Rhode Island Picture Post Cards
Lime Rock (Ida Lewis) Lighthouse - Newport, RI - 1910
(Scroll Down for Bio and History)

The Lime Rock Light was originally built in 1854 as a stone tower with no keepers house. The Lighthouse structure was added in 1856. The first lighthouse keeper was Hosea Lewis, who suffered a stroke in 1857. His 16 year old daughter, IIdawalley, (Ida) Zoradia Lewis took over the keepers duties.

Ida Lewis was the most famous lighthouse keeper in American history. She is credited with 25 rescues and with saving numerous lives. Ida performed her first rescue in 1858 and carried out her last rescue in 1904 when she was 65 years old. She also rowed her younger brothers and sisters to the mainland school every weekday morning.

By 1869, Ida had become nationally known and had even been featured in Harper's Weekly Magazine." President Ulysses S. Grant was one of the over 9000 visitors to Lime Rock that year. 

Ida Lewis died on October 25, 1911 in her beloved lighthouse. She was 69 years old. Every ship in Newport harbor tolled the bells for Ida that night and all flags in the harbor were at half mast. 

The United States Congress voted to change the name of the Lime Rock Light to the Ida Lewis Light. The light was officially closed in 1927 and replaced by an automatic tower light. Today the old lighthouse building serves as the Ida Lewis Yacht Club.

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