly part of Block Island accessible to motorists.
Mohegan Bluff's at Block Island IMG 1094
Steep bluffs at Block Island
Atlantic Ocean Block Island 2014
View of the Atlantic Ocean from a cliff on Block Island

There are 17 miles of beach on Block Island. Crescent Beach can be viewed from the Pt. Judith Ferry and the New London Express Ferry on the way to the island. It contains five smaller beaches: Fred Benson Town Beach (popularly known as State Beach), Surf Beach, Scotch Beach, Rouse's Beach, and Mansion Beach, all of which are located on Corn Neck Road. North of Mansion Beach are Clayhead and Pots & Kettles. Clayhead is a set of cliffs which can be seen from the ferry in from Point Judith or New London. This area is rocky and contains iron-rich clay deposits, and is a popular area for shell and rock hunting.

Cow Cove, Settler's Rock, and Sandy Point make up the northernmost point of Block Island where the North Lighthouse is located. Settler's Rock is located at Cow Cove, where the settlers landed and swam to shore bringing with them the island's first cows, which they pushed off the boats and forced ashore. Attached to the rock is a plaque naming the original settlers of Block Island. Coastguard Beach (or "the channel") is situated between the Great Salt Pond and the ocean on the north west side of the island. Ballard's Beach is on the south side of the Block Island Ferry Dock and jetty. Bluffs Beach (or Vail) is set at the bottom of Mohegan Bluffs.

Block Island also hosts an office of The Nature Conservancy.[52] The Conservancy named Block Island as one of its top 12 sites in the Western Hemisphere, and a large portion of the island is legally protected and set aside for conservation.


Block Island Ferry Carol Jean departing Block Island 7-23-2015
Ferryboat Carol Jean departing Block Island in July 2015
New England Airlines Islander at Block Island State Airport 7-23-2015
New England Airlines Britten-Norman Islander at Block Island

The island is connected year-round by a ferry to Point Judith,[53] and in summer to New London, Connecticut, Orient Point, New York, Montauk, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island. The traditional ferry takes about an hour to reach the island from Point Judith. A high-speed ferry on the same route takes 35 minutes, and another high-speed ferry from New London takes just over an hour. New England Airlines offers regularly scheduled 12-minute flights to Block Island State Airport from Westerly, Rhode Island.[51]

The island airport is used by New England Airlines and privately owned aircraft. It is officially called Block Island State (code: BID) and has a single, paved 2,501-foot-long runway, in an east–west orientation. The airport elevation is 108 ft (33 m) above sea level and the terminal is about one mile from the town center.


Former Weather Bureau station on Block Island IMG 1084
This house was formerly the US Weather Bureau Station on Block Island.

Air crashes

On August 26, 1995, a Cessna 185 seaplane carrying four people crashed while attempting to land in the waters off Old Harbor Beach, an area not normally used for seaplane landings. The plane cleared a dune but hit a power line, causing it to crash into a restaurant and hit a car at the island's only gas station. All four people on the plane perished, as well as a woman who was sitting in her car as it was being fueled. The restaurant was destroyed by the impact of the plane and resulting fire.

On July 5, 2006, a plane carrying three people crashed ½ mile west of the airport during bad weather. The aircraft had just taken off and was on its way to White Plains, New York.[54]


The area around Block Island has been the site of numerous shipwrecks, including the Steamer Larchmont in 1907.[55] The 1738 wreck of the Princess Augusta (also known as the Palatine ship) was later immortalized by John Greenleaf Whittier in his 1867 poem "The Wreck of the Palatine." In 1877, the freighter Achilles struck a submerged rock off the island and ran aground. In 1992, the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 struck a submerged rock.[56]

