Once we got settled, our guide, Chris, gave us a tour of the property. He filled us in about the history (He will give you the whole scoop if you decide to make the trip over.), the renovation (started in 1984, after the Lighthouse had pretty much been abandoned for more than 2 decades, following the completion of The Newport Bridge in 1969, which essentially made the Light obsolete), and the upkeep. Note: From March 1st through August 1st, movement on the Island is somewhat restricted, so as not to interfere with the birds during their nesting season. (I hear they get pretty nasty if you get anywhere near their nests.)
The first floor of the main house consists of a makeshift gift shop (run on the honor system), 2 bedrooms, a kitchen/pantry area (There's no frig, so bring a non-styrofoam cooler with some ice for your perishable snacks and meals.), and a living room/study - all old time-y to the max and meant to show visitors how the people who resided there back in the days when it was a working lighthouse lived. Note: The Lighthouse functions as a museum during the day and opens to tourists at 10am, so no sleeping in if you're staying on that first floor. Wakey, wakey sleepyhead!
On the second level, there's a more modern apartment that we wished we had stayed in, but it had already been reserved by a nice couple from New Jersey. Besides a bedroom, that space boasts a bathroom with an indoor shower (downstairs where we stayed did not have a shower or tub...Just like in the really olden days, we could've washed up by using the pump at the kitchen sink to fill up a pitcher and basin with some of the purified rain water...Errr, yeahhh, no thanks.) and a kitchen with a refrigerator and stove that you don't have to light with a match (For the record, we didn't even attempt to use the stove top on first floor because we were super nervous about having to light it.). So, if you're planning on visiting, we definitely recommend the apartment for the most comfortable stay any time of year.
Must See & Do On Rose Island
- The Lantern Room (aka, the light and deck at the very top of the tower) - An outstanding view of The Bridge, Fort Adams, and the entire Rose Island from up there. Fabulous photo opps at sunrise and sunset. Note: You will have to climb a ladder to get to the light and the deck. Be careful! (Check out our vlog of the views over on the PattyJDotCom Instagram.)
- The Fog Horn Room - Located one flight of stairs down from the tower. It's not attached to the main house, but it sure does look like something out of a Ralph Lauren ad. With the exposed brick, rustic furniture and bedding, and water views, it would be perfect for a romantic night or weekend with your significant other. Just make sure it's during the summer - and fingers crossed that you get 'good weather' - because there's no heat or a/c to speak of. (Check out our vlog on the PattyJDotCom Instagram.) PS - Need to use the bathroom or take a shower? Then it's back up the stairs and a stroll over to the two toilets and outdoor shower situated next to The Barracks.
- The Barracks - Ok, soldiers resided there during both World Wars and some were actually quarantined in the barracks during a Cholera epidemic. I hear ghost hunters still travel to the Island on occasion, searching for (among other things) the ghosts of the soldiers who may have died in that epidemic. Now, it's booked out for things like corporate lunches or overnight stays. We say that the white brick, high ceilings, and great acoustics make it perfect for recording an album during the summer months. There's also lots of privacy because you're far, far away from the paparazzi and screaming fans. Just throwing it out there. #winks (See photos above.)
Now, we're not gonna lie - by around 6 or 7pm, we were desperately wishing that someone we knew would take a water taxi over and deliver some coffee, hot soup, and maybe a parka or two. (Again, it was FREEZING.) Thank God there was cell phone service though. (Note: Use your I-Phone as a hot spot if you plan on bringing your lap top to blog or whatever.) No doubt it would be fantastic for an intimate getaway or private party - Why not rent out the whole Island? - once the temps go above the 40's and 50's. There are picnic tables, grills, and kayaks. We also found pics on Instagram of some peeps who threw a party there a few summers ago and went to town, even setting up Slip N' Slides, so what we're proposing is not an original idea, but definitely one worth co-opting.
Patty J & Nicole
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of us