Also known to locals as the Sandy Point Lighthouse or Shibacoweda (meaning a little place separated by a passage), this is the oldest lighthouse tower in the state of Rhode Island.
Originally, the Prudence Island Lighthouse sat on a dike off Goat Island farther south in the bay and was built with granite in 1823. Very few lighthouses in the United States still have the original birdcage lantern that the Prudence Lighthouse has. It was moved to Prudence Island in 1851. Prudence Island and the lighthouse can be accessed by the ferry from Bristol and from the ferry it is a fairly strenuous walk of a mile or so. Roger Williams and Governor John Winthrop traded Prudence Island from Sachem Canonicut for 20 fathoms (a fathom is 6 feet) and 2 coats in 1637. The keeper's home was built 190 feet from the tower, had 6 rooms, and an attached kitchen. It became automated in 1972. The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.