Block Island

Block Island

Block Island, 7 mi (11.2 km) long and 3.5 mi (5.6 km) wide, off S R.I. at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. Visited by the Dutch navigator Adriaen Block in 1614, it was settled in 1661. The murder (1637) there of John Oldham, an English trader, was the direct cause of the Pequot War (see Pequot). Characterized by numerous small ponds, low hills, and a mild climate, the island has long been a favorite fishing and resort area. Possessing ferry services and two harbors, it accommodates local fishing boats and summer leisure craft. There are two lighthouses. The small town of New Shoreham (inc. 1672) is coextensive with the island.

Island, Rhode Island, U.S. It lies at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound, 9 mi (15 km) southwest of Point Judith, R.I. It has an area of about 11 sq mi (29 sq km) and is coextensive with the town of New Shoreham (pop., 2000: 1,010). Called Manisses by its original Indian inhabitants, Block Island (named for the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block) received its first European settlers in 1661 and was admitted to the colony of Rhode Island in 1664. Once dependent on fishing and farming, it is now primarily a resort.

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Three ships of the United States Navy have been named Block Island, after Block Island Sound.

  • , was transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease on 9 January 1943 and commissioned the following day as HMS Hunter (D80).
  • , went into service in March 1943, and was sunk in May 1944.
  • , was commissioned in December 1944 and active in the closing months of the Pacific War, and periodically in use until 1954.


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