Block Island's North Light was built in 1867, after earlier lights of 1829 and 1857 succumbed to the shifting sands of Sandy Point. In 1970 North Light was replaced by an offshore beacon. The lighthouse suffered years of vandalism and neglect, but a preservation effort has brought it back to life. In the spring of 1996 the original fresnel lens was returned to the light tower and North Light was recommissioned as an active lighthouse, triumphantly replacing the offshore beacon.
If like many visitors to Block Island you've left your car behind, you will need to rent a bike or moped to get to North Light, as it is about five miles from the village. Even after biking out there, you will be faced with a mile hike through deep sand. The day I was there, I was surprised to find an 80 year-old representative of the local historical society waiting to give us a tour of the newly-restored keeper's quarters.