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BLOCK ISLAND                   Close To Home, A World Away

Block Island Tourism Council

                                                                                                                                          Photo by Keith Lang
         Welcome To Block Island, Our Home
Block Island Is a specIal place. In 1991 The                      WHen you sTep onTo Block Island you’ll find
nature conservancy named it “one of the last great places         a place that includes not only rare birds, fantastic beaches
in the Western Hemisphere.” With 43 percent of Block              and miles of hiking trails, but also a close, caring commu-
                          Island preserved forever as open        nity.
                          space, it is easy to find your own         I grew up here and have witnessed
                          special part of the Island.             many changes; but one thing that has
                             There are 17 miles of beaches        remained the same all these years is
                          and many hiking trails that of-         the people. according to our annual
                          fer up-close experiences with           unofficial Groundhog Day census,
                          wildlife. The harbors and ponds         there are 992 year-round residents
                          are unique places to explore on         who live, work and play together.
                          kayaks or boats.                           Just like communities across the
                             The fall and spring are great        country, my neighbors run businesses,
times to visit and enjoy the many activities the Island has       send their children to school and offer directions to the
to offer. During this time the crowds are few, and visitors       passing tourist. But unlike residents of communities else-
enjoy a sense of quiet and solitude that leads many to re-        where, these 992 residents wear many, many hats.
turn to Block Island again and again. There are roads lined          It’s not unusual to see the taxi-cab driver who picked
with stone walls and beautiful scenery for bicyclists; two        you up at the ferry serve you lobster at one of the Island’s
historic lighthouses to explore; great fishing spots where        many restaurants, or to notice the school bus driver lead-
anglers can watch an amazing sunset over the ocean;               ing a nature walk on the Greenway trails. You’ll find this
trails for hikers and bird-watchers; and miles of beautiful       interdependence creates a sense of community unrivaled
beaches perfect for a quiet walk.                                 anywhere else.
   With ferry docks within a short drive for many visitors,          You’ll also find that this community — my neighbors
you will find that Block Island is a perfect getaway for          — cares. They deeply care about each other, about the en-
the day, the weekend, or even longer. Choose to stay at a         vironment around them and about those coming to enjoy
historic hotel, a quaint inn, a cozy bed-and-breakfast or a       this Island. Perhaps that’s why we’re so proud to show off
unique home for the whole family. Come to experience a            this Island gem to the world.
relaxed atmosphere and a friendly community.                         For while this Island holds a special place in the natural
   Over the following pages, you will meet some fellow            world, it is the people who create its special sense of place.
Islanders, who will introduce you to this unique place that       I encourage you to come visit, meet my neighbors and cre-
we call home. All of us cordially invite you to visit Block       ate your own memories.
Island. I am confident that your first visit will not be your
last.                                                                                                               Kim Gaffett
                                                                                                                   First Warden
                                                                                                         Town of New Shoreham
                                                   John Cullen
                                                      President     Cover photo: The Mohegan Bluffs provide stunning views of the
                                   Block Island Tourism Council                           Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Cindy Wilson                                                                                   Close To Home, A World Away 3
                                      The original BLOCK ISLAND
                                         Hook Bracelet™ is here!

                             Off the coast of the Northeast mainland lies an island like no other ... an island that promotes a carefree
                              laid-back, flip-flop and shorts atmosphere where not a single palm tree grows! The Block Island Hook
                                Bracelet™ captures the spirit and style of this island and her stunning vistas, diverse ecosystem and
                                 deep nautical heritage. The Block Island Southeast Light is forged into a precious metal “B,” which is
                                  hooked by an “I” in the likeness of a fouled anchor, with the union of the two symbolizing the hook
                                     that Block Island has on the hearts of millions. The distinctive shape of the island adorns the design
                                              as well as 10 wraps of 14–karat gold signifying the 10 square miles of enchanting beauty
                                              that awaits each and every soul. The Block Island Hook Bracelet™ is a true symbolic
                                       treasure that is sure to remind of the days, weeks or lifetime of weeks cherished while in the
                                      embrace of Block Island. Wear the memories...and
                                      relive them...each time you glance at your wrist.

                                     Available online @:

                                        *a portion of all sales donated to island nonprofits
                                                                                                            Chapel Street & Weldon’s Way
                                                *Listed as “One of 10 Places Not To Miss On
                                                                                                          P.O. Box 693, Block Island, RI 02807
                                               Block Island” by New England Tourism Council!

                                      Follow The Leader
         30 Minute                                                                                                              60 Minute
       Hi-Speed Ferry                                                                                                       Traditional Ferry
      to Block Island                                                                                                        to Block Island

                                                                                                                              Largest Fleet
                                   C ars
                                                        ks   *
                                                                 Fr e i g
                                                                          h   t
                                                                                  866.783.7996                                Best Schedule                                                       Departs Daily From Point Judith             Vehicles Welcome *
          * reservation required for vehicle transportation                       Seasonal Service From Newport               Year Round Service

4 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                                
(Photo credits clockwise from top left: John Fuller, Michael Melford, Celeste Sloman, Kristen Langdon Cohen, Michael Melford)

BLOCK ISLAND special Features departments
       Block Island: Close To Home, A World Away                              3       WElCoME To bloCK                          BEACHES
    is a publication produced jointly by the Block Island                             iSlAnD, our hoME                          10 bloCK iSlAnD bEAChES
        Tourism Council and the Block Island Times.                                   Tourism Council President John            12 A Tour oF iSlAnD bEAChES
                                                                                      Cullen and First Warden Kim Gaffett       13 MAP oF iSlAnD bEAChES
                                                                                      welcome you to Block Island.
                                                                              7       bloCK iSlAnD bECKonS                      NATurE
                                                                                      As one of America’s last great places,    15 A nATurAl WonDEr
                                                                                      Block Island is worth a trip from any-    16 nATurE hiGhliGhTS
                                                                                      where.                                    17 birDinG TAKES FliGhT
       The Block Island Tourism Council                                       8       GETTinG hErE
      Water Street, Box 356, Block Island, RI 02807
                                                                                      Making your way to the island is          BoATiNg/FiSHiNg
                                                                                      easier than you might think.
                 President John Cullen                                                                                          18 oCEAn ADVEnTurES
             Vice President Brad Marthens                                     9       KnoW ThE iSlAnD
                                                                                                                                20 boATinG inForMATion
             2nd Vice President Zena Clark                                            Once on-island your time’s your own,
                                                                                                                                21 FiShinG on bloCK
                 Secretary Ted Merritt                                                but here is some helpful information
                 Treasurer Martha Ball
                                                                                      to help you get around.
        Members Shirley Kessler, Ed McGovern                                  22 A WinTEr WonDErlAnD
           Executive Director Jessica K. Willi                                                                                  SHoppiNg
                                                                              34 hiGhliGhTS For 2009
                                                                                                                                23 A ShoPPEr’S hEAVEn
                                                                                      What to do and see.
                                                                              35 iSlAnD MAP                                     24 bloCK iSlAnD ShoPPinG
                                                                                      All the island sights you need to see.       inForMATion
                                                                              36 bloCK iSlAnD
              The Block Island Times                                                                                            HiSTory
     Ocean Avenue, Box 278, Block Island, RI 02807
                                                                                      All the places to rest your head.         26 A hiSToriC PlACE
      Phone: (401) 466-2222 Fax: (401) 466-8804
                                            37 bloCK iSlAnD                                   28 hiSToriC hiGhliGhTS
         Co-publishers Fraser and Betty Lang                                     rESTAurAnTS                                    29 ShiPWrECKS
             Associate Publisher Ian Lang                                             Where to eat on your visit.
                 Editor Chris Barrett                                                                                           ArT
                                                                              38 WEDDinGS AnD
            Production SmallHouse Design
                                                                                 ConFErEnCES                                    31 CrEATiVE iSlE
            (c) 2009 Block Island Tourism Council & Block Island Times
                                                                                      Beautiful places to get married and       32 ArT inForMATion
 Block Island Beers, Old Harbor Outfitters, The Atlantic Inn,
                                                                                      gorgeous meeting rooms.                   33 ThE norTh liGhT on ThE
Ballard Hall Real Estate, Block Island Express, Eli’s Restaurant,                                                                  ADriATiC
  Golddiggers–Block Island Jewelers, Interstate Navigation                                                                                                                      Close To Home, A World Away 5
Sandy Shores
A short walk from the hustle and bustle of
downtown, Fred benson Town beach is
one of the many beaches you’ll discover on
block island, all of which are free and open
to the public.
Photo by Michael Melford

6 Close To Home, A World Away        
                           BLOCK ISLAND
                             one of the last great places
                          THIrTeen mIles oFF THe coasT                    years when a melting glacier left rolling
                          oF rHode Island, surrounded by 17               hills and ponds behind to form an island
                          miles of pristine beaches and home to a         like no other. even centuries ago, people
                          diverse wildlife population, Block Island       recognized its exceptional characteristics.
                          stands as a paradise for exploration, fun,      For hundreds of years the narragansett
                          relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re        tribe made this home and called it “man-
                          looking to play in the sand, hike the miles     isses,” or “Island of the Little God.” When
                          of nature trails or enjoy a fine-dining expe-   Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazano
                          rience, Block Island is your destination.       sighted the Island in 1524 he thought it so
                             This year you don’t have to take an in-      beautiful that he named it “claudia” after
                          ternational flight or spend a fortune to get    the dowager queen of France.
                          a taste of paradise. For the cost of a ferry       In 1614, dutch navigator and trader
                          ticket, you’ll discover a different world,      Adrian Block, who is perhaps best known
                          culture and pace of life.                       for being the first European to discover
                             The nature conservancy has called            manhattan, mapped the Island and lent
                          Block Island “one of the last great places      his name to the land. In 1636 massachu-
                          in the Western Hemisphere.” and for good        setts claimed the Island and sold it to
                          reason. Whether you visit in the spring,        four businessmen in 1658. They, in turn,
                          summer or fall, an island paradise awaits.      sold the Island in 1660 to 16 men for 400
                             Here is a place that moves at its own        pounds. some of them landed a year later
                          pace and is known for a relaxed way of life.    and established a settlement that would
                          Here is where “dressed up” means a pair         join rhode Island in 1664. eight years later
                          of shorts. Here is where locals greet each      they would incorporate the Island’s first —
                          other by name at the post office. And here      and only — town, selecting the name New
                          is where you can shed your whole way of         Shoreham. These colonists would become
                          life for a while.                               the first of thousands of visitors drawn to
                             particularly in the spring and fall, this    the Block Island experience.
                          tight-knit Island is far removed from the          What began as a fishing village soon
                          hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s a place   became the destination both for the rich
                          where you can enjoy a hike, take in a           and famous and for others just looking to
                          sunset, or build a sand castle. you have the    get away from it all. Presidents have visited,
                          time to finish a novel you always meant to      movie stars have vacationed here, and the
                          read and take an afternoon nap.                 supreme court once held session at an
                             For the more adventurous, catch a wave       Island hotel. They have come here for the
                          on one of our many public beaches, or rent      same reason that many others have traveled
                          a bicycle or moped and discover the hid-        to these shores: a desire to step back in
                          den corners of the Island. at the end of the    time and reconnect with oneself and the
                          day, enjoy a fine meal at one of the Island’s   natural world.
                          30 dining establishments, many with views          Today’s modern transportation system
                          of the atlantic ocean.                          makes it easy and affordable to reach the
                             In the following pages, you’ll meet some     Island via ferry or plane. While thousands
                          of the Island’s nearly 1,000 year-round resi-   of people visit Block Island every year,
                          dents that form this cozy, welcoming com-       you’ll find there’s still plenty of space to
                          munity. They’ll tell you about the Island’s     discover your own special corner of para-
                          natural wonders, sandy beaches, extensive       dise. and no matter if you spend a day, a
                          shopping, beautiful art, boating and fishing    week or a month you’ll find a true “sense of
                          opportunities and rich history.                 place” unlike anywhere else in the country,
                             That history extends back thousands of       or dare we say, even the world.                                                                           Close To Home, A World Away 7
                                                                                                                                                      Photo by Michael Melford
                                GETTING HERE
It’s easy to reach Block Island. More than 20 million people are within a four-hour drive of either the
ferries or airline that bring visitors to Block Island, and 10 million can reach a ferry or airplane in less
than two hours. Ferries leave from Point Judith in Narragansett, Rhode Island; New London, Connecti-
cut and Montauk on the tip of Long Island, New York. Planes leave from Westerly, Rhode Island.
Or you can fly in or sail your own boat.

