WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — One of Westerly’s most recognizable landmarks is available for any qualified organization willing to take care of it.
The U.S. Coast Guard wrote to the state Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission this month to inform it that the Watch Hill Lighthouse was in “excess to the needs of the Coast Guard” and was posted for transfer to the federal General Services Administration, The Sun of Westerly reports.
Under provisions of the federal lighthouse act, the National Park Service will provide applications to interested parties and review and evaluate the applications. If a transfer of ownership is approved, the new owner will be required to maintain the lighthouse in accordance with federal standards.
The 45-foot-tall lighthouse currently at the site dates to 1856, but the property’s role as a beacon for ships dates to 1745. The lighthouse was automated in 1986 and leased to the Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association.
“The association is committed to its care of this historic Westerly landmark, and looks forward to working with the U.S. Coast Guard during the upcoming transfer process and to ensuring future and permanent public access to the lighthouse and its property,” the organization said in a statement.