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Conanicut Battery

Battlefields & Cemeteries

Conanicut Battery
Jamestown, Rhode Island

Overlooking the Naragansett Bay the Conanicut Battery is a Revolutionary War-era earthwork located on a 22-acre site on Conanicut Island in Jamestown, Rhode Island. Observation and fire control stations and radio receiving and cable mine facilities were built by the War Department and US Army and Navy between 1916 and 1962. These features were a part of Endicott Period fortifications and minefields that defended Narragansett Bay during World Wars I and II. Today, Prospect Hill belongs to the Town of Jamestown. In 1998 the Friends of Conanicut Battery and town received funding from the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service for planning.

Heritage Landscapes developed a well-researched historic landscape report and preservation treatment plan as a first phase. Research indicated that the Revolutionary War earthwork and the WW I and II military elements illustrate the strategic importance of this site to the defense of Narragansett Bay over the centuries. In 1999 the property was choked with invasive vegetation. Fieldwork was conducted to map conditions and reveal the remaining earthwork landforms. Landscape preservation treatment recommendations addressed access, parking, trails, vegetation management, scenic views and interpretation.

The detailed Vegetation Management Guidelines report was prepared to reopen the landscape while protecting the earthwork. These user-friendly guidelines were used by community volunteers to suppress invasive species, clear volunteer plants and stabilize the historic earthwork, revegetating it with native grasses and forbs. Combined volunteer and contractor efforts constructed the visitor parking lot and trails. Interpretive signs were designed and fabricated. The project was awarded a Rhode Island ASLA Honor Award in 2000 and the community celebrated a grand opening with reenactments parades and speeches in June 2002.

Friends of Conanicut Battery, Jamestown Historical Society, Town of Jamestown, Planning Department

Historic Preservation & Treatment Plan for Conanicut Battery on Prospect Hill; Vegetation Management Guidelines for Conanicut Battery

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Patricia M. O'Donnell, Principal, Heidi Hohmann & Peter Viteretto

Award-Winning Project