Stonington Harbor Light

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Stonington Harbor Light
Stonington Harbor Light
LocationStonington, Connecticut, US
Coordinates41°20′N 71°55′W / 41.33°N 71.91°W / 41.33; -71.91
Constructed1823 Edit this on Wikidata
Constructiongranite (tower) Edit this on Wikidata
Height11 m (36 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Shapeoctagonal pris tower with balcony and lantern attached to the front keeper's house[1][2]
OperatorStonington Historical Society Edit this on Wikidata
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1840 Edit this on Wikidata
Deactivated1889 Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height19 m (62 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Lenssixth order Fresnel lens (1856–), fifth order Fresnel lens Edit this on Wikidata
Range15 mi (24 km) Edit this on Wikidata
Characteristic Fl G 5s Edit this on Wikidata
Stonington Harbor Lighthouse
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1840 (1840)
Built byJohn Bishop
Architectural styleLighthouse
NRHP reference No.76002000[3]
Added to NRHPJanuary 1, 1976

The Stonington Harbor Light is a historic lighthouse built in 1840 and located on the east side of Stonington Harbor in the Borough of Stonington, Connecticut. It is a well-preserved example of a mid-19th century stone lighthouse. The light was taken out of service in 1889 and now serves as a local history museum. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[3]

Description and history[edit]

The Stonington Harbor Light is located at the southern end of Stonington Point, marking the eastern side of Stonington Harbor. The light station consists of the tower and keeper's house; both are built out of large granite blocks, and the keeper's house has a wood-framed ell attached. The tower is an octagonal stone structure 35 feet (11 m) in height and 10 feet (3.0 m) in diameter, with a circular glass lantern house on top. The house is 1½ stories and about 30 feet (9.1 m) square.[4]

The federal government built a lighthouse on Windmill Point in Stonington Harbor in 1823; it was housed in a small granite lighthouse and was known by the same name. However, erosion led to its being torn down and its materials reused in the construction of this lighthouse. The light was originally lit by an oil lamp and broadcast by eight parabolic reflectors. This technology was already obsolete at the time of the lighthouse's construction, and it was replaced by a sixth-order Fresnel lens in 1856.[4]

In the 1880s, the Stonington Breakwater Light was constructed farther out in the harbor, and the Stonington Harbor Light was decommissioned in 1889. The site is now the home of the Stonington Historical Society which uses the building as The Old Lighthouse Museum. Holdings in the museum document the area's long and distinguished cultural and nautical history, and exhibits include the 1856 Fresnel lens.

Head keepers[edit]

  • Neil Martin 1882
  • Nahor Jones 1882 – 1886
  • Samuel C. Gardiner 1886
  • John Ryle 1886 – 1887
  • Samuel A. Keeney 1887 – 1903
  • Maurice Russell 1903 – 1904
  • Adolph Obman 1904 – 1907
  • John J. Cook 1907 – 1909
  • William Janse 1909
  • Adolph Obman 1909 – 1911
  • Robert R. Laurier 1911 – 1912
  • John H. Paul 1912
  • Joseph Meyer 1913
  • Charles R. Riley 1915 – 1916
  • Edward Grime 1917 – 1919
  • George Washington Denton, Jr. 1919
  • Edward Murphy 1919 - 1920
  • Edward Iten 1921 – 1927
  • Edward M. Whitford 1929
  • Robert M. Fitton 1930
  • Raymond F. Bliven 1930 – 1931
  • Martin Luther Sowle 1938 – 1953[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the United States: Connecticut". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  2. ^ Connecticut Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 23 June 2016
  3. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "NRHP nomination for Stonington Harbor Light". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  5. ^ Lighthouse Friends
  • Crompton, Samuel Willard. "The Lighthouse Book." Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 1999. ISBN 0-7607-1135-6.

External links[edit]