By Ferry                              Block Island Express con-           By private Boat                      By private plane
Block Island Ferry provides           nects New London, Conn. and            Many visitors reach Block            Block Island State Airport
year-round service from Point         Old Harbor, Block Island in just    Island by way of their own           welcomes private planes. The
Judith, R.I. This is the only ferry   over one hour on a high-speed       boats, docking at the marinas        one-lane runway accommodates
that can take vehicles to the Is-     catamaran. The terminal in New      or anchoring in either the Old or    prop planes and small jets.
land, and reservations for them       London is located next to the       New harbors.                         There is no control tower, but
are required. Passengers do not       Amtrak train station. Parking is                                         pilots should announce them-
need reservations. (304 Great         available in a municipal garage     By Commuter plane                    selves on frequency 123.00.
Island Road, Narragansett, R.I.)      across the street and at the           New England Airlines has             Landing is free for Rhode
In the summer months addi-            terminal. This ferry runs May       provided daily scheduled air ser-    Island-registered aircraft.
tional service is provided to and     through September. (2 Ferry         vice to Block Island since 1970.     Landing fees for non-Rhode
from Fort Adams State Park in         St., New London, Conn.) For         Flights depart Westerly, R.I. The    Island registered aircraft range
Newport, R.I. (1 Lincoln Drive,       schedules and more informa-         airport is located just off Inter-   from $15 to $25 depending on
Newport, R.I.) For schedules          tion call (860) 444-4624 or visit   state 95 and is an easy drive or     the type of aircraft. Overnight
and more information call (866)              train ride from anywhere in New      outside plane parking is avail-
783-7996 or visit www.blockis-        Montauk Ferry runs between          England. (Amtrak serves West-        able and is $15 for single-engine                        the tip of Long Island and Block    erly with daily trains between       planes and $20 for light planes.
Block Island Hi-Speed                 Island during the summer. The       Washington/New York and              For more information check
Ferry is a state-of-the-art high-     trip takes just under two hours     Boston.) Flight time between         the Airport Facility Directory
speed catamaran. This ferry           on a high-speed air-conditioned     Westerly and Block Island is         for the Northeast or call airport
runs from mid-May through mid-        vessel that accommodates            12 minutes. (56 Airport Road,        manager Landmark Aviation at
October. The ferry departs from       passengers, bicycles and surf-      Westerly, R.I.) For schedules        (401) 466-5511.
the State Pier in Point Judith,       boards. (462 West Lake Drive,       and more information call (800)
R.I. and docks in Old Harbor in       Montauk, N.Y. ) For schedules       243-2460 or visit www.block-
30 minutes. (304 Great Island         and more information call (631)
Road, Narragansett, R.I.) For         668-5700 or visit
schedules and more informa- 
tion call (866) 783-7996 or visit

8 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                             Photo by Cindy Wilson
                 KNOW THE ISLAND
Once you’re on Block Island here’s what you need to know. The information below will help you get
around, engage in a friendly dinner conversation and maybe even sound like a local. When you visit,
you’ll quickly learn that Block Island is a community made up of very special people living in a very
special place. Nothing beats coming here and experiencing it personally, but below are some of the
basics to get you primed before your visit.

getting Around                     Personal Vehicle. Depend-        Open Space 43 percent of            More info
Walk. The sneaker express          ing on your itinerary, you may   the Island is preserved open        Visitor info
                                                                                                        b.i. Welcome Center
is an easy way to enjoy the        or may not require a vehicle     space                               (800) 383-biri
shops, restaurants and hotels      while here. In the busy summer   Education One public school
in Old Harbor. A 15-minute         months, keeping the number       with about 140 students in          South County Tourism Council
walk from the ferry will bring     of cars on-Island to a minimum   grades K-12                         (401) 789-4422
you to the main beach.             is encouraged. However, the      Weather                   
                                                                                                        r.i. Tourism Council
Bike. Bicycles are an afford-      spring and fall provide com-     50-60° in the spring and fall       (800) 250-7384
able and enjoyable way to ex-      paratively empty roads.          65-80° in the summer      
plore the Island. Rental stands                                     25-40° in the winter                b.i. Airport
offer bikes to fit the needs of    The Facts                                                            (800) 243-2460
the entire family. Or bring your   Official Name Town of New        Street Addresses                    new England Airlines
                                                                                                        (401) 596-2460
own over on the ferry.             Shoreham, incorporated 1672         Block Island is a special        b.i. harbormaster
Mopeds. Mopeds can be              Area 7 miles long and 3 miles    place with its own little quirks.   (401) 466-3204
                                                                                                        Point Judith, r.i. ferry
rented around the Island, and      wide, Block Island is shaped     Because the U.S. Postal Ser-        (866) 783-7996
can accommodate one or two         like a pork chop and covers      vice delivers only to the Island    new london, Conn. ferry
passengers. Mopeds may             6,000 acres                      post office, street addresses       (860) 444-4624
                                                                                                        Montauk, n.Y. ferry
be driven on all paved Island      Location 13 miles off the        do not exist. Instead, all build-   (631) 668-5700
roads, but are not allowed on      southern coast of Rhode Island   ings have fire numbers. They        Emergency
                                                                                                        All emergencies
dirt roads.                        Population About 1,000           are non-sequential, however,        911
Taxi. Taxi service is available    year round and swells to         and should not be relied on         b.i. Medical Center
Island-wide. A taxi stand is lo-   15,000 to 20,000 in the sum-     for directions. Instead, use the    (401) 466-2974
                                                                                                        Police (nonemergency)
cated by the ferry docks in Old    mer                              map included in this magazine       (401) 466-3220
Harbor, and taxis regularly wait   Ponds 365 freshwater ponds,      or one of many available here       Fire Department/rescue Squad
                                                                                                        (401) 466-3220
for customers at New Harbor.       one for every day of the year    once you arrive.                    Animal Control officer
Most can hold parties of five or   Stone walls 300-400 miles                                            (401) 466-3220
more and offer Island tours as     of human-made stone walls                                            Coast Guard (block island)
                                                                                                        (401) 466-2086
well as getting you from here      Nature Trails 28 miles of                                            Coast Guard (Galilee, r.i.)
to there.                          trails                                                               (401) 789-0444                                                                                      Close To Home, A World Away 9
                                                  I LOVE THE BEACHES                 and embrace the much-needed
                                                  Here, plain and simple. I visit    time to reconnect and catch
                                                  them frequently with my family,    up on gossip, revitalize in the
                                                  and over the years have discov-    sea air, take a stroll or simply
                                                  ered how the seasons change        daydream.
                                                  the dynamic of these special          personally, I love spending
                                                  places that provide recreation     the hours before the sun sets
                                                  for visitors and play an impor-    into the Block Island sound
                                                  tant role in our ecosystem.        collecting treasures like rocks
                                                     a fall day on the beach         for skipping and painting, worn
                                                  brings plenty of sunshine and      driftwood to make mobiles,
                                                  light wind. The perfect Indian     clam shells, lobster claws, and
                                                  summer day is always a pos-        various other mysterious items
                                                  sibility, and the temperature      washed ashore. The wrack line,
                                                  averages in the mid 60s. By        where the tide stops and de-
                                                  mid-afternoon, it’s a perfect      posits its day’s load of flotsam
                                                  time for an outdoor adventure      and jetsam, can be a virtual
                                                  on a west-facing beach exposed     jackpot for the keen observer.
Photo by Chris Barrett                            to the warmth of the descend-         on a later excursion, head
                                                  ing sun. aside from enjoying       to the shores of the Great

                                                  the tranquility of the beach,      salt pond. during the colder
                                                  you can walk the shore, gather     months, the Great Salt Pond
                                                  beach treasures and explore        is loaded with seals. Harp,

                                                  the tide pools exposed at low      harbor and gray seals can be
                                                  tide.                              seen in the water and on the
                                                     The water is still warm from    rocky shores. They are curious

                                                  the summer season and noth-        creatures; their heads bob up
                                                  ing finishes the day better than   and down in the gentle waves
                                                  a dip in the ocean. With the       as they watch visitors on the
                                                  water clean and clear, one can     shore.
                                                  see the bottom and the designs        Along with the seals are a

                                    17 miles of   the water has created in the
                                                     Due to the warming effects
                                                                                     variety of wintering seabirds
                                                                                     gathered in rafts in the pond.
                                                                                     species include mergansers,

                                     sandy fun    of the ocean, spring on the
                                                  Island is filled with days of
                                                  above-average temperatures
                                                                                     loons, buffleheads, grebes,
                                                                                     goldeneyes and eiders. a
                                                                                     coastal walk at the north end of
                                                  even during april school           the Island, at the Block Island
                                                  vacations and Easter weekend.      Wildlife refuge, in the fall
                                                  spring is a great time to plan     finds waterbirds seeking refuge
                                                  the first of many family days at   in sachem pond and the pro-
                                                  the beach. shoes can be dis-       tective waters of Cow Cove.
                                                  carded upon arrival; the sand         so check the boat schedule
                                                  is typically warm to bare feet,    and come to the Island. Then
                                                  especially the iron-rich sand      check the wind direction and
                                                  found along the toe of many        the tide chart and choose any
                                                  of the Island’s dunes. retreat-    of the beaches surrounding
                                                  ing tides and long-gone winter     the Island, all accessible to the
                                                  storms uncover a plethora of       public. dress in layers, and
                                                  treasures, including hard-to-      bring a change of clothes as the
                                                  find sand dollars.                 kids always end up in the tide
                                                     Kids, with nothing but their    pools.
                                                  imaginations and the sheer joy
                                                  of a warm spring day outdoors,     Corrie heinz
                                                  can run and expend energy          President
                                                  and play in the gentle waves       Committee for the Great Salt Pond
                                                  along crescent Beach or in the
                                                  tide pools of mohegan Bluffs.
                                                  Grownups can walk leisurely

