Whale Rock Light was a "sparkplug" lighthouse that sat atop dangerous Whale Rock in the West Passage entrance of Narragansett Bay. A sparkplug lighthouse is a cylinder shaped lighthouse that consists of a living area and lantern on top. The lighthouse is placed upon a watertight concrete or metal caisson by a crane. The lighthouse appears to appear out of the water as there is usually no dry land.
Whale Rock received its name as it resembled a whale's back rising from the water. The lighthouse was constructed there in 1882 as a result of numerous shipwrecks. The lighthouse was manned by 20 different Keepers and was ultimately destroyed in the New England hurricane of 1938.