Two submarines also sank off of Block Island: USS S-51 in 1925,[57] and German submarine U-853 in 1945.[58]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Census Tract 415, Washington County United States Census Bureau
  2. ^ "One of the last great places". Providence Journal, June 9, 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  3. ^ "Clinton Barnstorms Block Island". Providence Journal, 1997-08-18. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  4. ^ Robert M. Downie (1999). Block Island—The Land., pages 128-129
  5. ^ Robert M. Downie (2008). The Block Island History of Photography, Vol. 2., pages 214–215
  6. ^ Robert M. Downie (2008). The Block Island History of Photography, Vol. 2., pages 130–131
  7. ^ Robert M. Downie (1999). Block Island—The Land., page 19
  8. ^ Robert M. Downie (1998). Block Island—The Sea., page 81
  9. ^ Robert M. Downie (1998). Block Island—The Sea., pages 170-175
  10. ^ "Block Island National Wildlife Refuge". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  11. ^
  12. ^ The Niantic people eventually merged with the Narragansett people.
  13. ^ "Since Denali got its real name back, should Block Island be next?". 31 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Block Island - island, Rhode Island, United States".
  15. ^ Providence, RI : The Islands Archived 2010-04-10 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "The Pages of Shades : Native Americans". Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  17. ^ "The first winters: what archeologists have found".
  18. ^ Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State; Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State; retrieved on October 23, 2007
  19. ^ See Wm. Bradford, Of Plimouth Plantation and Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ a b Pastore, Christopher. Between Land and Sea: Narragansett Bay and the Transformation of the New England Coast pp.1-5
  22. ^ "History of the Mohegans". Niantic.
  23. ^ Sawyer, Joseph Dillaway (1 January 1922). History of the Pilgrims and Puritans: Their Ancestry and Descendants; Basis of Americanization. Century History Company. pp. 18–25 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ a b
  25. ^ [P.30 New Shoreham Town Book, No. 1, G. E. Burgess Transcription 1924.]
  26. ^ [P. 21, New Shoreham Town Book, No. 1, G. E. Burgess Transcriotion 1924, Pp. 30-31]
  27. ^ Zinn, Howard (4 February 2003). "A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present". Harper Collins. p. 16 – via Google Books.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-04. Retrieved 2018-11-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ Caulkins, Frances Manwaring (1895). History of New London, Connecticut. p. 293.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ De Kay, Tertius (1990). The Battle of Stonington. p. 293.
  33. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Rhode Island". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
  34. ^ Coni Dubois (30 June 2011). "Unveiling of Ancestral/Descendant Stone for the Block Island Indian's - Part 1" – via YouTube.
  35. ^ The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island - Block Island Archived 2007-10-12 at the Wayback Machine; The Nature Conservancy; retrieved on October 30, 2007
  36. ^ "RI BLOCK ISLAND STATE AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  37. ^ "Block Island State AP, Rhode Island". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  38. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  39. ^ "History of Harbor Church". Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  40. ^ Block Island South East Lighthouse National Historic Landmark Nomination; National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program; retrieved on October 23, 2007
  41. ^ Daytripper's Guide: Block Island Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine; University of Rhode Island Sea Grant; retrieved on October 22, 2007
  42. ^ "Rodman's Hollow". Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  43. ^ "Block Island National Wildlife Refuge". Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  44. ^ Robert M. Downie (1998). Block Island—The Sea., page 194
  45. ^ "Probe into scuba instructor death could take two months". Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  46. ^ "First Offshore Wind Farm In The U.S. Kicks Off Construction". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  47. ^ "Clean energy is just over the horizon". Deepwater Wind. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  48. ^ "Block Island Wind Farm". Deepwater Wind. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  49. ^ Alex Kuffner Journal Staff Writer. "Deepwater Wind completes financing for Block Island wind farm". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  50. ^ Frangoul, Anmar (13 December 2016). "America's first offshore wind farm is up and running".
  51. ^ a b Passy, Charles (2015-08-26). "Meet the Pilot Who Doubles as Block Island's Chinese-Food Delivery Guy". The Wall Street Journal. pp. A1. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  52. ^ "Staff List for the Rhode Island Chapter's Block Island Office". The Nature Conservancy. Archived from the original on 2015-02-20. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  53. ^
  54. ^ "New England Airlines". Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
  55. ^ Times, Special To The New York (13 February 1907). "PROBABLY 150 LOST IN WRECK; Joy Line Steamer Larchmont Sunk; Only Nineteen Known Survivors. MANY DIED IN BOATS Scores, Lightly Clad, Faced Icy Gale -- Two Committed Suicide. SUNK BY A SCHOONER Coal-Laden Craft Rammed Its Bow Deep Into Steamer. CARE FOR WOMEN FIRST All Boats Launched Before Captain Left -- He Blames the Schooner's Men" – via
  56. ^ British Admiralty. The Mariner's Handbook. 1999 edition, page 23.
  57. ^ The Block Island Times; The Block Island Times; retrieved on October 30, 2007
  58. ^ Shipwrecks - Northern Maritime Research - Northern Shipwrecks Database - Famous Shipwrecks of the Last 400 Years; Northern Maritime Research; retrieved on October 30, 2007
  59. ^ Martin, Douglas (August 15, 2009). "K. H. Bacon, an Advocate For Refugees, Is Dead at 64". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  60. ^ Freedlander, David (15 February 2016). "Bernie's man behind the scenes: Tad Devine is the Karl Rove to Sanders' 2016 populist uprising". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  61. ^ Whitman, Herbert S. (1982). Elizabeth Dickens: The Bird Lady of Block Island. Still Pond Press.
  62. ^ Bernard, Sarah (3 June 2002). "Travel: Summer 2002 Getaways: Block Island, Rhode Island". New York Magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  63. ^ "Richard Parsons named CEO of Clippers". Block Island Times. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2016.

