In 1947, the lighthouse was replaced by an automatic acetylene gas light on a skeleton tower and the last regular keeper was removed. The light was looked after by personnel from the Coast Guard station at Castle Hill in Newport. The 1889 lighthouse was razed in 1960.
The Navy acquired Gould Island in 1918 to expand the torpedo experiments it was conducting at Newport Harbor's Goat Island. By 1920, the island had several buildings used for the storage of torpedoes and warheads, as well as barracks for a detatchment of Marines. In 1921 hangars were added for aircraft used in experiments for launching torpedoes from the air.
The north end of the island is still being used by the Navy. The state of Rhode Island acquired 17 acres in the middle of the island, now a wildlife management area.
On October 24, 1988, the base crumbled and the skeleton tower fell over. An automatic light on a skeleton tower remains in use today at the south end of the island, appearing on light lists as Gould Island South Light. The oil house from the station can still be seen from the Newport Bridge.
You can read more about this lighthouse in the book The Lighthouses of Rhode Island by Jeremy D'Entremont.
Keepers: (This list is a work in progress. If you have any information on the keepers of this lighthouse, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone copying this list onto another web site does so at their own risk, as the list is always subject to updates and corrections.)
Edmund Taylor (1889-at least 1909); John (Jack) Larsen (1923-1940)