The History of the Bowen’s Wharf Anchor
Bowen’s Wharf is the Anchor of the Newport Waterfront! In terms of dining, shopping, or exploring all that Newport has to offer, Bowen’s Wharf acts as the perfect rendezvous point for all your waterfront activities. But in addition to acting as the “anchor” and hub of Newport, the iconic Bowen’s Wharf anchor serves as the marker for our wharf and has a history all it’s own.
In the mid 1970s a large lobster boat snags itself on something about 150 miles offshore. Curious about it’s state of repair, this lobster boat decides to pull into Bowen’s Wharf, to Aquidneck Lobster where they sold their catch and surveyed the damage. To their surprise, the crew pulls up alongside the boat what we know now as the Bowen’s Wharf Anchor.
Bart Dunbar, the then and still current President of Bowen’s Wharf Company, decides to purchase this anchor for a mere $1,000 and hires a backhoe to come down to our wharf and heave this monstrous anchor up from the dock. Upon further inspection it is decided that the anchor is a late 18th- or early 19th-century wrought iron anchor that must have been left behind by a larger ship.
The Bowen’s Wharf Anchor has received a few facelifts since it’s arrival to the wharf in the 1970s. In the 1980s local carpenter Anthony Furtado, who was working for the wharf at the time, was commissioned to build the wooden stock for the anchor that we see now. The wooden stock was most recently repaired in 2004, also by Anthony Furtado. (see below) The 1990s brought several changes to Bowen’s Wharf, including Lisa Lewis Landscapes who was brought on to reconfigure the entryways. It was she who organized the addition of the soft rubber play-area beneath the anchor so that kids could safely enjoy climbing upon its wrought iron structure for years to come.