This is a good article. Follow the link for more information.

Greens Ledge Light

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Greens Ledge Light
Green's Ledge Light, Norwalk 1907.jpg
The light in a 1907 postcard
Greens Ledge Light is located in Connecticut
Greens Ledge Light
Location Norwalk
United States
Coordinates 41°2′30″N 73°26′38.2″W / 41.04167°N 73.443944°W / 41.04167; -73.443944Coordinates: 41°2′30″N 73°26′38.2″W / 41.04167°N 73.443944°W / 41.04167; -73.443944
Year first constructed 1902
Automated 1972
Foundation cast iron with concrete caisson
Construction Sparkplug lighthouse
Tower shape 2-stages cylindrical tower with double balcony and lantern incorporating keeper's quarter
Markings / pattern white upper half,
brown on black lower half,
black basement
Height 52 feet (16 m)
Focal height 62 feet (19 m)
Original lens 5th order Fresnel lens (replaced with a 4th order)
Current lens VRB-25
Light source solar power
Range white: 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi)
red: 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi)
Characteristic Al WR 12s.
Fog signal 2 blasts every 20s.
Admiralty number J0866
ARLHS number USA-355
USCG number

1-21340[1][2] [3]

Greens Ledge Lighthouse
Nearest city Rowayton, Connecticut
Area less than one acre
Architect Philadelphia Construction Co.
MPS Operating Lighthouses in Connecticut MPS
NRHP reference #


Added to NRHP May 29, 1990
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

Greens Ledge Lighthouse is a sparkplug lighthouse in Connecticut, United States, off the southwest end of the Norwalk Islands, Long Island Sound, near Norwalk, Connecticut. It is on north side of the west end of Greens Ledge, west of Norwalk Harbor a mile south of the entrance to Five Mile River at Rowayton, and just over a mile southwest of Sheffield Lighthouse. Completed in 1902, it was constructed by the Philadelphia Construction Company. The light is 52 feet (16 m) tall and is made of five courses that make up its four stories. The lantern measures 7 feet (2.1 m) in diameter. The Greens Ledge Light replaced the Sheffield Island Light. Originally, the light had a fifth-order Fresnel lens, but a fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed in May 1902, just three months into its operation. Currently a VRB-25 is in use and it has alternating white and red flash every 24 seconds. The light was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Greens Ledge Lighthouse on May 29, 1990.

In 2017, a restoration campaign, 'Save Greens Ledge' was launched to preserve and protect Greens Ledge Light. Greens Ledge was acquired by the Greens Ledge Light Preservation Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established on September 30, 2016 by a group of local residents including Brendan McGee, Tim Pettee, Shannon Holloway, and Alex Pettee. The acquisition was made through a founding donation by The Pettee Family. Tim Pettee serves as the group's President. [5]


U.S. Coast Guard photo

In the 1890s, the lighthouse was first formally proposed to mark the Norwalk Harbor. In 1899, the United States Congress appropriated $60,000 for the establishment of a light and fog signal at Greens Ledge. In 1900, the Philadelphia Construction Company was contracted to construct the foundation and the superstructure. The design for this type of lighthouse was first realized in 1873, from Major Eliiot of the Lighthouse Board. The foundation form is made of identical curved-iron plates with top inward-pointing flanges that are bolted together and secured with knees. The assembled rings are lowered into the water and filled with concrete or stone, concrete for the Greens Ledge Light. A series of photographs from the work in 1901 shows the assembly of the three lower courses at Wilson's Point, the lowering of the cylinder and the light in the fall of 1901 prior to a deposit of protective riprap.[6]

The 52-foot (16 m) tall Greens Ledge Light was completed in 1902 and serves as a typical example of a sparkplug lighthouse.[3] Located in 10 feet (3.0 m) of water, the foundation flares out to support the deck the lighthouse is built on and includes a cavity for the lighthouse's brick basement and cisterns. The four-story structure of the lighthouse is assembled from five courses of curved iron plates. The interior is lined with brick to insulate and strengthen the tower and to "provid[e] an anchorage for the winding cast-iron stairs which rise on the periphery of each story," writes historian Dorothy Templeton.[6]

