Fort Wetherill State Park is a great spot to visit in Jamestown Rhode Island. I wrote about it once before, but this time I did more research and even took a video. After exploring the bunker we also took a drone video of the sunset over the cliffs, you can find it at the end of this video. Depending on your level of interest and the season, you could spend anywhere from an hour to all day at Fort Wetherill.
Fort Wetherill History
Fort Wetherill State Park has quite the history. It was built between 1895 and 1903, then it was in use between 1900–1945. Before it was known as Fort Wetherhill, it was called Fort Dumpling during the American Revolutionary War. Wetherill was deactivated and turned over to the State of Rhode Island after World War II. Today it operates as Fort Wetherill State Park! In total, it is a 51-acre or 210,000 m2 reservation managed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
In 1776, an 8-gun earthwork fortification was constructed by patriot forces at the site of Dumpling Rock. It strategically overlooked the East Passage toward Newport. This fort was occupied by American, British, and French forces for various periods of time during the American Revolutionary War. The patriots called it the Dumpling Rock Battery; the British called it Fort Dumpling Rock. It was abandoned by the British abandoned in 1779 when they evacuated Newport. It was briefly called Fort Conanicut, named after the Conanicut Battery on the other side of the island near Beaver Head.
In 1798, construction was started on a permanent fortification at Dumpling Rock. This fort was officially called Fort Louis and, later, Fort Brown but it was commonly called Fort Dumpling throughout its existence. Fort Dumpling was in the form of an oval stone tower and was frequently used as an artistic motif and a place for social outings.
There is a lot more information and details about weapons and operations on Wikipedia.
Situated upon 100 foot high granite cliffs, Fort Wetherill is known for its spectacular view of Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. Fort Wetherill has been a popular site for viewing the numerous Tall Ship Events and America’s Cup Races. The area is also a major attraction for scuba diving, with Diving Clubs from New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island using the facilities at the boat ramp year round. Additionally, the park offers family and group picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking and exploring on the park’s 61.5 acres of property.
Not to mention… it is perfectly situated to enjoy spectacular sunsets over the ocean. Although we went on a cold day with near-freezing temperatures, there were many couples and families there to watch the sunset. There was even another guy with a drone capturing this amazing view.
Summary: Fort Wetherill
Fort Wetherill State Park is a beautiful area with so much to explore. So far I have only spent time in the bunkers and on the cliff, but I hope to explore more of the 61.5 acres. I will be checking the area for mushrooms and looking for the perfect picnic spot. If you plan a trip, make sure to check the time for the sunset, it will be the highlight of your day!