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
LocationThames River
New London Harbor
United States
Coordinates41°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 constructed1909
Foundationconcrete pier
Constructiongranite and brick building
Tower shapeshort cylindrical tower on 3-story dwelling
Markings / patternwhite tower, red lantern roof
Tower height58 ft (18 m)
Focal height58 ft (18 m)
Original lensFourth order Fresnel lens
Current lensVRB-25[1]
Light sourcesolar power
Characteristicthree white flashes separated by 5 s, 10 s off, red flash, 10 s off
Admiralty numberJ0730
ARLHS numberUSA-542
USCG number1-21825
Managing agentNew London Ledge Lighthouse Foundation[2] [3]
Heritageplace listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata
New London Ledge Lighthouse
Arealess than one acre
Built1909 (1909)
Built byT.A. Scott Company (foundation)
Hamilton R. Douglas Company (structure)
Architectural styleSecond Empire, Mansard
MPSOperating Lighthouses in Connecticut MPS
NRHP reference #89001471[4]
Added to NRHPMay 29, 1990

New London Ledge Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Groton, Connecticut 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.[5]


New London Ledge Lighthouse was built in 1909 on the southwest ledge. It was originally called the Southwest Ledge light, but this caused confusion with Southwest Ledge Light in New Haven, Connecticut, so it was renamed New London Ledge Light in 1910. 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. The light was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[4]

Ghost legend[edit]

New London Ledge is locally famous for the ghost of an early keeper named Ernie who allegedly haunts the lighthouse. The Coast Guard crew on duty at the lighthouse 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.[6]

An unknown Coast Guard officer wrote the following in the crew's log on the last night before the automated light system was installed: "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." [6]

In the 1990s, a television reporter from Japan spent a night inside the lighthouse to investigate the story of Ernie. He heard loud whispering noises throughout the night which allegedly are audible on camera.[citation needed] Ledge Light was furthermore featured on paranormal reality shows such as Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Hunters. Investigators from The Atlantic Paranormal Society concluded on Ghost Hunters that there was not enough evidence to determine any paranormal activity taking place at the lighthouse, despite a few unexplained phenomena such as cold spots.[7]

Head keepers[edit]

  • 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)[8]

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. ^ a b National Park Service (2013-11-02). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b New London Ledge Lighthouse, Connecticut at
  7. ^ TAPS "The Ledge Lighthouse". Ghost Hunters, Sci Fi Channel.
  8. ^ New London Ledge, CT Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved 21 June 2016

External links[edit]