External links

Battle of Block Island

The Battle of Block Island was a naval skirmish which took place in the waters off Rhode Island during the American Revolutionary War. The Continental Navy under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins was returning from a successful raid on Nassau when it encountered HMS Glasgow, a Royal Navy dispatch boat.

Glasgow escaped from the fleet of seven ships, although it sustained significant damage, and the battle is considered a victory for the British. Several captains of the Continental fleet were criticized for their actions during the battle, and one was eventually dismissed as a result. Commodore Hopkins was criticized for other actions pertaining to the cruise, including the distribution of seized goods, and was also dismissed.

Block Island Historical Society

The Block Island Historical Society is a historical society which runs a museum at 18 Old Town Road and Ocean Avenue on Block Island (New Shoreham) in Rhode Island.

The Block Island Historical Society Museum was founded in 1942. The museum is located within Woonsocket House, a large house built in 1871. It was purchased in 1945, and numerous artifacts related to Block Island's history from "early maritime and farming displays to colonial memorabilia and scenes from Victorian summer past times. Two floors of exhibit rooms include fine furniture, textiles, quilts, boat models, tools, fishing gear, Native American artifacts, oral history tapes and other interesting displays." The museum is open daily during the summer and by appointment during the remainder of the year.

Block Island National Wildlife Refuge

Located approximately 12 miles (19 km) offshore on picturesque Block Island, the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge provides important habitat for wildlife, and a place for people to appreciate the natural environment of the island. The refuge was established in 1973 with the transfer of 28 acres (110,000 m2) from the U.S. Coast Guard, and has grown to its current size of 127 acres (0.51 km2) today.

Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is administered as part of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which manages all five of the National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island, and is headquartered in Charlestown, Rhode Island.

Refuge lands on Block Island are most notable for the large concentration (over 70 species) of migratory songbirds which visit the area each fall. Located in the Atlantic flyway, many young, inexperienced songbirds "overfly" the mainland and stopover on Block Island before continuing their migration. The result is a cornucopia of young migratory songbirds from a variety of different species. Block Island is internationally recognized as one of the most important migratory bird habitats on the east coast, attracting hundreds of "birders" to the island each fall.

The refuge also provides habitat for the endangered American burying beetle, supporting the only population of this species known east of the Mississippi River. Piping plovers occur on the island (a threatened species) as do four other state species of concern. The refuge is also home to the largest gull colony in Rhode Island.

Block Island North Light

Block Island North Light (Lighthouse), built in 1867, is a historic lighthouse on Block Island, Rhode Island (New Shoreham).

Block Island Sound

Block Island Sound is a strait in the open Atlantic Ocean, approximately 10 miles (16 km) wide, separating Block Island from the coast of mainland Rhode Island in the United States. On the west, it extends to Montauk Point on the eastern tip of Long Island, as well as Plum Island, Gardiners Island, and Fishers Island, all in the state of New York.Geographically, Block Island Sound is the eastward extension of Long Island Sound as well as the westward extension of Rhode Island Sound.

Block Island Southeast Light

Block Island Southeast Light is a lighthouse located on Mohegan Bluffs at the southeastern corner of Block Island, Rhode Island. It was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1997 as one of the most architecturally sophisticated lighthouses built in the United States in the 19th century.

Block Island meteorite

Block Island meteorite was found on Mars by the Opportunity rover on July 17, 2009. It is about 67 centimetres (26 in) across.

Channel 69 virtual TV stations in the United States

The following television stations operate on virtual channel 69 in the United States:

KMRZ-LD in Los Angeles, California

KSOY-LD in McAllen, Texas

KSWB-TV in San Diego, California

W24CS-D in Reading, Pennsylvania

WAMI-DT in Hollywood, Florida

WDTI in Indianapolis, Indiana

WFMZ-TV in Allentown, Pennsylvania

WMYS-LD in South Bend, Indiana

WPTG-CD in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

WPXQ-TV in Block Island, Rhode Island

WQAW-LP in Lake Shore, Maryland

WUPA in Atlanta, Georgia

Deepwater Wind

Deepwater Wind is an offshore wind energy development group that built the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, United States. In 2018 it was acquired by Ørsted to merge Ørsted's experience building offshore wind in Europe and Deepwater's planning in the US.

