2012-09-13 / Editorial

Town will attempt to save the rock at East Ferry

An island landmark threatened by repairs to the East Ferry seawall may yet be saved, we have learned.

Town Engineer Mike Gray says the town is investigating whether it is feasible to move the large boulder – which is adjacent to the seawall – and should know more later this week. The subject of the rock came up at last week’s Town Council meeting when Gray informed councilors that the rock stood in the way of the seawall repair project.

Although not on par with the nearby historical Plymouth Rock, the East Ferry rock does have its fan club. Generations have climbed and played on the big boulder. This week the Press features a letter to the editor from a reader in Maryland who recalls climbing on the rock as a child.

Conanicut Island has its share of popular landmark rocks. There’s the rock with a face near the Mackerel Cove town beach. Kettlebottom Rock is a popular fishing spot. The summer cottage known as Horsehead is named after a rock formation in the seaside cliff. The Dumplings area of the island is named after the dumpling-like rock formations in the bay.


Two views of the East Ferry rock, which is really one big rock and a somewhat smaller rock. Top photo, looking northeast toward the Newport Pell Bridge. Bottom, a view from the concrete pier. 
PHOTOS BY JEFF MCDONOUGH Two views of the East Ferry rock, which is really one big rock and a somewhat smaller rock. Top photo, looking northeast toward the Newport Pell Bridge. Bottom, a view from the concrete pier. PHOTOS BY JEFF MCDONOUGH No one knows how long the East Ferry rock has been in its present location. According to Rosemary Enright of the Jamestown Historical Society, there are no pictures of the boulder in its present location from the late 1800s or early 1900s. However, the boulder may have come from a group of rocks that had once served as a breakwater in the area.

Gray said he had even been contacted by R.I. Public Radio about the endangered rock.

Maybe the rock will remain a natural playground at East Ferry for future generations of island youngsters.

— Jeff McDonough

Return to top