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Encyclopedia > Block Island
Southeast Light, a famous Block Island landmark
Southeast Light, a famous Block Island landmark
Block Island, shown in red, off the coast of the State of Rhode Island.

Block Island is part of Rhode Island and is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 8 miles (13 km) south of the coast of Rhode Island, and is separated from the mainland by Block Island Sound. The United States Census Bureau defines Block Island as Census Tract 415 of Washington County, Rhode Island. As of the 2000 census the population of 1,010 lived on a land area of 25.211 km² (9.734 sq mi). The island is a fragment of glacial terminal moraine (tracing through the Outer Lands region).[1] Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Block Island is shown off the coast of Rhode Island in the United States. ... Block Island is shown off the coast of Rhode Island in the United States. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Block Island Sound, shown shaded in red, between the coast of the Rhode Island and Block Island. ... The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census as defined in Title ) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. ... A census tract, census area, or census district is a particular community defined for the purpose of taking a census. ... Washington County is a county located in the southeastern part of Rhode Island, a U.S. state. ... 2000 US Census logo The Twenty-Second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13. ... This article is about geological phenomena. ... The Outer Lands The Outer Lands is a term denoting the prominent archipelagic region off of the southern coast of New England in the United States. ...

Contents

History

In 1524, what later became known as Block Island was sighted by Giovanni da Verrazzano who named it Luisa after Louise of Savoy, the Queen Mother of France. He described Luisa as "about the size of the Island of Rhodes." In fact, they are shaped very similarly. When the founders of Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations surveyed the land, they thought that Aquidneck Island was the place referred to by Verrazzano--possibly because in 1614, it was charted by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, after whom it is named. [1] At the time of the arrival of the Europeans, it was occupied by a branch of the Narragansett people who called the island "Manisses." English settlers from the mainland first arrived in 1661, when the island was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The island became part of the colony of Rhode Island in 1672. A Dutch map of 1685 clearly shows Block Island, indicated as Adrian Block Island ("Adriaen Blocks Eylant"). Giovanni da Verrazzano (c. ... Louise of Savoy Louise of Savoy (September 11, 1476 – September 22, 1531) was the mother of Francis I of France. ... Queen Mother is a title reserved for a widowed queen consort whose son or daughter from that union is the reigning monarch. ... Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος Rhódhos; Italian Rodi; [[Ladino language| ) is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, situated in eastern Aegean Sea. ... Providence Plantation was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Baptist minister fleeing from religious persecution in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. ... Aquidneck Island highlighted in red Aquidneck Island, also called Rhode Island, is the largest island in Narragansett Bay. ... Blocks map of his 1614 voyage, with the first appearance of the term New Netherland Adriaen Block (1567–1627) was a Dutch private fur trader and navigator who explored the coastal and river valley areas between present-day New Jersey and Massachusetts during four voyages from 1611 to 1614... Tribal flag // The Narragansett tribe, or more accurately Nahahiganseck Sovereign Nation, are a Native American tribe who controlled the area surrounding Narragansett Bay in present-day Rhode Island, and also portions of Connecticut, and eastern Massachusetts. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... A map of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Capital Charlestown, Boston History  - Established 1629  - New England Confederation 1643  - Dominion of New England 1686  - Province of Massachusetts Bay 1692  - Disestablished 1692 The Massachusetts Bay Colony (sometimes called the Massachusetts Bay Company, for the institution that founded it) was an English settlement on... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x2184, 1060 KB) Category:U.S. history images Map of the New Netherland and New England (1685?) - Large version Visscher, Nicolaes, Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ : nec non partis Virginiæ tabula multis in locis emendata / per Nicolaum Visscher nunc apud Petr. ...


The only town on the island is New Shoreham. The island is a popular summer tourist destination and is known for its excellent bicycling, hiking, sailing, fishing, and beaches. Two historic lighthouses are present on the island: Block Island North Light, on the northern tip of the island (established in 1829, current lighthouse was built in 1868), and Block Island Southeast Light, on the southeast side of the island (built in 1875). Much of the northwest tip of the island is an undeveloped natural area and resting stop for birds along the Atlantic Flyway. New Shoreham is a town located on Block Island in Washington County, Rhode Island. ... Block Island Southeast Light is a lighthouse located on the southeast side of Block Island, in the state of Rhode Island. ... The Atlantic Flyway is a bird migration route that generally follows the Mississippi River in the United States and the Mackenzie River in Canada. ...


Every summer the island hosts Block Island Race Week, a highly competitive, week-long sailboat racing event. On odd years, the event is held by the Storm Trysail Club, and on even years by the Block Island Race Week organization. Yachts compete in various classes, sailing courses in Block Island Sound, and circumnavigating the island.


Other popular events include the annual Fourth of July Parade and celebration. During these times the island's population can triple over the normal summer vacation crowd.


