Scenic USA - Connecticut

Old Stonington Harbor Lighthouse

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The Old Lighthouse Museum - Stonington Point, Connecticut

Photos by Marty Straub and Ben Prepelka

     The Old Stonington Lighthouse was an essential Fisher Island Sound - Stonington, Connecticut beacon for 19th century sailors returning from the Atlantic and Long Island Sound. The original light was built on Windmill Point in Stonington Harbor in 1823. By 1840, beach erosion threatened the structure and it was moved a short distance inland to its present location. Rebuilt with stone from the old lighthouse, its ornamental cornices and hefty granite lintels highlight the one and a half story light station. The 35 feet bay-side light tower, integrated into the structure, cast a beam from 62 feet above the water. First built with a Stonington Museum Exhibits - Stonington, Connecticut flat roof and stone battlements, the lighthouse received its gable roof a few years later, just as it appears today.
     Active for almost 50 more years, a more modern keeper's quarters was built next door to service the harbor breakwater beacon. After its decommission, the building was turned over to the historical society in 1925. Becoming America's first lighthouse museum, exhibits feature artifacts collected from area fisherman, tradesmen and farmers. The Old Lighthouse Museum is open from May through October, Thursday to Tuesday from 10 am to 5 pm, and allows visitors to climb up the old spiral staircase to the lantern room. From this seaside perch, on a clear day, lighthouse guests are able to see the coastal areas of Rhode Island, Stonington Borough Home - Stonington, Connecticut across the sound to Fisher Island and distant views of Long Island, New York.
     Jutting out into Fishers Island Sound the town of Stonington lies at the eastern edge of the Connecticut state line, adjacent to Rhode Island. First settled in the 1600s, Stonington Borough is described with the catch phrase see worthy. With just about everything within walking distance, you'll find tour maps are available in most village stores. Nearby The Old Lighthouse Museum, the Point, town docks and numerous 18th and 19th-century historical residences will take visitors back to the whaling days of old.

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