Miantonomi Park on Hillside Avenue in Newport has a rich history. This hill was the seat of power for Narragansett Sachem Miantonomi. Colonial settlers used this hill for a lookout, for public executions and for a beacon light. By 1667 a beacon was constructed there which when lit signaled beacon lights in the rest of the Bay Area. In 1776 another beacon was erected “to give the country an alarm in case of invasion” and Col. Israel Putnam built fortifications here. When the British occupied Rhode Island (Aquidneck) they strengthened the fortifications with a powder magazine and other defensive works (1776-1779). When the French came (1780-1781) they manned fortifications here as part of their defensive lines for Newport.