Stonington Harbor Light

Nov. 1, 2019

Stonington Harbor Light, Stonington, Connecticut

Built in 1840.


Location: East side of Stonington Harbor, Connecticut
Station Established: 1823
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1840
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1889
Foundation Materials: GRANITE
Construction Materials: GRANITE
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: N/A
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED

Historical Information:

  • In 1823 a lighthouse was built at the Southeastern entrance of the Stonington Harbor.
  • An inspection in 1838 found the lighthouse in poor condition. Too much polishing had rubbed the silver coating off of the reflectors and the stairway was bordering on collapse. The sea was eating away at the bluff below the light
  • The government first considered building a wall around the station but decided on building a new light. The new light was finished in 1840 and most of the lighthouse was built from the disassembled light.
  • The original lantern room had a system of eight lamps and reflectors. A sixth order Fresnel lens replaced the lamps in 1856.
  • Stonington Harbor Light was rendered obsolete when a 25-foot cast iron light was erected on a breakwater in the harbor in 1889. A skeleton tower replaced that light in 1926.
  • The 1840 lighthouse is now a museum and is open to the public. In 1976 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.