The Stumbling Block

The island assumed its characteristic treeless appearance as the land was cleared for farmland.

After the hurricane Block Island was again forgotten. But recently a wave of affection for old towns and Victorian architecture has restored the island’s popularity. Surveyed together, the houses and hotels of Block Island form a rare, uninterrupted archive of early American and Victorian design. In fact, the entire Old Harbor district is listed on the National Register for Historic Buildings. Oddly enough, though, it is only Block Island’s man-made vistas that remain unaltered. The changes in the natural aspect of the island tell a clearer story of the upheavals of the past century.