                 10 Close To Home, A World Away                                             
                                             The majestic Mohegan Bluffs on
                                             the southeast side of the Island
                                             are one of the Island’s enduring
                                             vistas. You’ll find Block Island
                                             beaches provide plenty of oppor-
                                             tunities for relaxing, swimming,
                DiD you KNoW?
                                             fishing or simple sightseeing.
       The original Native American name
       for Block Island is “Manisses,”
                                             Photo by Michael Melford
       meaning “Island of the Little God.”
       Later, Dutch explorer Adrian Block
       saw these shores and the island was
       named for him.                                                 Close To Home, A World Away 11
       BloCK iSlAND BEACHES                                                yards of rocky and sandy terrain. The surf here can be quite
                                                                           rough, and rocks line the shallows, so swimmers should
       1. Cow Cove is a rocky beach by Settlers rock. This area            exercise caution. The sand on this south-shore beach can be
       offers majestic views of the mainland coast and nearby north        patchy, depending on previous weather conditions, but typi-
       light. This is not a place for swimming because of a strong         cally you’ll find some deep sands. hike westward and you’ll
       riptide; and the beach is used as a nesting area by many rare       feel like you’ve discovered a rocky paradise.
       birds.                                                              9. Black Rock is a gorgeous setting. There are beaches and
       2. Mansion Beach is at the end of a dirt road with the same         a series of coves at the base of the cliffs. Sandy stretches are
       name. The island’s biggest home once sat like a jewel on a hill     hard to find and swimming is difficult. This area is named after
       overlooking Jerry’s Point. Fire destroyed the home, and it was      a large, dark rock in about 15 feet of water that has been the
       not rebuilt. however, the beach fits its name by being block        demise of many ships. You’ll want to walk or bike there.
       island’s grandest.                                                  10. Mosquito Beach, or “dinghy beach,” across from
       3. Scotch Beach is a quarter mile north of Fred benson              Scotch beach provides a place for boaters in new harbor to
       Town beach and part of Crescent beach. Scotch is a sandbox          leave their dinghies or rafts. The spot off Corn neck road also
       for big kids, the favorite beach of the island summer workers.      offers majestic views of the Great Salt Pond and a perfect
       For those who enjoy a hotly contested game of volleyball,           photo backdrop.
       this is the place to go to challenge the locals. There is a small   11. Andy’s Way is at the end of a dirt road bearing the same
       parking lot just west of the beach.                                 name. The beach on the Great Salt Pond provides a place to
       4. Fred Benson Town Beach is home to block island’s                 pull up a dinghy or take a stroll. To the north is beane Point, a
       fully equipped bathhouse. once called State beach, it is now        u.S. Fish and Wildlife property that many rare birds call home.
       operated by the town. Town beach is staffed with lifeguards         Andy’s Way is also the premier clamming spot on the island.
       in summer and the pavilion offers showers, lockers, food and        12. West Beach presents a truly different experience. The
       rental items. it is a segment of a beach known collectively as      beach here is lightly trafficked, has gentle surf and offers
       Crescent beach.                                                     perhaps the island’s best beach walk. To the north is an un-
       5. Baby Beach, though not its official name, is a well-shel-        developed stretch backed by dunes that leads the way to the
       tered beachfront at the south end of Crescent beach where           north light.
       children can play in shallow waters, catch small crabs, find        13. Coast Guard Beach at the end of Champlin road re-
       mussels, wrestle with seaweed and maybe find a sand dollar          ceives its name from the nearby former Coast Guard Station.
       or starfish. Adults can wade out for a swim in deeper waters.       not a location for swimming, the beach is a favorite of families
       its location close to town may be the primary reason that so        clamming, fishermen looking to hook fish and boat lovers
       many adults bring their little ones here in summer.                 watching the sailboats and yachts pull into new harbor.
       6. Ballard’s Beach is the other beach staffed with life-            14. Charlestown Beach is a popular beach with the fisher-
       guards in the summer. This deep-sand beach, located on the          men, especially along the jetty at its north end. For beachgo-
       south side of the old harbor breakwater and behind ballard’s        ers, the jetty is a challenging walk. The beach is typically
       restaurant, is a popular choice for volleyball, swimming and        uncrowded and peaceful. From here you can watch sail and
       sunbathing.                                                         power boats enter new harbor, and view the grounds of the
       7. Mohegan Bluffs beachfront can be found at the foot of            former Coast Guard Station, which is now town-owned.
       the steps that descend from the Mohegan bluffs. The beach is        15a. Grace’s, 15b. Dorry’s and 15c. Cooneymus
       a favorite of surfers.                                              Coves are secluded beaches on the west side of the island.
       8. Vaill Beach is a large beach at the bottom of a hollow.          They are all great places for a nap or sunset gazing. The water
       You’ll find the path to the beach at the bend in Snake hole         is usually calm, and hikes in either direction from each of
       road. At the base of the trail, turn left; Vaill begins past 50     them are challenging.

12 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                    
                                                        DiD you KNoW?

                                               In the spring hundreds of endangered
                                               piping plovers stop on the shores of Block
                                               Island as they make their way north. Block
                                               Island provides not only a welcome rest
                                               stop, but a safe haven for these
                                               shorebirds with their
                                               distinct yellow
                                               legs and their
                                               short orange bill. For more
                                               information on the Island’s diverse
                                               bird population turn to page 17.





                                                           14                              4


Running for the Spray                          15c

one of the many marked trails that provide
access to the clear waters of the Atlantic
while protecting the island’s natural dunes.                                                           7
Photo by Michael Melford                                            9                                                           Close To Home, A World Away 13
           DiD you KNoW?

  In the fall, the Block
  Island Gardeners plant
  daffodil bulbs around the
  Island. In the spring, thousands
  of daffodils bloom and create a
  sea of yellow and white for all
  to enjoy.

Steps to Nature
The staircase leading down the Mohegan
bluffs to the beach below.
Photo by Michael Melford

14 Close To Home, A World Away 
                                 A NATURAL
                            With 43 percent of the Island preserved forever as open space,
                            it’s no surprise that organizations from around the world have
                            recognized Block Island’s natural wonders as some of the most
                            beautiful and prestigious in the hemisphere. But don’t take our
                                      word for it. Come visit and you’ll be amazed.

                                  He naTural World on                 natural world is all around you.
                                  Block Island is unique                 Block Island is easy to explore
                                  on the east coast. While this       with 28 miles of walking trails that
                          Island is small, only about 6,000 acres,    lead throughout the Island, allowing
                          a lot is packed into this area. There       everyone to enjoy the many differ-
                          is an incredible diversity of birds, in-    ent habitats found here. These trails,
                          sects, plants, sea life and habitats that   combined with
                          can all be found coexisting.                the public roads
                             Block Island is also in the flight       and the beaches,
                          path of many migratory songbirds            provide unprec-
                          making their first trip south in the        edented access
                          fall. Birding in the fall is one of my      to much of the
                          favorite things to do because you           Island.
                          never know what will show up. I have           I have spent
                          birded all over the world and, for my       many years
                          money, there is no place more fun to        observing the
                          bird-watch than Block Island in the         natural world on Block Island, and
                          fall.                                       continue to see and learn new things
                             This is especially true when a           every day. one of the greatest things
                          northwest wind blows and the birds          about living or spending time on
                          “fallout” on the Island. In addition        this Island is how connected you feel
                          to the songbirds, it is always exciting     to the world around you. It is only
                          to locate migrating raptors like the        through experiencing the nature of
                          peregrine falcon, merlin and cooper’s       Block Island that you can tap into the
                          hawk soaring over the Island looking        true essence of this amazing place.
                          for a quick meal.
                             In the winter, the marine mammal         Scott Comings
                          displays are spectacular. you can ob-       Director
                          serve seals sitting on the rocks, watch     Block Island Program
                          harbor porpoises jumping out of the         The Nature Conservancy
                          water from the ferry; and maybe even
                          spot whales spouting off the south
                          side of the Island. It never gets old to
                          see these wonderful creatures make
                          their presence known.
                             In the spring, the diversity of life
                          on the Island awakens from its winter
                          slumber. you can hear the deafening
                          call of the spring peeper, watch the
                          mating ritual of the American wood-
                          cock and see plants starting to leaf
                          out and bloom. No matter where you
                          are on Block Island in the spring, the                                                               Close To Home, A World Away 15
                                                                                                                               Photo by Michael Melford

       Block Island’s
       wonders will
        inspire, awe
        and intrigue

                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo by Chris Barrett
Clay Head Nature Trail is                                     wild and beautiful cleft in the
reached via a dirt road leading                               rolling terrain left from a melt-
off corn neck road, across                                    ing glacier. The hollow is the
from a yellow Victorian house,                                haunt of hawks, white-tailed
just two miles north of the                                   deer and several rare species
town beach pavilion. A para-                                  of wildflowers. In the 1960s,
dise for walkers, Clay Head                                   developers bought it and
Trail leads to the northeastern                               proposed building a dozen
shore of the Island and me-                                   houses on the slopes. This so
anders along the scenic bluffs                                alarmed Island residents that
of clay Head for more than a                                  they formed the Block Island
mile until it reaches settlers                                Conservancy, with the late           schooner, struck Black rock           at the beach are sometimes
rock. Branching off the main                                  Captain Rob Lewis as their           on march 1, 1914. The timber          dangerous.
trail are several other trails,                               leader, and raised enough            from the ship strewn on the           Abrams’ Animal Farm has
which have given the area the                                 money to buy it back so that         beach was salvaged and used           a diverse collection of exotic
nickname “the Maze.” One                                      it could be forever wild. Walk-      to build a barn on Lewis Farm         and domestic animals main-
such trail leads directly to the                              ing trails lead to Black rock        and the original electric plant.      tained by Justin abrams and
beach north of Jerry’s point                                  Beach.                               Mohegan Bluffs, to the west           family, owners of the 1661
where you can still see rem-                                  Black Rock, which gives the          of the southeast lighthouse,          Inn and Hotel manisses. The
nants of the glacial formation                                area its name, is a popular          provide a magnificent view            small farm between Spring
called “pots & kettles.”                                      surfing and fishing spot.            of the southern coast and its         and High streets is home to
Rodman’s Hollow, named af-                                    located in about 15 feet of          high cliffs, with Montauk, N.Y.       camels, llamas, emus, sheep,
ter an early Island doctor, is a                              water, about 150 feet offshore,      often visible 20 miles away. At       donkeys, goats, swans and
                                                              the rock itself is only visible in   Payne Overlook, you’ll find a         ducks. Visitors can view and
                                   Photo by Michael Melford

