In our Geology page, we mention that about 26,000 years ago, the Wisconsinan glacier made its greatest advance to about the location of Block Island, the sea level was about 300 feet lower than it is now and the coast was about 70 miles south of Block Island. The first people to come to America were able to walk across the dry seabed from Siberia to Alaska and then spread across what is now the United States. An excellent description of these first people in Rhode Island is available from the State of Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission: https://preservation.ri.gov/media/141/download?language=en
There are a couple of stone walls at Black Point which indicate that the property was used for farming, but at this point I do not have any details.
The earliest I have for Black Point is 1895 and that only includes the Windswept property. I have no history on the additional 42 acres that was acquired in 1989 prior to that, except for a report of a grumpy old man who lived in a shack down there and used to chase off kids with a shotgun.
The following page provides an excellent history of the Windswept Mansion. https://www.sandhillcovephoto.com/page/windswept/#/page/windswept/
The Castiglione brothers purchased the property in 1939 and operated a restauant, Cobbs By The Sea. They sold the property in 1952 to the Lownes Famiily, who never occupied it. It sat vacant, was vandalized and had 3 fires in 3 years.
In 1974(or maybe 1980) the 18 acre Windswept property was purchased by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
In 1989, the State of RI added to the Black Point property. From ‘Save the Bay”, May/June 1989, “Making good on a 1988 campaign promise to acquire 42 acres of shoreline property at Black Point in Narragansett and retain it as open space, Governor Edward DiPrete announced on May 18 that the state will spend $6.4 million to take the land though condemnation”. The property was “slated for development by the Dowling Corporation, which planned to build 80 condominiums on the property.”
The purchase of this property was a hard-won victory and at the time one of the greatest public access battles of all time.
(Was Black Point named after the SS Black Point, a merchant marine ship sunk by German submarine U-853 off Pt. Judith on May 5, 1945 while carrying coal to Boston? This was the last ship sunk by German U-boats. http://www.usmm.org/blackpoint.html)