New London Ledge Light

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New London Ledge Light
New London Ledge Lighthouse.jpg
New London Ledge Light in 2011
New London Ledge Light is located in Connecticut
New London Ledge Light
Location Thames River
New London Harbor
United States
Coordinates 41°18′21.18″N 72°04′38.82″W / 41.3058833°N 72.0774500°W / 41.3058833; -72.0774500Coordinates: 41°18′21.18″N 72°04′38.82″W / 41.3058833°N 72.0774500°W / 41.3058833; -72.0774500
Year first constructed 1909
Automated 1987
Foundation concrete pier
Construction granite and brick building
Tower shape short cylindrical tower on 3-story dwelling
Markings / pattern white tower, red lantern roof
Height 58 ft (18 m)
Focal height 58 ft (18 m)
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel lens
Current lens VRB-25[1]
Light source solar power
Characteristic three white flashes separated by 5 s, 10 s off, red flash, 10 s off
Admiralty number J0730
ARLHS number USA-542
USCG number 1-21825
Managing agent

New London Ledge Lighthouse Foundation[2]


New London Ledge Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Groton, Connecticut, United States, on the Thames River, at the mouth of New London Harbor. It is currently owned and maintained by the New London Maritime Society as part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act program.[4]


Postcard, about 1910

New London Ledge Lighthouse was built in 1909 on the Southwest Ledge. It was originally called the Southwest Ledge light, but it was felt this could be confused with another lighthouse in New Haven, the Southwest Ledge Light, so in 1910 the lighthouse was renamed to New London Ledge Light. The United States Coast Guard took over in 1939 upon its merger with the Lighthouse Service and the light was automated in 1987. The original fourth order Fresnel lens was removed and was later put on display in the Custom House Maritime Museum. In 1990 the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


The light from Harkness State Park

New London Ledge is locally famous for the ghost of an early keeper, nicknamed "Ernie," who allegedly haunts the lighthouse. The Coast Guard crew on duty at the lighthouse, not automated until 1987, reported unexplained knockings taking place at night, as well as doors opening and closing repeatedly, the television turning on and off by itself sporadically, and the unexplained removal of sheets from beds.[5]

In the crew's log, on the last night before the automated light system was installed, the unknown author, a Coast Guard officer, wrote the following: "Rock of slow torture. Ernie's domain. Hell on earth – may New London Ledge’s light shine on forever because I’m through. I will watch it from afar while drinking a brew." [5]

In the 1990s, a television reporter from Japan spent a night inside the lighthouse to investigate the story of Ernie, and loud whispering noises—allegedly audible on-camera—were heard throughout the night. Ledge Light was furthermore featured on paranormal reality shows such as Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Hunters. On the latter program, investigators from The Atlantic Paranormal Society concluded that despite a few unexplained phenomena, such as cold spots, there was not enough evidence to determine any paranormal activity taking place at the lighthouse.[6]


  • W.B. Petty (1909 – 1910)
  • George E. Hansen (1910 – at least 1917)
  • Howard B. Beebe (1926 – 1938)
  • Leonard Fuller (at least 1940)
  • Michael Scanlan (1943 – 1949)
  • William Clark (1954 – 1959)[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New London Ledge Lighthouse New England Lighthouses. Retrieved 21 June 2016
  2. ^ New London Ledge The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 21 June 2016
  3. ^ Connecticut Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 21 June 2016
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b New London Ledge Lighthouse, Connecticut at
  6. ^ TAPS "The Ledge Lighthouse". Ghost Hunters, Sci Fi Channel.
  7. ^ New London Ledge, CT Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved 21 June 2016

External links[edit]