                                                              extreme low tide. When swells        wooden stairway that was built        pet the animals. Here you’ll
                                                              expose the rock, it is said to       with funding from the Rhode           also see the Hotel manisses’
                                                              resemble a huge black whale.         Island department of envi-            extensive garden. open to the
                                                              Today, waters around Black           ronmental management. It is a         public from dawn to dusk.
                                                              rock attract striped bass and        difficult climb, and the footing      Ocean View Pavilion is a place
                                                              bluefish, but in years past,         at the bottom is extremely            for rest and reflection with
                                                              ships were known to meet             challenging, but the climb is         wonderful views. The Ocean
                                                              their doom here. The Jacob           worth it. Be careful though,          View Foundation is a nonprof-
                                                              S. Winslow, a four-masted            since swimming conditions             it organization that secured

16 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                                                  
                                                                Photo by Russell Waldron

this old Harbor plot for the enjoyment of the public.              BirDiNg TAKES FligHT
The largest hotel on the Island, the Ocean View, once
stood on this site until fire destroyed it in the summer of
1966. The pavilion is dedicated to the concept of expand-
ing the public’s awareness of environmental issues. Visi-
                                                                  D     uring the spring and fall migration, thousands of birds pass over
                                                                        Block Island, making the Island a sort of superhighway for bird
                                                                   travel. Spend a few hours here and you’re likely to see numerous bird
tors must walk in from Water Street across from the ferry          species. Spend a few days and you’ll see dozens of birds ranging from
parking lot and just to the left of the post office building.      prairie warblers to great crested flycatchers to Baltimore orioles. Spend
The site is open from dawn to dusk.                                enough time here and you could see all 300 species that frequent the
The Greenway is a web of trails that connects stretches            Island at one point or another during the year.
of natural habitat and wonderful Island scenery. The                  A favorite locale for amateur bird-watchers and professional ornithol-
enchanted Forest, Turnip Farm, the site of the old mill,           ogists, Block Island offers a varied landscape that attracts songbirds,
Dodge Cemetery and Rodman’s Hollow are only some of                shorebirds and raptors. Young birds blown off course during the fall
the historic and natural features that can be explored on          migration south find shelter in the Island’s brush. In the spring, many
this walker’s escape from the hustle and bustle of town.           return sporting their best plumage in an attempt to impress the females
No vehicles, including bikes, are allowed on the trails.           before mating season begins in the summer.
The trail network was created in an effort to protect                 And because of the diverse environment, it’s possible to see a
broad tracts of natural habitat, essential to some species,        sandpiper by Andy’s Way and a few minutes later a red-tailed hawk in a
and to provide a low-impact opportunity for those who              nearby grassland. Each fall the Audubon Society sponsors a bird-watch-
admire the Island’s open space. please be sure to stay on          ing conference on the Island, and throughout the year the Ocean View
the pathways, as some of the corridors run through the             Foundation and The Nature Conservancy offer bird-banding demonstra-
private lands of owners who were kind enough to offer              tions.
easements for the trails. The nature conservancy, at (401)            The Block Island School is home to the Elizabeth Dickens Bird Col-
466-2129, offers a detailed map of the Greenway as well            lection that spans 43 years and contains 172 mounted specimens. In
as a new Nature Guide.                                             the early half of the 20th century, Island resident Dickens became the
The Nature Conservancy, on High street, provides a                 foremost expert on the Island’s birds. Today she is remembered for her
wealth of information about the Island’s wildlife and              journals documenting the Island’s birds, and is lovingly referred to as
plants. The nonprofit organization leads nature walks              the “Bird Lady of Block Island.”
and offers trail maps and bird checklists. staff can an-              Other notable ornithologists that have used Block Island as a study
swer questions about wildlife seen during your visit and           lab include Ken Able, a New York University at Albany professor
point you in the right direction to find it. The organiza-         considered an expert on the behavioral mechanisms and ecology of
tion also plays a key role in the effort to preserve the           bird migration. Also dropping in were University of Southern Mississippi
Island’s natural wonders for the enjoyment of the public.          ornithology professor Frank Moore and Brown University professor Jeff
                                                                   Parrish.                                                                                            Close To Home, A World Away 17
                                                                                  Few places on the East
                                                                               coast offer a safe haven
                                                                               13 miles out to sea. Few
                                                                               places provide almost 100

                                                                               public moorings, more
                                                                               than 75 acres of anchor-
                                                                               age and a recreation area
                                                                               for boaters. and no matter

                                           a boating and                       where boaters pull in,
                                                                               they find nearby shops,
                                                                               beaches and crystal-clear

                                         fishing paradise                      water. Visitors also love
                                                                               the relaxed atmosphere,
                                                                               where they can kick back
                                                                               and enjoy life.
                                                 I alWays Tell people             Boaters can choose to
                                                 that Block Island is the      unwind on their boats and
                                                 best place in the world.      watch the sun set over the
                                                 and, as its harbormaster,     Great Salt Pond, explore
                                                 I have one of the best        and enjoy the Island, or
                                                 jobs. I spend every day of    go fishing, swimming, or
                                                 the summer on the water       clamming. With the Block
                                                 meeting boaters from          Island Sound to the west
                                                 around the world, all en-     and the atlantic ocean to
                                                 joying this rare gem called   the east and south, Block
                                                 Block Island.                 Island is the epicenter of

Boats in the Harbor
boats from around the world moor in
new harbor. The harbor provides public
moorings and anchorage space for
thousands of boaters a year.
Photo by Michael Melford

18 Close To Home, A World Away                                                 
the best fishing in New        firmer ground, shore            and sailing.
England. Offshore fishing      access is unrestricted            As winter arrives and
opportunities for tuna and     around the entire Island,       boating and fishing draw
shark are close by. The        thus offering unlimited lo-     to a close for the season,
Island hosts the Tri-state     cations for surfcasters. It’s   our visiting boaters head
canyon shootout, a pre-        easy to find a spot without     to warmer waters and lo-
mier offshore invitational     the shoulder-to-shoulder        cal boats are pulled from
fishing tournament held        crowds that invade most         the water. The harbor-
out of New Harbor each         popular fishing destina-        master’s office closes up
august.                        tions.                          and the fishing poles are
   Record-sized striped           during the spring and        stored as we bid farewell
bass are caught in the         fall the public shores          to yet another fantastic
surrounding waters every       become essentially private      season.
year. The rhode Island         fishing outposts where            This is a bittersweet
state record striped bass      you can catch striped bass,     time, but I know the boats
of 75 pounds, 4 ounces         bluefish, fluke and bonito.     will be returning in the
was caught one mile off           also on the Island are       spring, there will be more
the Island just this past      clam flats in New Harbor        people to meet, more fish
year. The previous record      offering acres of clamming      to be caught, and more
of 70 pounds was also          for visitors and residents      fun to be had.
caught from our beaches.       alike. The inner ponds
of course, even those that     provide great sheltered         Capt. Christopher Willi
don’t set a record return      kayaking waters as well         Harbormaster
to the docks with record-      as areas for kiteboarding,
sized smiles on their faces.   swimming, windsurfing,
   For those looking for       wakeboarding, waterskiing                                                                     Close To Home, A World Away 19
   Boating offers a unique way of enjoying
the many splendors that the Island has to
offer. Private boats are welcome in either of
the Island’s harbors, both of which provide
public moorings as well as private marinas.
Launch service is available during the sum-
mer months, and there are bathroom facili-
ties and restaurants at all marinas.
   Don’t have your own boat? No problem.
Numerous private charters are available,
whether you are looking to depart on a
private fishing charter or a sunset cruise.
Charter captains are happy to teach the
beginner angler the finer points of fishing or
to point out sights on a romantic trip around
                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Malcolm Greenaway
the Block.
   More of a do-it-yourselfer? The Block                                   Ballard’s Marina                                                           Public Moorings and Anchorage
Island Maritime Institute or the Block Island                               (401) 466-2231 (summer)                                                   (401) 466-3204
Club offer sailing lessons and rentals, and                                 (401) 334-1997 (winter)                                                   VHF Channel 12 (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
there are a couple of kayak rental business-                                VHF Channel 13                                                            Boat Basin
es. Explore the Island’s inner ponds at your                                                                                                          (401) 466-2631
leisure or take a guided tour and see the                                  New Harbor                                                                 VHF Channel 9
Island from a whole new perspective.                                          New Harbor is the first stop for Island visi-                           Champlin’s Marina
                                                                           tors arriving on the Montauk ferry and is the                              (401) 466-7777 or (800) 762-4541
Old Harbor                                                                 docking and anchoring spot for most private                                VHF Channel 68
   Old Harbor is a year-round docking desti-                               boaters. Docks, marinas and anchoring                                      Payne’s Dock
nation for ferries coming from Point Judith,                               services await boats in the southwest corner                               (401) 466-5572
and accommodates seasonal Newport and                                      of New Harbor, as well as shops, restaurants                               Block Island Maritime Institute
New London ferries as well. Nestled within                                 and hotel accommodations. Free pumpout                                     (401) 466-7938
the bustling downtown, the harbor provides                                 service is provided by the town.                                           (sailboat rentals and lessons)
easy access to the Island’s hotels, restau-                                   New Harbor was, in fact, the site of
                                                                                                                              Photo by Gillian Lang

rants and retail shops. The town provides                                  the Island’s first protected harbor, but the
free pumpout service as well.                                              expense of keeping a breachway open be-
   Once known as Government Harbor                                         tween the Great Salt Pond and Block Island
since funds to construct it were solicited                                 Sound caused it to be abandoned in 1705. A
from the federal government, Old Harbor                                    new breach was cut and a breakwater was
was completed in 1872. In addition to public                               constructed to establish a permanent access
anchorage and the town dock, private marina                                point in 1896. More than 100 years later,
services are also offered by Ballard’s Marina.                             boaters can pull into full-service marinas or
Many private charter boats leave from here                                 sit on the dock sipping their favorite cocktails
as well.                                                                   as the sun sets over the Great Salt Pond.
Public Anchorage and Town Dock                                                Kayak and sailboat rentals are also avail-
   (401) 466-3235                                                          able at various locations on the Great Salt
   VHF Channel 12 (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)                                       Pond.

       Block Island Harbors Department
         Office Telephone: (401) 466-3204
         Old Harbor Dock: (401) 466-3235
            Summer Hours: 8AM - 7PM
             Winter Hours: 9AM - 2PM
           VHF Radio: Ch12 7AM - 9PM
             9PM - 7AM - Emergency Only
            Pumpout: Ch72 (Old Harbor)
                                                 Photo by Celeste Sloman

                Ch73 (New Harbor)

20 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                                                                    
                          ON BLOCK
                           What you’ll catch
                          from may through
                               Block Island has long held the reputation as a
                           sportfishing mecca, offering great angling spring,
                           summer and fall. Located 13 miles out in the Atlantic,
                           there is no limit to the fishing opportunities for the
                           surfcaster, inshore or deep-sea enthusiast.
                               As spring approaches, striped bass appear in the
                           shallows around the Island, and the games begin. In
                           summer 2008 a record striped bass — 75.4 pounds
                           — was caught just off the Island’s south side. It re-
                           placed the previous state record of 70 pounds caught
                           24 years before from a Block Island beach.
                               Also found in abundance close to Block Island
                           shores are bluefish, tautog and black sea bass. The
                           channel into New Harbor is a prime fishing ground
                           for flounder, fluke and scup, as well as weakfish.
                               The Island boasts a professional charter-fishing
                           fleet to take clients to the action, which could include
                           fly-fishing or deep-sea trolling. Apart from the species
                           mentioned, you might also hook into bonito, yellow
                           fin tuna, mahi-mahi or even a shark.
                               There are two tackle shops on the Island as well,
                           which have all the supplies and local knowledge a
                           visitor could need to reel in the best of Block Island’s
                           fishing.                                      Close To Home, A World Away 21
A Winter Wonderland                                                Photos by Keith Lang

   Even winter on Block Island has a serenity and beauty that
is quintessential New England. Spend your days snowshoeing,
ice boating or hiking. Rent a summer cottage at a reduced rate,
stock up on firewood and books, and enjoy a peaceful evening in
a traditional Island home.
   A few hotels and bed-and-breakfasts cater to year-round cus-
tomers and there are a limited number of dining options for win-
tertime visitors.

