Conanicut Island Lighthouse – Jamestown, Rhode Island - Atlas Obscura
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Jamestown, Rhode Island

Conanicut Island Lighthouse

This storybook New England home is actually a decommissioned lighthouse. 

At the northernmost point of Jamestown, Rhode Island, is a quaint house, seemingly unremarkable from where it stands tucked behind shady trees at the end of a small dirt road. To a passerby, it’d be just another New England summer cottage. 

But don’t be so quick to judge the Conanicut Island Lighthouse. Built in the 1880s to help guide a local ferry, the lighthouse was generally disliked by locals, as it did little to prevent many of the collisions that occurred in the bustling area.

The lighthouse was generally unremarkable, and there is little record to its history, save for the addition of a barn in 1900 that still stands today. The lighthouse’s lantern was removed in 1934 and sold to Mahlon G. Dunn, a local, for the price of $2,785 at auction.

Originally white with a dark gray trim, the house is now adorned with a shining coat of red paint and a dainty white gingerbread trim, making it look like something out of a storybook. It’s now a staple of nearby sightseeing boat tours, where people marvel at its hidden, modest beauty. 

It also served as the house of Suzy Bishop, the main character of Wes Anderson’s 2012 summer romance Moonrise Kingdom, though the exteriors were actually filmed in a nearby trinkets shop, which has since closed. Still, you can always take the trip down the slim road that stretches the entirety of Jamestown and be rewarded at the end by this beautiful abode.

Know Before You Go

The Conanicut Island Lighthouse is a private residence, so please respect the privacy of its residents and do not attempt to trespass or harass anyone on the property.

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