A Brief History: The New London Harbor Lighthouse, located in New London Harbor Connecticut, was built in 1761 and originally stood 64 feet tall and 24 feet wide.  The lighthouse was the first to be built on the Long Island Sound.  After undergoing many renovations through out the years, the lighthouse now stands 111 feet tall.

In 1759 the land was purchased by King George II and King George III and the lighthouse was built by 1761 costing approximately $285,000, which was paid by private financing and the Connecticut Colonials by taxing them.  The Colonials would use the lighthouse as a guide to get back to their homes in New London Connecticut.  With the permission from the Governor of Connecticut, Jonathan Trumbell, the Shaw Family would take out small boats and wreak havoc on the British supply ships, stealing goods that they would then sell on the docks making a lot of money.  A percentage of the sales would go to the Colony of Connecticut to help fund the American Revolution.  Once Benedict Arnold was made aware of this activity, he landed in New London Harbor and marched into town and burnt it down. 

Once the revolution was over George Washington sent over $360 every quarter to supply the lighthouse with whale oil to keep the light lit.  Unfortunately within 10 years the lighthouse developed a huge crack along side of it making the lighthouse unstable.  Also with the developing town the light from the lighthouse was not sufficient enough for the local sailors.  Congress decided to restructure the lighthouse using funds of around $15,000.  Abisha Woodward completed construction in 1801 adding the octagonal shape you see today using granite and was painted white.   He also added a cistern and an oil house and redeveloped a larger light.

During the was of 1812, Commodore Decatur ordered the light to be put out so that the nearby British ships would not see the harbor.  Once the war of 1812 was over the lighthouse was relit and a lighthouse keepers quarters was added. 

Between 1833 and 1912 the lighthouse went under major changes such as; a new stone deck was added for the new lantern, iron rails, a copper dome and weather vane.  There was also reconstruction and added stairwells.  The Fresnel lens was also added.  The lighthouse keepers home was also reconstructed.  At this time the National Lighthouse Preservation Society runs the lighthouse. 

Haunted History: There have been claims of people seeing Colonial solders appear and disappear.  Visitors have also claimed to feel extreme cold spots in certain areas.  Late at night there have been claims of hearing screams coming from the lighthouse. 



Return To Previous Page