       Come Home To
       Block Island
                                                                                             Real Estate Sales and Service
                                                                                          Whether you are looking to purchase that special Island
                                                                                          property or planning a relaxing vacation, Ballard Hall Real
                                                                                          Estate is on-island year round to assist you. Browse our
                                                                                          property listings and connect with one of our agents for
                                                                                          buyer or seller representation.
                                                                                          When it comes to a Block Island house rental choose from
                                                                                          over 100 homes, cottages and condos ranging from one to
                                                                                          seven bedrooms. Make your selection at our new website
                                                                                          featuring interior photos, pricing and weekly availability.
                                                                                          Call for reservations.
                                                                                                      Gail P. Ballard Hall, Principal Broker
                                                                                                   Corner of Ocean Ave. and Corn Neck Road

22 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                            Photos by Celeste Sloman
    There’s something
    for everyone
       THE BLOCK ISLAND SHOPPING BuG bit me                          for my family and friends. I love the feeling of know-
       early. as a young girl summering here, I took the             ing that I’m giving a present that will stand out and
       money I earned working at my parents’ take-out and            also won’t break the bank. Besides the bargains there
       ran down the street to the candy store with my eye on         are no lines at the checkout, you don’t need to find
                                      securing a roll of candy       parking, and the shop owners give free hot cider to
                                      dots. I have to acknowl-       warm you up. It’s a totally stress-free
   As a visitor to Block              edge that I still hold a       shopping experience.
   Island, the best way to            soft spot for these little        during the rest of the year I love be-
   enjoy shopping is as               pieces of sugar.               ing able to walk the historic downtown
   a complement to the                  Today, though, my            area without the need of a car or taxi.
   Island’s other wonders.            shopping horizons              The shops are just steps away from the
   The shops can provide              have expanded, and the         ferry docks in old Harbor, putting them
   the needed gear for your           roughly 50 Island shops        within easy reach of visitors as well as
   hike on the Greenway               offering everything            residents like me. The variety of goods
   trails or your dive to             from T-shirts to jewelry       that can be found in this small area is
   shipwrecks off the coast.          quench my thirst. one          amazing, and I can always find the perfect gift.
                                      of the facets of life I love      As a visitor to Block Island, the best way to enjoy
                                      here is the absence of         shopping is as a complement to the Island’s other
       chain stores with their generic product lines and idle        wonders. The shops can provide the needed gear
       sales clerks.                                                 for your hike on the Greenway trails or your dive to
          On Block Island, shop owners take great pains to           shipwrecks off the coast. Need sunglasses or a fishing
       hand-select their products and offer one-of-a-kind            pole? Want to rent a surfboard or kayak? Forget your
       gifts and novelties. They take great pride in their stores    bathing suit or board shorts? not a problem. The
       and more often than not, you will find that the clerk         shops here have everything you might need to help
       behind the register is actually the owner. The major-         fulfill the perfect vacation.
       ity of these “mom-and-pop” stores went into busi-                and before you leave, stop by one of the candy
       ness years ago and have spent those years perfecting          stores to indulge yourself. you may even see me pick-
       everything from their display cases to their prices. our      ing up some candy dots.
       honey and jam makers continually improve their of-
       ferings, and new-style flip-flops arrive every year.          Jessica K. Willi
          My new candy these days, though, are Vera Bradley          Executive Director
       handbags and Block Island-themed gifts for friends            Block Island Tourism Council
       on the mainland. each year during the christmas
       Stroll in November, I find bargain prices on presents                                                                                    Close To Home, A World Away 23
                                                                                                              Photo by Chris Barrett
Block Island offers a            For Her
                                    Among the various shops on
                                                                     and rings. A variety of Island
                                                                     artists offer paintings, photo-

great place to pick up
                                 the Island are fabulous opportu-    graphs and one-of-a-kind art
                                 nities to impress your sweet-       displays that will brighten her
                                 heart. No matter what her style     office and make for a great
that perfect gift for her,       is, you will find something here
                                 that she will cherish forever.
                                                                     conversation piece. If the love
                                                                     of your life is inclined to go

him, children, or friends           Some of the most popular
                                 items include chocolates,
                                                                     green and support local farmers
                                                                     and artisans, consider some of

and family members.              jewelry, art, hand-made pottery
                                 and knitting, local preserves
                                                                     the handmade blankets, knitting
                                                                     items and local preserves.
                                 and unique handbags. Among
Whether it is shopping           the Island delicacies that can
                                 be caught on land are hand-
                                                                     For Him
                                                                        Block Island’s stores also of-
in town, at the twice-           dipped chocolate turtles (not
                                 yet endangered, although so
                                                                     fer a wide range of goods that
                                                                     are the perfect complement to

weekly Farmers Market,           delicious they are sometimes in
                                 short supply) and fudge. There
                                                                     his vacation. Pick up a Block
                                                                     Island tie, belt or T-shirt for a

Arts & Craft Guild fairs
                                 are numerous jewelry stores,        night out on the town. If a quiet
                                 galleries, and other shops          afternoon of fishing is more his
                                 where you can find that special     style, then you can find rods,
or christmas stroll              keepsake that will allow her to
                                 always remember your unfor-
                                                                     bait and tackle at the Island
                                                                     stores. Want to while away

(immediately following           gettable Island getaway.
                                    Depending on her taste, you
                                                                     your afternoon on the beach?
                                                                     Pick up a book about the Is-

Thanksgiving), you can
                                 can find something elegant,         land; from history to trivia, there
                                 like pearls, diamonds, or other     is something for everyone.
                                 precious gems, or something
find that unique gift.           a bit more funky with flair, like
                                 sea-glass bracelets, earrings

24 Close To Home, A World Away                                            
                                                                                                                                 Photo by Celeste Sloman
                                                                       Photo by Chris Barrett

For Family & Friends                and family to some of New                                                                    Photo by Michael Melford
   If your family and friends       England’s best fish dishes, and
enjoy being together, consider      enjoy the pristine beaches and
planning a trip to Block Island     nature trails. Make that special
for that perfect birthday, an-      day memorable!
niversary or holiday. Step into a      If your friends can’t come
more leisurely pace, and relax      with you, consider bringing
and enjoy the things that are       them back a Block Island mug,
often forgotten during your         a piece of original artwork or a
hectic life.                        comic Island T-shirt. The shops
   There are a variety of ways      here are the perfect place to
for groups and families to enjoy    pick up a stocking stuffer or
the Island together. You might      birthday present. There are
stay at one of the Island’s         also great seasonal deals in all
Victorian hotels, rent a house      of the Island shops.
for the weekend or week, or
come over for a day trip. Once
on the Island, treat your friends                                                                         Close To Home, A World Away 25
     History around every corner

               DiD you KNoW?

      The Island’s Historical
      Society contains more than
      2,000 items chronicling
      the Island’s rich history. The
      society’s museum is open
      regularly during the summer
      and by appointment during
      the rest of the year.

     Lighting the Way
     The 135-year old Southeast lighthouse,
     an iconic landmark, was moved 250 feet
     to save it from tumbling over the eroding
     Photo by Michael Melford

26 Close To Home, A World Away         
                          MY LOVE OF BLOCK ISLAND               memories it holds.
                          HIsTory stems from my fam-               some of the most important
                          ily’s heritage that dates back to     memories are of the people
                          1661 when the first European          that lived here. In an age when
                          settlers arrived here at settlers     children turn to Hollywood for
                          Rock. Twenty years with the           heroes, those who visit Block
                          Historical society has given me a     Island can learn of Fred Benson.
                          unique insight into the wide and      This beloved schoolteacher, fish-
                          important role history plays on       erman and mechanic won the
                          this Island.                          lottery and threw a family picnic
                             experiencing history here          for the town. He contributed the
                          is like taking a journey back in      rest of his winnings to a scholar-
                          time. It’s a journey that leads us,   ship fund.
                          not just as Block Islanders but          or there’s the story of nicho-
                          as people, to understand how we       las Ball, who sailed around the
                          arrived where we are today. The       world at age 14, then to Califor-
                          historic structures here are more     nia during the Gold Rush and
                          than brick and mortar; they are       returned a millionaire. He per-
                          the keys to unlocking the history     suaded the federal government
                          of this great place that started      to build the breakwater at Old
                          as a modest fishing and farming       Harbor that turned the island
                          outpost and grew into a vibrant       from an isolated community into
                          community.                            a place very much connected to
                             like your grandmother’s attic,     the mainland.
                          these structures provide hours of        And it never ceases to amaze
                          education, curiosity, satisfaction    me how deep that connection
                          and just plain fun. climb the         runs. I have met visitors in the
                          steps of one of the two light-        museum and discovered we
                          houses and imagine a lifesaving       have common ancestors. I have
                          boat rowing to the rescue of a        assisted dozens, if not hundreds,
                          sinking ship. Visit the Historical    of people on a quest to complete
                          Society and view Native Ameri-        their family trees. I have held
                          can artifacts from before the         postcards and letters sent half-
                          European settlement; admire the       way around the world to Block
                          clothing worn by women of the         Island residents. and I have
                          colonial and Victorian eras; or       uncovered stories that you need
                          be amazed by the intricate quilt      to see to believe.
                          work of the Island’s home-               so if you’ve been here in the
                          makers. Hike the nature trails        past, you’re sure to find a piece
                          through farmland and imagine a        of history you missed. If this is
                          farmer rounding up his sheep.         your first visit, then come and
                             We love history here so much       be a part of Block Island history.
                          that we moved a 2,000-ton brick       Who knows; some day a century
                          lighthouse 250 feet to save it        from now a historian could be
                          from eroding bluffs. We’ve            studying that postcard you sent
                          preserved the historic look of        home and wondering, what was
                          downtown, kept farmlands as           it like back then?
                          farms and historic homes his-
                          toric. We’ve sought grants, raised    Pam littlefield Gasner
                          private money and put in pure         Executive Director
                          sweat equity to maintain the          Block Island Historical Society
                          Island’s historic charm and the                                                            Close To Home, A World Away 27
The Southeast Lighthouse              swam ashore into the cove,
is perched 200 feet above sea         known thereafter as Cow Cove.
level on the magnificent Mo-          Bird-watching, fishing and sunset
hegan Bluffs. When lit in 1875,       gazing are favorite pastimes at
the lantern’s beams reached 21        this location.
miles out to sea — farther than       The Block Island Histori-
any lighthouse in New England.        cal Society Museum & Gift
When this National Historic           Shop is located at Bridgegate
Landmark was first constructed,       Square in the white mansard-roof
a large field separated the house     building with rocking chairs on
and tower from the cliff’s edge.      the porch. It was established in
By the late 1980s, the bluffs had     1942 to preserve the Island’s
eroded to within 60 feet of the       culture and farming and maritime
building. Funding was attained        past. The museum building, origi-
through federal, state and local      nally known as the Woonsocket
channels to move it to safe           House, was purchased in 1945,
grounds. The move took place          and houses an extensive col-
in August of 1993, and a large        lection of fine furniture, textiles,
stone now marks where the             quilts, boat models, tools, fishing
tower once stood. The grounds         gear, oral history tapes and other
are open daily from sunrise to        memorabilia. Group tours and
sunset. Guided tower tours are        genealogy research assistance          Photo by Keith Lang
available daily in the summer and     are available. For more informa-
on weekends in the spring and         tion call (401) 466-2481.
fall. For more information call       Isaac’s Corner, at the
(401) 466-5009.                       intersection of Center Road,
The North Light is the fourth         Lakeside Drive and Cooneymus
lighthouse built on Sandy Point.      Road, is named for Isaac Church,
The first, finished in 1829, was      the Island’s last surviving Native
washed away in a few years. A         Indian, who died in 1886. Nearby
second light began operation          (to the east of the four corners)
in 1837, but was not visible to       is an Indian burial ground where
ships due to the shifting sands.      the headstones (small field-
The government built a third          stones) are set closely together.
light near the end of the point in    Indian custom dictated burial of
                                                                             Photo by Michael Melford