The plain prefabricated features underwent a period of development of which the Greens Ledge Light was part of a second phase. Templeton describes, "the brackets which support the watchroom gallery and covered deck [as having] a simplified classical detailing and [the] rectilinear window sashes are enclosed in shallower, plainer cast-iron surrounds."[6] A deck encircles the light on above the first story, the watchroom and lantern. The original roofing and some cast-iron stanchions of the decks are able to be seen atop the riprap. The cast-iron door to the lighthouse faces south and at the time of nomination the windows were sealed with plywood. The first floor of the lighthouse serves as the kitchen. The second level has two rooms split by a partition with the smaller room being a bathroom. The third level was not divided, but did not have a description in the National Historic Register of Places survey.[6] The fourth floor has six porthole windows and has had much of its woodwork removed and part of the cast-iron floor and brick wall are exposed. The lighthouse's lantern measures 7 feet (2.1 m) in diameter.[6] Once active, the Sheffield Island Light was discontinued.[7]


Originally, the light had a fifth-order Fresnel lens, but a fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed in May 1902, just three months into its operation. The light characteristic was a fixed white light with a red flash every 15 seconds. In 1972, the light was automated and the Fresnel lens was replaced with a modern optic. The light continues to serve as an active aid to navigation.[8] In 1987, a FA-251 was installed before the current lens, a VRB-25 was installed.[9] The current light characteristic is an alternating white and red flash every 24 seconds.[10] The white and red flashes can be seen for 18 nautical miles and 15 nautical miles, respectably.[10]

During its service, the tower began to tilt and the keepers moved all the furniture to one side of the tower. The problem was reported to have been exacerbated following the 1938 New England hurricane.[7]


The Greens Ledge Light, as seen from the water off the Norwalk coastline. Taken: May 27, 2010.

The light was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Greens Ledge Lighthouse on May 29, 1990.[6] It is listed as "significant as a typical example of a pre-fabricated cast-iron conical lighttower on a cast-iron tubular foundation."[6]

The lighthouse served as a source of inspiration for Walter DuBois Richards, an artist, for over forty years.[11] Since 1935, swimmers have been competing annually in the Arthur J. Ladrigan Swim Race, a one-mile (1.6 km) race from the lighthouse to Bayley Beach in the Rowayton section of Norwalk.[12]

List of keepers[edit]

This list includes known keepers, but excludes assistants and non-officers of the Coast Guard.[8]

Name Year Reference
William DeLuce 1902–1908 [8]
Robert Burke 1908–1909 [8]
John Huskey circa 1909 [8]
John Kiarskon circa 1910 [8]
William T. Locke 1910–1912 [8]
William Rhodes circa 1917 [8]
George Petzolt 1930–1932 [8]
George Clark 1939–1943 [8]


In September 2016, Green's Ledge Light was put up for auction to the public. It was sold on September 15, 2016 for $150,000 to The Pettee Family, the highest of 4 bidders. The Pettee Family donated the lighthouse to a newly founded 501(c)3 nonprofit, The Greens Ledge Light Preservation Society, to spearhead the restoration and preservation efforts.[13]

Sale-Lot Number:
Sale Type:
Online Auction
City, State:
Norwalk, CT
Close Time:
09/15 03:03 PM CT (Closed)
Time Remaining:
Case #:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greens Ledge Light The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 20 June 2016
  2. ^ Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 191. 
  3. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Connecticut". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 2009-08-08. 
  4. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Templeton, Dorothy (29 May 1990). "National Register of Historic Places nomination – Greens Ledge Light" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Greens Ledge Lighthouse, CT". April 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j D'Entremont, Jeremy. "History of Green's Ledge Lighthouse, Norwalk, Connecticut". New England Lighthouses. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Greens Ledge Light". Lighthouse Digest. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Greens Ledge Light". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Coneybear, John F. (8 October 1982). "Artist Inspired By Love For Lighthouse". The Hour. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Fenwick, Alexandra (September 10, 2006). "A long crawl: Swimmers compete in annual Sound race". The Advocate. Stamford, CT (Stamford edition). pp. A3, A9. 
  13. ^

External links[edit]