The National Historic Landmark, Southeast Lighthouse(1873) was moved back from the edge of the bluff in 1993, as it was in danger of falling off the Mohegan Bluffs on the southeast side of the island due to extreme and ongoing erosion. An authentic first order Fresnel lens in the tower still sends out a green beam across the ocean. In addition to offering tours of the tower during the summer season, the site offers a great location for weddings or special gatherings. Contact the Southeast Lighthouse Foundation @ 401-466-5009. Special Group Tours can also be arranged via the Historical Society. A unique food truck is located inside the gate this summer selling water, refreshments, lobster rolls and “SE Light Delights”.
In 1972 the Block Island Conservancy was founded. Capt. Rob Lewis spearheaded this campaign to “Save Open Space”. He was also a member of the Historical Society Board of Directors for many years and was instrumental in having the vision to help the Society launch the plan to move the Southeast Lighthouse away from the eroding bluff edge. The Conservancy and other land conservation organizations are responsible for protecting over 47% of the island from development. Greenway trails have been established across the island. The Society conducts off site tours which include some Conservancy land with historic sites, specifically the Manissean Village site on Great Salt Pond. Tours of the smaller island cemeteries also include walks on the Island’s greenway trails. Sheffield Cemetery off Corn Neck Road , Winfield Dodge Preserve;Palatine Graves and the Lewis Dickens trail includes info about the “Bird Lady” Elizabeth Dickens and her dedication to preserving Block Island’s land and culture. Please inquire as to time and rates.