Chronology

1614 Rediscovered by Adriaen Block, who named it for himself.
1636 Taken in combat by Massachusetts soldiers, in retaliation for killing of a trader.
1661 Settled by 16 families from the English colony of Massachusetts.
1664 Becomes part of the English colony of Rhode Island
1672 Island government adopts the name "New Shoreham".
1687 Margaret Guthry buried, now the oldest identifiable gravestone.
1690-1704 Invaded by privateers four times while England at war with France.
1699 Pirate Captain Kidd visits Block Island a month before his capture in Boston.
1737 Emigrant ship Princess Augusta wrecks, leaving Palatine survivors & dead.
1775-83 During American Revolution the island was neutral, trading with both sides.
1812-15 During War of 1812 against British, island returned to status of 35 yrs earlier.
1832 First postmaster appointed; office in his bedroom.
1867 The present-day North Lighthouse was built, the 4th lighthouse at Sandy Point.
1870s Breakwater successfully built on east side, creating the Old Harbor.
1875-90s Many Victorian hotels & stores built at Old Harbor; now nationally historic.
1875 Island Free Library founded, and still operating.
1873 Construction began on the brick Southeast Lighthouse; moved in 1993.
1895 Great Salt Pond channel successfully dug, creating the New Harbor.
1907 Steamer Larchmont sinks off Block Island; hundreds dead; islanders heroes.
1917-18 In WW1, from a population of about 1,000 islanders, 63 go off to war.
1933 Block Island School built, replacing five scattered, one-room schools.
1941-45 In WW2, from a population of about 700 islanders, 95 go off to war.
1942 & 44 Two US aircraft carriers are named “Block Island”; the 1st sank 7 U-boats.
1950 State airport opens, replacing informal grass fields used since 1920s.
1960 Winter population plunges to 486; the lowest since the 1770s.
1972 Block Island Conservancy founded; one third of island now preserved as open land.
1974 Old Harbor village declared a National Register historic site.
1993 The massive brick Southeast Lighthouse moved 245 feet from eroding bluffs.
2000 Winter population surpasses 1,000 for first time since the 1930s.

--- written by Robert M. Downie, author of two history books named "Block Island --- The Sea" (1998) and "Block Island --- The Land" (1999) Events April 5 - In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe. ... Year 1636 (MDCXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1661 (MDCLXI) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Events March 12 - New Jersey becomes a colony of England. ... Events England, France, Munster and Cologne invade the United Provinces, therefore this name is know as ´het rampjaar´ (the disaster year) in the Netherlands. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... Three United States Navy escort aircraft carriers, two commissioned and one Lend-Lease, have been named USS Block Island, after Block Island Sound, which is off the south coast of the state of Rhode Island, between it and Block Island. ... The second USS Block Island (CVE-21) (previously AVG-21 then later ACV-21) was launched 6 June 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp. ... The National Register of Historic Places is the USAs official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects worthy of preservation. ...


Climate

Block Island's weather is greatly influenced by the surrounding ocean. Because the ocean stays cold during the Spring and Summer months, Block Island stays cooler than the mainland during this period. However, summers can still be hot on Block Island although July and August average in the mid and upper 70s instead of low and mid 80s that New York and New England experience. Block Island's record high temperature is 95 °F (35 °C). In comparison, Chester, Massachusetts, which is far inland, has a record high of 107 °F (42 °C). On the flipside, Block Island stays warmer than the mainland during the fall and winter months when the ocean remains relatively warmer than the mainland. Block Island's record low is -7 °F (-22 °C) while Chester's record low is -35 °F (-37 °C).[2][3] Chester is a town located in Hampden County, Massachusetts. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...


Block Island's High and Low Temperature Averages and Precipitation Averages:

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F 39 40 45 53 62 71 77 77 71 62 53 44 58
Avg low °F 27 28 33 41 49 58 64 64 57 49 41 32 45
Rainfall (inches) 3.68 3.04 3.99 3.72 3.40 2.77 2.62 3.00 3.19 3.04 3.77 3.57 39.79

Beaches

'Crescent Beach' can be viewed from the Pt. Judith Ferry on the way to the island. It contains three smaller beaches, Fred Benson Town Beach (still popularly known as State Beach due to its former status as one), Scotch Beach, and Mansion Beach, all of which are located on Corn Neck Road. State Beach is the only beach on the island with on-duty life guards, as well as a pavilion with food and beach rentals. The so-called Baby Beach begins at the Surf Hotel, near the Beachhead Restaurant on Corn Neck Rd. Scotch Beach is located just north of Fred Benson Town Beach and Mansion Beach is located north of Scotch Beach.


On the south side of the island, Black Rock Beach is widely regarded as the best beach for surfing on the island due to its high surf. However, the beach tends to be very rocky and has a reputation for being a nude beach, despite laws against nudity on Rhode Island's beaches. It is located near the Mohegan Bluffs and Southeast Lighthouse.


