New London Harbor Light

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New London Harbor Light
New London Harbor Light 1984.jpg
New London Harbor Light (by USCG/1984)
New London Harbor Light is located in Connecticut
New London Harbor Light
LocationPequot Ave. at Lighthouse Point, New London
United States
Coordinates41°19′00.0″N 72°05′23.1″W / 41.316667°N 72.089750°W / 41.316667; -72.089750Coordinates: 41°19′00.0″N 72°05′23.1″W / 41.316667°N 72.089750°W / 41.316667; -72.089750
Year first constructed1760 (first)
Year first lit1801 (current)
Foundationsurface rock
Constructionbrownstone tower
Tower shapetapered octagonal tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower, black lantern
Tower height89 ft (27 m)
Focal height90 ft (27 m)
Original lens11 lamps, 13 inch reflectors
Current lensFourth order Fresnel lens
Intensity6,000 candela
Range15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi)
CharacteristicIso W 6s.
Admiralty numberJ0732
ARLHS numberUSA-541
USCG number1-21845
Managing agentNew London Maritime Society[1] [2]
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata
New London Harbor Lighthouse
Arealess than one acre
Built1801 (1801)
Built byA. Woodward (1801)
Charles H. Smith (1833 repairs)
MPSOperating Lighthouses in Connecticut MPS
NRHP reference #89001470[3]
Added to NRHPMay 29, 1990

New London Harbor Light is a lighthouse in Connecticut on the west side of the New London harbor entrance. It is the nation's fifth oldest light station and the seventh oldest U.S. lighthouse. It is both the oldest and the tallest lighthouse in Connecticut and on Long Island Sound,[4] with its tower reaching 90 feet.[5]

The light is visible for 15 miles and consists of three seconds of white light every six seconds. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[3] It is currently owned and maintained by the New London Maritime Society as part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act program.[6]


New London Harbor Light is located at Lighthouse Point in southern New London, just east of Guthrie Beach off Pequot Avenue. In addition to the lighthouse, the station includes the keeper's house, a small two-story brick residence. The property once also included a barn, an oil house, and an engine room; all of these structures have been removed.[7]


The original New London Harbor Lighthouse was built on the west side of the entrance to New London Harbor in 1760.[8] Connecticut ceded the lighthouse to the United States according to the "Memoranda of Cessions" of 7 August 1789.[8]

On May 7, 1800, Congress appropriated funds to rebuild the lighthouse,[8] and it was removed in 1801 when the current stone tower was built. In 1855, a fourth-order Fresnel lens replaced the original 11 lamps with 13-inch (330 mm) reflectors. Illumination was converted to oil-vapor lamp in 1909 and to acetylene in 1912. The light was electrified in 1930. The present keeper's house was built in 1863, and was enlarged in 1900 to accommodate the families of married keepers.[7] The light was acquired by the New London Maritime Society in 2010.

Head keepers[edit]

  • Nathaniel Shaw (1761 – at least 1771)
  • Daniel Harris (at least 1775 – at least 1802)
  • Griswold Harris (1811 – at least 1825)
  • Jeremiah Harris (at least 1827 – 1831)
  • S.J. Beckwith (1831 – 1832)
  • John G. Munn (1832 – 1841)
  • John Mason (1841 – 1844)
  • Nathan Buddington (1844 – 1845)
  • George K. Comstock (1845 – 1850)
  • Thomas Fisk (1850)
  • John Mason (1850 – 1853)
  • Lyman Reed (1853 – 1859)
  • Elijah Bolles (1859 – 1861)
  • Philip M. Boss (1861 – 1869)
  • Charles A. Bunnell (1869 – 1889)
  • Henry A. Whaley (1889)
  • Charles B. Field (1889 – 1910)
  • Theodore De Shong (1910 – 1911)
  • Joseph F. Woods (1911 – 1912)[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ New London Harbor The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 21 June 2016
  2. ^ Connecticut Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 21 June 2016
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (2013-11-02). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  4. ^ Susan Hodara (15 August 2014). "Taking In the History of New London, a City Shaped by the Sea". The New York Times.
  5. ^ United States Coast Guard (1972). Historically Famous Lighthouses. Washington, DC: US Coast Guard, Public Information Division. p. 10.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "NRHP nomination for New London Harbor Light". National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  8. ^ a b c d United States Coast Guard (1972). Historically Famous Lighthouses. Washington, DC: US Coast Guard, Public Information Division. pp. 9–10.
  9. ^ New London Harbor, CT Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved 21 June 2016
  10. ^ Lossing, Benson (1868). The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Harper & Brothers, Publishers. p. 694.