1857, and that also succumbed         the dead in an upright position,
to the sea. At last, in 1867, the     with a pot of clams or oysters
present sturdy building of Con-       beside them to speed them on
necticut granite, hauled to the       their way to the next life. The
site by oxen, was completed.          town’s Heinz Recreation Playing
The lighthouse is located in the      Field, where summer camp
Sachem Pond Wildlife Refuge,          and sporting events are held, is
and is less than a half-mile walk     located just north of the corner.
from Settlers Rock.                   Parking is available on the grass.
Settlers Rock & Sachem                There are also Greenway trails
Pond are at the northern end of       that meander around Fresh
the Island. The stone memorial        Pond.
was erected in 1911 in com-           The Island Free Library may
memoration of the landing 250         not look big but it handles big
years earlier of the first European   business. About 116,000 people
settlers on Block Island. In April    passed through its doors last
1661, the families and animals of     fiscal year, checking out more
16 men who had purchased the          than 43,000 items from books to
Island for 400 pounds sterling        DVDs. The air-conditioned facil-
arrived by barque from the Mas-       ity provides public bathrooms,
sachusetts Bay Colony. Because        a place to escape the hot sun
the Island had no natural harbor,     and, of course, dozens of books
they were forced to leave their       detailing the Island’s history.
ship and wade ashore. The cows        Besides the usual books, the

28 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                
                                      Photo by Michael Melford
                                                                 T    He HIsTory oF Block
                                                                      Island extends beyond its
                                                                 sandy and rocky shores. Before the
                                                                 arrival of modern navigational aids
                                                                 (and even after it) countless ships
                                                                 — off-course due to fog, weather
                                                                 or human error — have met their
                                                                 untimely demise on the Island’s
                                                                 coastline. While some have be-
                                                                 come the stuff of legend, others
                                                                 continue to draw sport divers from
                                                                 around the east coast
                                                                    In 1738 the Princess Augusta
                                                                 caught fire and went down off
library contains copy machines,                                  Sandy Point. This wreck went on
computers, printers, free Wi-Fi, a                               to inspire John Greenleaf Whit-
parakeet, a cockatoo and some                                    tier’s poem “The Palatine,” which
fish.                                                            was published in Atlantic Monthly      Waves pound an old shipwreck off the southern
Smilin’ Through is a gambrel-                                    in 1867 and did not paint a flat-      coast of Block Island, just one of the many sur-
roofed cottage situated on Coon-                                 tering portrait of Islanders. In the   rounding the Island. Photo by Celeste Sloman
eymus Road, where composer                                       1800s, the Island historian, rev.
and poet Arthur Penn and his                                     livermore, dispelled the allega-
wife Nell resided in the 1920s.                                  tions in Whittier’s poem. In the       sene and gasoline. The crew was
Penn’s musical works include                                     centuries since, there have been       rescued and the ship was dynamit-
a song about the Block Island                                    numerous reports of a burning          ed to create less of a navigational
home, “Smilin’ Through.” The                                     “ghost ship” sighted in the area       hazard. The Lightburne remains
original cottage was built in the                                west of Sandy Point.                   a favorite spot for ocean divers to
1700s by John Alcock and was                                        In 1846 a ship carrying hard        this day.
rebuilt in the 1950s. The house                                  coal went aground in Cow Cove.            One of the Island’s most signifi-
sits on the edge of a sloping hill,                              This coal eventually replaced peat     cant wrecks of the last 100 years
which leads down to the waters                                   as the Island’s major fuel source.     occurred on May 6, 1945 — two
of Fresh Pond.                                                      In 1907 the steamer Larchmont       days before the German surrender.
The Statue of Rebecca                                            collided with a three-masted           a collier named Black Point was
stands formally in stark white at                                                       .
                                                                 schooner, the Harry P Knowl-           torpedoed as she left narragan-
the intersection of Water, High                                  ton. Island fishermen braved the       sett Bay, losing 12 men. a group
and Spring streets. Named after                                  horrific sub-zero conditions in        of American warships, assisted
the biblical Rebekah-at-the-well,                                an effort to pluck a few survivors     by blimps, converged on the area
the statue originally featured wa-                               from the icy water. These men          to find the culprit. Eventually
ter troughs for horses and dogs,                                 were awarded gold medals from          the armada located and sank the
and once had running water for                                   the carnegie Foundation for their      German u-boat u-853, sending
human consumption. Installed in                                  heroic deeds.                          it to the bottom with all 55 crew
1896 by the Women’s Christian                                       also in 1907, the Montana, a        members on board.
Temperance Union, the statue                                     schooner carrying coal, foundered         The wreck, lying in 130 feet of
is dedicated to abstinence from                                  just outside the entrance to the       water approximately seven miles
liquid spirits. The much-loved                                   Great Salt Pond and now lies 75        east of Block Island’s clay Head,
statue was recast and reinstalled                                feet underwater.                       has become a popular site for
to celebrate her 100th anniver-                                     In 1939, a 416-foot Texaco tank-    divers. It played a crucial role in
sary. The conservationists who                                   er, the Lightburne, went aground in    solving the mystery in the bestsell-
did the work concluded that the                                  front of the southeast lighthouse      ing book “Shadow Divers.”
woman is not Rebekah but rather                                  carrying 72,000 barrels of kero-
Hebe, cupbearer to the gods!                                                                                                                Close To Home, A World Away 29
30 Close To Home, A World Away
                          CREATIVE ISLE
                                                     art for all
                          ONE OF THE SEVERAL TIMES I                    anyone.
                          was wrangling with graduate school,              Then there are the
                          I was advised to “critically examine          many days I am out
                          the ramifications and implications of         for yet another Island
                          what it meant to be a ‘poet of place.’”       cruise, and I am wish-
                          naturally, I dropped out of the program       ing I was Malcolm
                          immediately and completed, instead, my        Greenaway with his
                          second collection, “This place Here,” in      camera, so that those
                          which I explored, instead, my lovely dog      who don’t have the
                          Eliot, my two beautiful children, Orrin       blessing of witnessing Rodman’s Hollow
                          and Millie, and their growing up in this      after a snowfall, or when the shad is in
                          extraordinary place with its sandpipers       full bloom, might know what the world
                          and the always-shifting tide.                 looks like in these coveted moments.
                             years later, I came across a line that     And then Malcolm will drive up, breath-
                          seemed relevant to both. It went some-        less, like me, with the desire to “get it”
                          thing like, “a place is not really entirely   and to get it right.
                          a place until some poet has come along           So really, then, we are all artists, aren’t
                          to properly name it.” It made me feel         we, because we all have this remarkable
                          important for a day or two, but somehow       gift for witnessing, for observing, and for
                          it echoed falsely. The more I thought         offering back some gratitude. one need
                          about it I realized that for me, I never      not paint or draw or sculpt or write to
                          really knew I was a poet until I’d found      be an artist. pulling over on the road to
                          this place, Block Island, which stirred       watch the surf roll back works. So does
                          my imagination and heart so fiercely I        braking for turtles. So does waking up
                          had no choice but to try to describe it       every morning, and looking out the win-
                          with the beauty and elegance and grainy       dow at whichever Island view it faces,
                          texture of language it deserved.              and saying, as one should, “look at this,
                             I would gather that many of our            just look at this.”
                          artists only dabbled in their various            one of these days I should call that
                          genres before finding their way to Block      graduate adviser and tell him I’ve been
                          Island and beginning to take their work       thinking about that “poet of place busi-
                          more seriously. And why? Because art,         ness.” I’ll tell him I’m still busy research-
                          whether it is a poem, a song, a painting,     ing the matter, but all signs indicate it’s a
                          a photograph or a sand castle, is a form      pretty fortuitous life to have been given
                          of prayer. I write poems as a way of say-     when one is a poet, and the place hap-
                          ing back to this gorgeous, pulsing place,     pens to be Block Island. even better, no
                          “yes, I am looking. yes I see.” or some-      advanced degree is required.
                          times, just “thank you.” I would imagine
                          it’s the same for my many artist friends.     lisa Starr
                             sometimes, things are just so stun-        Rhode Island Poet Laureate
                          ningly beautiful there is this need to        and Block Island Resident
                          try to hold onto them. I use words. My
                          friend Jessie Edwards uses pen and
                          ink, Sandra Swan the woodcut. Often
                          there are times when I see a color so
                          shocking it is almost an unworldly glow-
                          ing version of itself. That’s when I call
                          cindy kelly, and tell her to “please get to   left top: A visitor admires paintings at
                          Red Gate Farm before the light shifts,”       an Arts & Crafts Guild fair. left below:
                          because she knows how color and light         island artist leslie ulrich at her gallery.
                          and shadow dance together better than         Photos by Celeste Sloman                                                                         Close To Home, A World Away 31
The Art of Block island
   It’s perhaps no surprise that Block
Island — a work of natural art — at-
tracts and inspires artists of many stripes
working in many different types of media.
The Island’s inherent beauty — its rolling
green hills, spectacular cliff-top vistas
and foggy hollows surrounded by stone
walls — has for decades inspired paint-
ers, watercolorists, photographers and
sculptors alike to capture its otherworldly
   Not only is the Island itself a source
of inspiration, but the serenity inherent
in a secluded getaway 13 miles into the
Atlantic allows for quiet and reflection,
important ingredients in making art.
   The art and the effort to create it can
be seen all around.
   Like striped bass returning to the Island
in the spring, so artists appear as the
weather warms with their canvases and
palettes mounted in fields or on side-
walks, creating their work “en plein air.”
   From the frescoed Island scenes cre-
ated in the Highview Hotel basement by
H. D. Wetherbee in 1948 (in exchange
for rent and whiskey), to Malcolm
Greenaway’s image of the North Light
currently hanging in the U.S. ambas-
sador’s residence in Montenegro, Block
Island-inspired art has traveled the globe.
   Besides the Island’s art galleries (filled
almost exclusively with art created by Is-
land artists), there are a half-dozen shows
sponsored by the Island’s Arts & Crafts
Guild on the Historical Society lawn in the
   There are also the weekly “Capt.
Kidd” art classes for young children on
the Historical Society lawn, as well as
numerous art retreats that visit the Island
throughout the warmer months.
   And it’s not all just visual media: the
                                                               DiD you KNoW?
Block Island Poetry Project, the inspira-
tion of Island resident and Rhode Island             The work of Block Island
Poet Laureate Lisa Starr, has drawn                  artists has been featured
                                                     in U.S. embassies, national
world-class poets to the Island to conduct
                                                     art shows and government
workshops in the spring.                             buildings. Some say a
   So, if you want to bring an image of              photograph is worth a thousand
Block Island home with you that is more              words, but nothing beats
                                                     experiencing the beauty of Block
substantial than a postcard, you will find
                                                     Island in person.
ample keepsakes for purchase. Or, per-
haps you would prefer to set up your own
canvas or easel on a secluded stretch of
beach or next to a still pond, and create
your own Block Island art.