Coastguard Beach is situated between the Great Salt Pond and the ocean on the north west side of the island. It is a popular beach for fishing and walking, but not particularly good for swimming due to the large number of boats traveling nearby.


Tourist Locations

Block Island contains a number of locations for tourists besides the beach.


Southeast Lighthouse: Located directly off of Spring Street on the Mohegan Trail, visitors can climb a staircase to the top of the lighthouse during the summer. Block Island Southeast Light is a lighthouse located on the southeast side of Block Island, in the state of Rhode Island. ...


Mohegan Bluffs: Located directly next to the Southeast Lighthouse, the Bluffs are the site of a battle between the invading Mohegan Indians, and the native Manisee Indians in which the Mohegans were driven off the edge of the tall cliffs to their deaths on the beach below. Today, one can walk down a long staircase to the bottom of these clay cliffs and look out over the Atlantic. On clear days, Montauk, New York can be seen in the distance from the southwestern side of the island. The Mohegan tribe is an Algonquian-speaking tribe living in eastern (upper Thames valley) Connecticut [1] that was jointly ruled by the Pequot tribe until 1637. ... The Montauk Lighthouse Montauk is a census-designated place and hamlet located in Suffolk County, New York. ...


North Lighthouse: Located at the very northern tip of Block Island, at the end of Corn Neck Road, the North Light warns boaters of a stretch of dangerous shallow waters.


Farmers Market: Held every Saturday and Wednesday during the summer, the farmers market contains many island grown vegetables and island made goods, including bees-wax candles and honey. The times and location can vary, so check with the local newspaper, The Block Island Times, for more information.


U-853: A U-boat wreck 7 miles (11 km) east of the island lies in 130 ft (40 m) of water. Recreational divers frequently visit the wreck, though two have died there.[4] Unterseeboot 853 (U-853) was a Type IXC/40 submarine of the Kriegsmarine. ... U-boat is also a nickname for some diesel locomotives built by GE; see List of GE locomotives October 1939. ...


Transportation

The island is connected by a ferry year-round to Point Judith, and in summer to New London, Connecticut, Montauk, New York, and to Newport, Rhode Island. Categories: US geography stubs | Rhode Island geography | Headlands ... Nickname: Motto: MARE LIBERUM Coordinates: , NECTA Norwich-New London Region Southeastern Connecticut Settled 1646 (Pequot Plantation) Named 1658 (New London) Incorporated (city) 1784 Government  - Type Council-manager  - City council Margaret Mary Curtin, Mayor Kevin J. Cavanagh, Dep. ... Montauk is a hamlet (and census-designated place) in Suffolk County, New York on the South Shore of Long Island. ... Newport is a city in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. ...


There are several ferry services to Block Island. The traditional Ferry, takes about an hour to reach the island from Point Judith. A high speed Ferry on the same route takes 35 minutes. Another high speed ferry from New London, Connecticut to Block Island takes an hour and a half. Nickname: Motto: MARE LIBERUM Coordinates: , NECTA Norwich-New London Region Southeastern Connecticut Settled 1646 (Pequot Plantation) Named 1658 (New London) Incorporated (city) 1784 Government  - Type Council-manager  - City council Margaret Mary Curtin, Mayor Kevin J. Cavanagh, Dep. ...


New England Airlines offers regularly scheduled airline service to Block Island State Airport from Westerly, Rhode Island. New England Airlines is an airline based in Westerly, Rhode Island, USA. Its main base is Westerly State Airport, and it serves only one scheduled destination, Block Island. ... Block Island State Airport (IATA: BID, ICAO: KBID) is a public airport located on Block Island, in Washington County, Rhode Island, USA. It is primarily a general aviation airport, but there is also scheduled airline service to Westerly State Airport. ... Location of Westerly, Rhode Island. ...


References

  1. ^ Census Tract 415, Washington County United States Census Bureau
  2. ^ Block Island,so RI Averages and Records. Accessed April 20, 2006.
  3. ^ Chester, MA Averages and Records. Accessed April 20, 2006.
  4. ^ Robert M. Downie (1998). Block Island—The Sea. Book Nook Press. , page 194
  • The history books "Block Island --- The Sea" (1998) and "Block Island --- The Land" (1999) by Robert M. Downie, Block Island historian.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Block Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1263 words)
The island is a fragment of glacial terminal moraine approximately twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, of which it is part, and from which it is separated by Block Island Sound.
Two historic lighthouses are present on the island; Block Island North Light, on the northern tip of the island (established in 1829, current lighthouse in built in 1868), and Block Island Southeast Light, is on the southeast side of the island (built in 1875).
Block Island's record high temperature is 95 °F. In comparison, Chester, Massachusetts which is far inland, has a record high of 107 °F. On the flipside, Block Island stays warmer than the mainland during the fall and winter months when the ocean remains relatively warmer than the mainland.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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