TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2018 / by Lynne Heinzmann

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to speak by phone with Charlotte E. Johnson, former Executive Director of the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation and the person who probably knows more about the lighthouse and Rose Island than anyone else on earth. What a fascinating woman! Charlotte told me when she was younger, she and her friends used to boat out to Rose Island to spend the day climbing around the abandonded lighthouse and poking through the old Fort Hamilton military buildings. She spent many enjoyable afternoons on the island. Later in life, when developers wanted to tear down the lighthouse and the other buildings, Charlotte told me she recalled the fun she’d had on the island and was instrumental in thwarting the developers’ plans. She told me how they wrapped the entire island in bedsheets to draw attention to the lighthouse’s plight and to raise funds for its rescue. And she was successful! The Rose Island Lighthouse is now beautifully restored and is available to rent by the week or the weekend by “guest” lighthouse keepers. It’s a magical place!

 Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport (RI) Harbor  Photo courtesy of the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation

Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport (RI) Harbor

Photo courtesy of the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation