Parking: Accessed from water only, nearest boat launch near 52-98 Bayberry Ln, Groton, CT
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The Ledge Lighthouse, also known as The Ledge Light, is a historic lighthouse located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London, Connecticut. It is situated on a rocky reef known as Southwest Ledge and serves as both a navigational aid and historical landmark of New London.
Since the light has been automated for decades now the lighthouse has been restored and maintained by the Ledge Light Foundation as an interpretive center and museum. I first toured Ledge Light in 2016, leaving from Avery Point on the Project Oceanology boat. The trip out to the light only takes about 10-15 minutes before docking and allowing access to the light. There are history rooms, a short movie presentation, views from the catwalk atop the light, and legends of hauntings by the resident ghost ‘Ernie’.
Though proposed as early as the mid-1800s this lighthouse didn’t begin construction until 1907 the new light was authorized by Congress. It was built by the T.A. Scott Company for a total of $93,968.96.
The structure consists of a timber crib 52 feet square and 31 feet high filled with concrete next to its outer face and the interior filled with riprap and gravel, with a deposit of riprap on the outside 10 feet deep next to the crib and 82 feet square. The top of the crib extends 3 feet above mean low water and is capped inside the upper timbers with a layer of concrete 3 feet thick. This layer supports a concrete pier 50 feet square to a height of 18 feet above low water, the pier being provided in the interior with a cellar. The pier in turn supports a 3-story brick dwelling about 32 feet square and 34 feet 6 inches high, with mansard roof, from the top of which projects an octagonal brick watch room forming the base for a fourth-order, cylindrical, helical bar, cast-iron lantern, whose focal plane is 43 feet above the top of the pier.
The lighthouse opened on November 10, 1909. It was taken over by the United States Coast Guard in 1939. It became fully automated in 1987. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Read further history on the New London Maritime Society site.
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Last updated August 9th, 2016
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