                                                Photo by Michael Melford

32 Close To Home, A World Away                                                
                                                                                                                                         Photo by Malcolm Greenaway
                                 The North Light on the Adriatic
                                    Greenaway photo adorns U.S. ambassador’s residence
                             Island photographers take good pictures.        ous to see what the reaction is when people
                          But don’t take our word for it.                    see it.”
                             The u.s. ambassador to montenegro                  Moore said Greenaway’s piece comple-
                          thought a photograph of the north light by         ments a New England theme for the exhibit,
                          island photographer Malcolm Greenaway was          and hangs prominently on the main floor
                          so perfect he asked the state department to        of his residence. He said he loves the colors
                          bring it halfway around the world to his of-       in the photograph and the uniqueness of
                          ficial residence.                                  the lighthouse. and he thought the photo
                             The photo, titled “dusk at north light,” is     was particularly relevant in the country that
                          part of a 10-piece exhibit hand-picked by am-      borders the adriatic sea and includes similar
                          bassador roderick W. moore, a rhode Island         coastlines and inner mountains as New Eng-
                          native who visited Block Island frequently         land does.
                          as a child. In summer 2007, he returned for           “Block Island is a place that I’ve always
                          a visit and admired the north light and the        loved as a rhode Islander,” moore said. “I al-
                          coastline. When Moore’s father, who lives in       ways try and get out to Block Island when I’m
                          East Greenwich, R.I., later saw Greenaway’s        there in the summer and this [photograph]
                          photo at a show, he thought of his son.            being a tribute to New England, it seemed
                             “I said see if you can talk to the artist and   like the perfect match.”
                          send me a jpeg,” moore said in a telephone            Greenaway now joins a growing list of well-
                          interview. “So he did and I saw it and I loved     known artists who have participated in the
                          it.”                                               art in embassies program established by the
                             Moore’s father contacted Greenaway and          State Department in 1964 as a way to comple-
                          pitched the idea of shipping the 2-by-3 foot       ment diplomacy by showing the diversity and
                          photo to a country Greenaway had never             quality of American artwork and culture. To-
                          heard of. Greenaway politely expressed inter-      day, artwork hangs in about 180 ambassador
                          est but never thought the call would amount        residences worldwide. And Greenaway is not
                          to anything more than an interesting tidbit to     the first Block Island artist to participate in
                          tell at parties.                                   the program. A piece by Jerry Powers of the
                             But moore contacted the state department        Spring Street Gallery once hung in Russia.
                          about its Art in Embassies program, which             moore said he’s just delighted the state de-
                          pays shipping and insurance costs for ambas-       partment program allows him to share scenes
                          sadors to hang loaned artwork in official resi-    from his roots with those in Montenegro.
                          dences. When the program contacted Green-             “I think it’s a wonderful way of showing our
                          away, he was more than happy to oblige.            hosts here in montenegro and other coun-
                             “It was something that was sort of neat and     tries around the world what American art is
                          a little different,” Greenaway said. “Just the     all about, and I love to show them what New
                          idea of Block Island hanging on a wall over        england art is all about,” he said.
                          there in europe is sort of funny, and I’m curi-                                                                                 Close To Home, A World Away 33
       FOR 2009
       W       hile every day on block is-
               land is a special day, there
       are several events and holidays
                                              Fourth, come for these other
                                              special events:
                                                Art festivals throughout the
                                                                                     Memorial Day, Labor Day,
                                                                                  Columbus Day and Veterans
                                                                                  Day weekends feature special
       that you won’t want to miss.           spring, summer and fall featuring   events and vacation packages.
          Join us for the annual Fourth       the works of local and nationally      The Christmas Shopping
       of July parade, fireworks and          known artists.                      Stroll follows Thanksgiving Day,
       steak fry. Celebrate American            Take part in the annual Triath-   and there’s no more tranquil place
       independence in a unique block         lon in August, the Shad Bloom       to spend New Year’s weekend.
       island style. Thrill to the home-      race in early May or the “15k       of course, truly hearty souls
       made floats that make our parade       Run Around the Block” in            should take part in the annual
       one of new England’s best; watch       September.                          Polar Bear Plunge.
       fireworks explode over the Atlan-        The Block Island Music               A full listing of events in 2009
       tic ocean from the porch of your       Festival is held in early June,     is available at www.blockisland-
       hotel or the comfort of a beach        where bands from around the block island represents
       blanket; and indulge in mixed          world “rock the block.”             365 days of fun. be sure to also
       drinks and fresh seafood at one of       For sailors, there’s the annual   join us for holidays and special
       our many island restaurants.           Block Island Race Week in           occasions.
          if you can’t make it for the        June.

Photo by Michael Melford                                                                                                               Photo by Kari McGarry

             34 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                     
Photo by Celeste Sloman                                                                         Photo by Celeste Sloman              Photo by Celeste Sloman
     1. North Light (Page 28)
1.   2. Settlers (Page 28)
     north lightRock (Page 28)
2.   3. Greenway (Page 28)
     Settlers rock Trails (Page 17)
3.   4. Mansion Beach (Page 12)
     Greenway Trails (Page 17)
4.   5. Andy’s Way (Page 12)
     Mansion beach(Page 12)                                                                                                          Ocean
                                                                                                                                                                                          eet                   Old

     6. Town Beach (Page
     Andy’s Way (Page 12) 12)

                                                                                                                                     Avenue                                            Str


5.                                                                                                                                                                                 e
     7. Montauk (Page 12)
     Town beachFerry Dock (Page 8)                                                                                                                                             odg                             Harbor

6.                                                                                                                                                                            D

     8. Charlestown Beach (Page
     Montauk Ferry Dock (Page 8) 12)                                                                                                                   23                              17

8.   9. Police Station
     Charlestown beach (Page 12)

     10. Rodman’s Hollow (Page 16)                                                                                                                                                                                18

                                                                                                                                                  wn Ro
9.   Police Station                                                                              1
     11. Smiln’ Through (Page 29)
10.   rodman’s hollow (Page 16)                                                                                         2                                                                                        19

                                                                                                                                              Old To
     12. Isaac’s Corner (Page 28)

11.   Smilin’ Through (Page 29)                                                                                                                                Chapel Street

     13. Black Rock (Page 16)

12.   isaac’s Corner (Page 28)                                                                                                                                                                                                    22
     14. Mohegan Bluffs (Page 16)

13.   black rock (Page 16)
     15. Southeast Lighthouse (Page 28)


14.   Mohegan Center
     16. Medicalbluffs (Page 16)

15.   Southeast lighthouse (Page 28)
     17. Island Free Library (Page 28)



16.   Medical Center
     18. Pt. Judith and New London Ferry Docks (Page 8)
17.                                                                                                                                           3
      island Free library
     19. Visitor Center (Page 28)
18.   Pt. Judith and new london 29)
     20. Statue of Rebecca (PageFerry Docks (Page 8)
19.  21. Abrams’ Animal Farm (Page 16)
      Visitor Center
20.   Statue Post Office
     22. U.S. of rebecca (Page 29)
21.   Abrams’ Animal Society (Page
     23. B.I. HistoricalFarm (Page 16) 28)
22. u.S. Post office
23. b.i. historical Society (Page 28)                                                                                                      4


                                   Si de R oa d                                                            ve.            n   Ave.
                                                                                                     c   hA
                          W e st


                                                            Center R

                                                                                 Block Island
                                                                                 State Airport

                                                                                                                                                                   g Street

                                           Cooneymus Road                                    12
                                                                                                                                                                 S p r in



                                                                                                                                   ega n Tr

                                                              13                                                                                                                                                                         Close To Home, A World Away 35
BloCK iSlAND Accommodations

                                   Photo by Michael Melford
   Cozy bed-and-breakfasts,                                                                                                         Council website (www.block-
elegant Victorian hotels, quaint                                                                                           to find Block
seaside cottages and sprawling                                                                                                      Island real estate agents who
beach houses. Block Island has                                                                                                      will assist you in finding an Is-
a variety of accommodations                                                                                                         land rental to house your family
to fit your personal taste and                                                                                                      in style and comfort. Also look
budget.                                                                                                                             for package deals, spa days,
   Our hotels and inns have                                                                                                         romantic getaways, restaurant
staff whose business is your                                                                                                        weeks and more!
comfort. You’ll be treated to                                                                                                          Can’t get away for a summer
personalized service, majestic                                                                                                      holiday? No problem. Many
views, impeccably designed                                                                                                          hotels, inns and houses are
rooms and delicious food at                                                                                                         available for rent at reduced
any in-town accommodations.                                   of town, a number of Island        to rent.                           rates during the spring and fall.
   If you are looking to get                                  homes, from the traditional to        A list of hotels and inns is    The perfect time for nature
away from the friendly bustle                                 the ultra-modern, are available    below. Log on to the Tourism       walks, birding and fishing.