HMS Hunter (D80)

USS Block Island (CVE-8) (originally AVG and then ACV) was an Attacker-class escort aircraft carrier that served during World War II.

She was laid down on 15 May 1941 as Mormacpenn under Maritime Commission contract at Pascagoula, Mississippi by Ingalls Shipbuilding, acquired by the United States Navy on 9 January 1943 and simultaneously transferred via the Lend-Lease program to the United Kingdom as Trailer. On 11 January 1943, the ship was renamed HMS Hunter (D80) and commissioned by the Royal Navy. In March 1945 was attached to the 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron. She participated in Operation Jurist and Operation Tiderace in August 1945, the reoccupation of Malaya and Singapore from the Japanese.

The vessel was returned to United States' custody 29 December 1945 and sold into merchant service on 17 January 1947 as Almdijk. In October 1965 the ship was sold for scrapping in Spain.

List of rivers of Connecticut

Most of Connecticut's rivers flow into Long Island Sound and from there the waters mix into the Atlantic Ocean. A few extremely eastern rivers flow into Block Island Sound. The list is arranged by drainage basin from east to west, with respective tributaries indented from downstream to upstream under each larger stream's name.

Mackinac Island meteorite

Mackinac Island meteorite was found on Mars by the Opportunity rover on October 13, 2009.

New England Airlines

New England Airlines is a regional airline based in Westerly, Rhode Island, USA. With a main base at Westerly State Airport, it provides scheduled service to Block Island and operates charters to other destinations.

Old Field Point Light

Old Field Point Light is a lighthouse within the village of Old Field, New York between the entrances to Port Jefferson Harbor and Stony Brook Harbor on the north shore of Long Island.The structure is of the same design as lighthouses at Sheffield Island in Norwalk, Connecticut; Morgan Point in Noank, Connecticut; Great Captain Island in Greenwich, Connecticut, Plum Island on Plum Island in New York; and Block Island North on Block Island in Rhode Island.

Shelter Island meteorite

Shelter Island meteorite was found on Mars by the Opportunity rover on October 1, 2009. It is about 27 centimetres (11 in) long.

USS Block Island (CVE-106)

USS Block Island (CVE-106) was a Commencement Bay class escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was the second ship to carry her name, done in honor of the first one, being launched 12 days after the original was sunk.

She was launched on 10 June 1944 as Sunset Bay by Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc. Tacoma, Washington; sponsored by Mrs. E. J. (Grace) Hallenbeck (mother of Major Pappy Boyington, then a Prisoner of War of the Japanese), and commissioned as Block Island on 30 December 1944, Captain F. M. Hughes in command.

USS Block Island (CVE-21)

USS Block Island (CVE-21/AVG-21/ACV-21) was a Bogue-class escort carrier for the United States Navy during World War II. She was the first of two escort carriers named after Block Island Sound off Rhode Island. Block Island was launched on 6 June 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in Tacoma, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson, wife of Commander Hutchinson; transferred to the United States Navy on 1 May 1942; and commissioned on 8 March 1943, Captain Logan C. Ramsey in command. Originally classified AVG-21, she became ACV-21 on 20 August 1942, and CVE-21 on 15 July 1943. She was named after Block Island, an island in Rhode Island east of New York.


WPXQ-TV, virtual channel 69 (UHF digital channel 17), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Providence, Rhode Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States that is licensed to Newport, Rhode Island. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks (the former Paxson Communications) as part of a duopoly with New Bedford-licensed Ion Plus owned-and-operated station WLWC (channel 28). The two stations share transmitter facilities on Champlin Hill in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.

Despite originally being licensed to Block Island, Rhode Island, the station was never carried by former cable operator Block Island Cable TV.

Wind power in Rhode Island

Wind power in Rhode Island is in the early stages of development. There are several small scale wind turbine projects in the state. As of December 2013 there were 11 turbines at 10 sites in the state. As of 2014 Rhode Island had 9 MW of wind power.Rhode Island’s first commercial turbine was constructed in March 2006 at Portsmouth Abbey on Aquidneck Island. Construction for the Block Island Wind Farm came on line in 2016.

Climate data for Block Island, Rhode Island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
Average high °F (°C) 39.8
Average low °F (°C) 25.4
Record low °F (°C) −7
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.87
Average snowfall inches (cm) 6.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 7.9 7.7 9.7 9.9 9.8 7.4 6.2 6.2 6.5 7.9 8.8 9.1 97.1
Source #1: NOAA (normals, 1981–2010)[36]
Source #2: Western Regional Climate Center (extremes 1927–present)[37]
Municipalities and communities of Washington County, Rhode Island, United States
Islands and Peninsulas of Rhode Island


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