The curious light-house at Bullock Point, Providence. It’s across the river and about four miles south, so is not something Lovecraft would have encountered or glimpsed every day. And so far as I know he never took a steamer to New York (though he did see people off at the docks, such as Morton, who were going back to New York that way). But it’s the sort of place he might have glimpsed on his youthful bicycle and play expeditions over to that side of Providence, and would have later encountered pictorially on postcards such as this.

In a letter of 1921 Lovecraft recalls “our boyhood play-scenes — East Providence, Seekonk, and Rehoboth”. This was in the context of returning there in an unexpected car trip around his old haunts, on which he states that “I had not been there for eight or nine years”. This statement would place the last visit there circa 1912, perhaps about the time this postcard was made.

I should note that he also had his rooftop observatory until at least 1919, from which he could see far and in detail along the shoreline with the aid of his telescope. Letters sent to Galpin record him training his telescope not only on the stars, but also down and across the river during the day.

Lovecraftian role-players may also like this crisp scan of another local lighthouse postcard from circa the 1940s, to print up as a gaming prompt…