At the south end of Narragansett Bay in The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (The official name of Rhode Island), there sits the two largest islands in the state. If “we’re” going to be official, let’s call them by their official names; Aquidneck and Conanicut.
Some reading this blog regularly are used to being confused by what I write, and some just may not be able to identify these islands without a map. If it helps, I’ll point out that more people may know these islands by the largest towns on them; Newport, and Jamestown.
The day after Thanksgiving, I set out on an adventure with my Neice and Nephew, Aziz and his wife “the fabulous one,” Fabiana. We drove down to Conanicut Island which of course, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in Rhode Island. I brought them to Fort Wetherill. We followed the path through the brush, and out on to the rocky cliff overlooking Newport and the bay.
It wasn’t hard from this “salt air perch.” to see the history all around us. Across the water “booms” Fort Adams; former lead guardian of Narragansett Bay, and the home of the Newport Folk Festival, as well as the past summer home of President Dwight Eisenhower.
The ground underneath us on the Jamestown side was just as historic. At one time, the land of Fort Wethrill was used by the French, British, and early America Colonialist.
I had walked these cliff areas a few times. I never get tired of the view. I was explaining the history of the fort to Aziz and Fabi when some of the objects underfoot on the rocks popped out at me. Initially, I was thinking they had something to do with the fishing fleet working below us, but that wasn’t it. Suddenly the “real purpose” of the metal u-bolts anchored into the cliff dawned on me. They were to anchor the cables of the submarine “nets.”
Durning World War II, the Americans “strung” cables across Narragansett Bay from Jamestown to Newport, that attached with mines, were meant as a deterrent for German submarines entering the bay or attacking the naval fleet in Newport.
We almost tripped over them. (Editors note; Aziz, and I have the poise and balance of a cat, so that last statement was purely poetic license! Terra Firma Aziz-Literally! )
Suddenly, I was reminded of the theme in this year’s letter A of the Blog Challenge https://zuludelta45.net/2018/04/01/leall-lost-in-the-lost-supermarket/
I imagined the men who must have stood on this cliff, and worked hard to install the nets; hopefully keeping Narragansett Bay safe from harm in that time of war. They must have been wondering if the war would be won, would they live to the ripe old age of 22, or would anyone in the future appreciate their efforts.
In all honesty, after the euphoria of our discovery on that beautiful blue-bird Fall day, we began to have other thoughts of vital importance; where were we going to eat lunch, and would there be dessert afterward.
As noted before on this website; “time loves a hero.”
Especially those from Conanicut.
A lot of people head to Beavertail (and who can blame them?), but Wetherill is really beautiful.
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Contrary to popular belief I guess you were paying attention In high school.
Well….. I wouldn’t go that far!