We all know that some of the most historical landmarks along the coast of Connecticut happen to be lighthouses. Connecticut is home to about 20 lighthouses, but many of them are offshore, making it difficult to access them without a boat. This list is consists of all of the lighthouses that you can get to without needing to brave the waves.
Before getting caught up in the scenery, make sure to study-up on the lighthouses in your area: Some of these lighthouses were pieces of history. Some may have been a part of a revolutionary battle, led fishing vessels in harsh weather, or may have been a symbol for the town. Even though most of these lighthouses were built in the 1800’s, there are a few out there that are still operational.
1. Stonington Harbor Light – Stonington
Standing at 62-feet tall, the Stonington Harbor Lighthouse, located at the end of Stonington point, continues to peak interest even after standing for almost 200 years. This lighthouse was first built in 1823 and lit some years later in 1840. This lighthouse only lasted about 50 years before being deactivated. This granite tower stands just before the panoramic views of the Stonington Point, offering visitors a little piece of boating history.
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2. New London Harbor Light- New London
The New London Harbor Lighthouse stands tall at 89-feet. It ranks in the top 5 for the nation’s oldest lighthouses. It originally opened in 1760 and first lit in 1801. It is now apart of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act program and owned and operated by the New London Maritime Society. A quick drive down Pequot Ave will get you to Lighthouse Point where you can find one the oldest lighthouses in the country.
3. Avery Point Light- Groton
Located in Groton, this 56-foot lighthouse was deactivated in 1967, before it was shut down, volunteers and students from the United State Coast Guard Training Station took time to care for it. The town of Groton put together a big fundraiser to rebuild the lighthouse after it being shamed for looking hazardous. Thanks to the nearly $150,000 raised by that fundraiser, the lighthouse is now a proud landmark of Connecticut and holds a place in the National Register of Historic Places.
4. Stratford Point Light -Stratford
Stratford Point Lighthouse has guarded the mouth of the Housatonic River since 1822. Before the lighthouse was constructed, rumor has it, bonfires were lit at the point when a boat was expected on foggy nights back in colonial times. It continues to operate and has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This lighthouse is used by the Coast Guard for navigation and a great spot for visitors.
5. Lynde Point- Old Saybrook
Sitting at the entrance to the Connecticut River, the lighthouse at Lynde Point stands almost 65-feet tall. It still operates today and has been in service since 1886 when it was first constructed. This lighthouse was officially automated by the United States Coast Guard in 1978. If you plan to make a visit to Lynde Point, make sure to bring your binoculars to look out at the Long Island Sound.
6. Five Mile Point Light – New Haven
Five Mile Point Lighthouse guards the opening to New Haven Harbor. It was first constructed in 1805 with a wooden octagon shape. It was later updated with a new 80-foot brownstone structure so that it could stand the test of time. A revolutionary war took place at this location about 25 years before the lighthouse was constructed. As you can imagine, the wooden structure only lasted a short period of time before needing to be replaced by the much stronger stone and brick. It was deactivated in 1877, making it operational for just over 70 years. This lighthouse offers amazing scenery so bring a camera and share your pictures with us!
7. Sheffield Island Lighthouse – Norwalk
Marking the west side of the Norwalk River, the Sheffield Island Light has been watching over the Norwalk Islands since 1868. Still operating, the Norwalk Seaport offers ferry services to the island for anyone wishing to visit this historic lighthouse. The lighthouse has come a long way from being fueled by oil and is now powered by solar power. Even though the Sheffield Island Lighthouse is still operational, it is only used as a point of nostalgia instead of navigation.
8. Fayerweather Point – Bridgeport
The Fayerweather Island Lighthouse, or “Black Rock Harbor Light,” was first constructed in 1808 and lit about 15 years later in 1823. The original structure, made from wood, was ruined in the Norfolk Hurricane in 1821. It was later replaced with a stone tower, which, back then, only cost about $2,500. Sadly, the lighthouse was deactivated in 1932 after two other offshore lights made it obsolete.
If you pay a visit to one of these historical lighthouses, please share your pictures with us in the comments!