B&Bs, Cottages and guest                                      Mason Hall Condo                   Harborside Inn                     Inn at Block Island
Houses                                                        (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254   (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254   (401) 466-5524 or (877) 324-4667
Appleyard Guest House                                         McCombe’s Guest House              Hotel Manisses                     Inn at Old Harbor
(401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254                              (401) 466-2684                     (401) 466-2421 or (800) 626-4773   (401) 466-2932
Center Road Apartments                                        Meadow View House                  Narragansett Inn                   Island Home
(401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254                              (401) 466-2034                     (401) 466-2626                     (401) 466-5944 or (888) 261-6118
Chapel Street Apartment                                       Mitchell Cottage                   National Hotel                     New Shoreham House
(401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254                              (401) 466-5053                     (401) 466-2901 or (800) 225-2449   (401) 466-2605 or (800) 825-6254
Crescent Beach Cottage                                        Neptune House Timeshare            Spring House                       Old Bakery Inn
(401) 466-2551                                                (401) 466-2100                     (401) 466-5844 or (800) 234-9263   (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254
Crescent Pond Cottage                                         Ocean Views B&B                                                       Old Town Inn
(401) 466-2033                                                (401) 466-2493                     Hotels                             (401) 466-5958
Dewey Cottage                                                 Payne’s Beach Avenue               (fewer than 20 rooms)              Payne’s Harborview Inn
(401) 466-2421                                                Apartments                         Anchor House                       (401) 466-5758
Dodge Cottage                                                 (401) 466-2834                     (401) 466-5021 or (800) 730-0181   Rose Farm Inn
(401) 466-2421 or (800) 626-4773                              Perry Cottage                      Ashley House                       (401) 466-2034
E&M B&B                                                       (401) 466-2342                     (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254   Sea Breeze Inn
(401) 466-5038                                                Suite Dreams                       Avonlea Jewel of the Sea           (401) 466-2275 or (800) 786-2276
Fagan Cottage                                                 (401) 466-8600                     (401) 466-5891 or (800) 992-7290   Seacrest Inn
(401) 466-5383                                                Torrey Guest House                 Ballard’s Inn                      (401) 466-2882
Figurehead Suite                                              (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254   (401) 466-2231 or (401) 334-1997   Sheffield House
(401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254                              Upstairs B&B                       Barrington Inn                     (401) 466-2494
Fitness Center Apartments                                     (401) 466-2627                     (401) 466-5510 or (877) 324-4667   1661 Inn
(401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254                              Water Street Suites                Bellevue House                     (401) 466-2421 or (800) 626-4773
Flounder Inn B&B                                              (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254   (401) 466-2912                     Sullivan House
(401) 465-2614                                                Willow Grove B&B                   Blue Dory Inn                      (401) 466-5020
Harbor Pond View                                              (401) 466-2896                     (401) 466-5891 or (800) 992-7290   Water Street Inn
(401) 466-5831                                                Windrose B&B                       Gables Inn                         (401) 466-2605 or (800) 825-6254
Harbourview                                                   (401) 466-2912                     (401) 466-2213
(401) 466-5497                                                                                   Gothic Inn
Island Manor Timeshares                                       Hotels                             (401) 466-2918 or (800) 944-8991
(866) 469-8222                                                (more than 20 rooms)               Hendrickson House                         Fall and spring
Islebless Cottage                                             Atlantic Inn                       (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254         specials availabl
                                                                                                                                                 Go to
(401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254                              (401) 466-5883 or (800) 224-7422   Highview Inn
Jim-Dorrie House                                              Champlin’s Resort and              (401) 466-5504 or (800) 825-6254
(401) 466-3000                                                Marina                             Hygeia House
                                                                                                                                                for more
Maple Leaf Cottage                                            (401) 466-7777 or (800) 762-4541   (401) 466-9616                               information.
(401) 466-2065

36 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                                          
BloCK iSlAND Dining and Nightlife
Satisfied Diners                                                                                                                                island Nightlife

                                       Photo by Celeste Sloman
   From family-friendly to fine din-                                                                                                               After a day of swimming, fish-
ing, Block Island boasts a range                                                                                                                ing, sailing or hiking, you need to
of restaurants to satisfy hungry                                                                                                                relax … just not too much!
visitors.                                                                                                                                          A whole other Island ad-
   Seafood lovers will delight                                                                                                                  venture awaits you after dark.
in the dizzying number of ways                                                                                                                  Block Island bars and nightclubs
our local chefs prepare fresh                                                                                                                   are some of the best in New
catch. Many of the Island’s most                                                                                                                England. You’ll find local brews,
beloved seafood joints are less                                                                                                                 mudslides and mixed drinks and
than a five-minute walk from the                                                                                                                margarita madness. Best of all,
beach or ferry. Bite into one of                                                                                                                the Island’s many bars and clubs
our legendary fish sandwiches,                                                                                                                  offer live music that will keep you
snack on clam cakes or mahi-                                                                                                                    dancing well into the night.
mahi, feast on buckets of shrimp
                                       Photo by Brad Marthens

and enjoy the spectacular ocean
   But Block Island offers more
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Block Isla
                                                                                                                                                                                             The Way To
                                                                                                                                                                                On and On
                                                                                                                                                      isfy Hungry
                                                                                                                                            How To Sat

than just seafood. There are a
number of eclectic options to
suit every palate. Hungry for
falafel, eggplant rollatini, sushi,
pad thai or bagels, Block Island
has something for everyone.
   A romantic getaway wouldn’t
be complete without one                                          Victorian hotel; or step out for       Menus of most local restaurants
night of elegance. Our award-                                    a night of old-world elegance            are published in Block Dining,
winning restaurants offer dining                                 at one of our four-star dining            available on the Island and at
experiences that will make it an                                 establishments. A fine romance
evening of magic you’ll never                                    isn’t possible without some truly                                                                                                         www.block
                                                                                                                                                                                             On-Line at:
forget. Dine by candlelight; share                               fine dining.                                                                                   Menus Also

dinner-for-two on the porch of a

Casual Dining                                                    Froozies Juice Bar and Cafe         Payne’s New Harbor Dock                    Winfield’s
Aldo’s Bakery                                                    (401) 466-2230                      (401) 466-9825                             (401) 466-5856
(401) 466-2198                                                   Gatsby Room                         Pizza Plus
Aldo’s Restaurant                                                (401) 466-2836                      (401) 466-9939                             Taverns and Nightclubs
(401) 466-5871                                                   G.R. Sharkey’s                      Rebecca’s on the Beach                     Albion Pub
Ballard’s Inn                                                    (401) 466-9900                      Rebecca’s                                  (401) 466-9990
(401) 466-2231                                                   Harbor Grill                        (401) 466-5411                             Captain Nick’s
Beachead                                                         (401) 466-2828                      Swashbucklers                              (401) 466-5670
(401) 466-2249                                                   Harry’s Cafe                        (401) 466-2822                             Club Soda
Bethany’s Airport Diner                                          (401) 466-5400                      Three Sisters                              (401) 466-5397
(401) 466-3100                                                   Ice Cream Place                     (401) 466-9661                             Mahogany Shoals
Cheescake Castle and Cafe                                        (401) 466-2145                      Water Street Cafe                          McGovern’s Yellow Kittens
(401) 466-7994                                                   Juice ‘n’ Java                      (401) 466-5540                             Tavern
Club Soda                                                        (401) 466-5220                      Wetherbee’s                                (401) 466-5855
(401) 466-5397                                                   Mohegan Cafe and Brewery            (401) 466-5900
Dead Eye Dick’s                                                  (401) 466-5911
(401) 466-2654                                                   National Hotel Tap & Grille         Fine Dining
Eli’s                                                            (401) 466-2901                      Atlantic Inn
(401) 466-5230                                                   Oar Restaurant                      (401) 466-5883 or (800)-224-7422
Ernie’s                                                          (401) 466-8820                      Hotel Manisses
(401) 466-2473                                                   Old Harbor View Takeout             (401) 466-2421 or (800) 626-4773
Finn’s                                                           Old Post Office Bagel Shop          Spring House
(401) 466-2473                                                   (401) 466-5959                      (401) 466-5844 or (800) 234-9263                                                                                                                                                 Close To Home, A World Away 37
                                               A Block Island Wedding is

A Block
                                               available on the Island and at

                                       on of
                            A Publicati        1

   Block Island

                                                                                Photo by John Fuller   Photo by John Fuller

                        WEDDINGS & CONFERENCES
             Weddings                                             As a popular wedding destina-             Conferences                          a series of poetry-themed work-
                What’s the key to a memora-                    tion, the Island is well-equipped               Hosting an ornithology            shops organized by Lisa Starr,
             ble wedding? Location, location,                  to cater to your every need.                 conference? Wining and dining        Rhode Island’s Poet Laureate.
             location.                                         From flower arrangements to ca-              prospective clients? Trying to           Come experience the bene-
                It is one of the most important                tering to wedding photographs,               impress business executives          fits of hosting a high-profile
             days of your life, so make it one                 you’ll find a wealth of on-island            or politicians from out of state?    event in an intimate community
             you’ll never forget. Block Island                 options to fit your budget.                  Block Island’s the place to be.      setting. Your attendees and
             offers a variety of spectacular                      Make it more than just a                     Despite its small size, the Is-   guests will love exploring Block
             settings that will guarantee your                 ceremony. Make it a wedding                  land has played host to some big     Island together.
             wedding will be a classic. Have                   weekend filled with bicycling,               events. The Audubon Society
             your reception at one of the                      swimming and hiking. After a                 takes advantage of the Is-
             Island’s many seaside Victorian                   day soaking rays on the beach                land’s reputation as a haven
             hotels. Exchange your vows on                     or hitting the nature trails, enjoy          for birders to host its annual
             one of our breathtaking beaches                   cocktails on the deck of one of              conference here. Recently,
             as the waves crash along the                      our landmark hotels, dinner at an            officials from the U.S. Small
             shoreline. Walk down the aisle                    award-winning restaurant or live             Business Administration
             in one of the Island’s distinctively              entertainment at an Island bar               used the Island to highlight
             New England churches. Or tie                      or nightclub. There’s so much                Rhode Island’s unique offer-
             the knot at the majestic Mohe-                    to do.                                       ings. And this spring, the Is-
             gan Bluffs as the sun sets in the                    It’s like having a wedding and            land will once again host the
             distance.                                         a honeymoon rolled into one!                 Block Island Poetry Project,

             38 Close To Home, A World Away                                                                                                          
                                                               When you’re looking
                                                               for an unforgettable
                                                               evening with
                                                               breathtaking views, the
                                                               Atlantic Inn will satisfy
                                                               you. Whether you
                                                               enjoy tapas and cocktails
                                                               on the veranda or our

                          The Atlantic Inn                     award winning menu
                                                               inside, you’re in for a
                                                               relaxing taste of Block
                          Veranda Lawn and Lounge
                                Atlantic Inn Ad
                                                               Island tradition and
                                Since 1879


   New London to Block Island
     in just over one hour!
     Service between New London and Old Harbor,
     Block Island at speeds of over 40mph.
     Within walking distance of restaurants, shops,
     hotels and the best beaches in the Northeast.

                                 (401) 466-2212
                             (860) 444-GO B.I. (4624)
                                                                                                         Cindy Horovitz Wilson
                                                                                                         and Michael Melford
                                                                                                         Photos courtesy of

                                   Frequent Daily Departures
                                        Seasonal Service                                                              Close To Home, A World Away 39

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