The Lighthouse Inn Resort

6 Guthrie Pl, New London, CT 06320

More about New London


Race Rock Lighthouse - NY - 8 miles across soundRace Rock Lighthouse - NY - 8 miles across sound

Estuary ecology signEstuary ecology sign

Rock ledge and the New London Harbor LightRock ledge and the New London Harbor Light

Ferry passes the LedgeFerry passes the Ledge

Travel Tips for New London

Pequot Avenue Lighthouse

by grandmaR

..or the New London Harbor Light. When I read the description of how to get there, I did not think I would visit this lighthouse.

Lighthouse Friends page says "The keeper's residence is privately owned, and the grounds are not open to the public. In fact, during our visit, there was a "No Trespassing and No Photographs Sign" at the entrance to the property. I'm not sure how they can prohibit photographs..."

Under Construction

New London Harbor Lighthouse is Connecticut’s oldest and tallest lighthouse and provides an interesting architectural counterpoint to its much newer and flashier neighbor, the New London Ledge Lighthouse. It’s also a reminder of the glory days early in the country’s history when New London was the third busiest whaling port, behind New Bedford and Nantucket. The busy port also attracted several immigrants, leading to the beach area near where the lighthouse stands being used as quarantine ground in the 1750’s for recent arrivals to the New World infected with smallpox, a recurring problem at the time.

In 1760, the colonial legislature of Connecticut passed an act creating a committee to pursue the funding, construction, and staffing of a new lighthouse for the harbor entrance at New London. The following year, thousands of lottery tickets were sold to pay for the lighthouse (a popular method of raising funds for construction projects in those days). The lighthouse, a 64-foot stone tower with a wooden lantern at the top, was finished that same year at the west side of the harbor entrance. It was the first lighthouse in the harbor and only the fourth to be built in the American colonies.

By 1800, the New London Lighthouse had a crack extending ten feet down from the lantern. In addition, the light was so dim as to often be indistinguishable from the lights of the surrounding homes, and from the west the beacon was completely obscured by a point of land. Congress allocated funds for a replacement light, and in 1800 a New Londoner by the name of Abisha Woodward began construction on the current octagonal, tapered 80-foot tower. Sitting on a foundation of a mixture of granite, brownstone, and native stone, the tower was built of freestone, hammered smooth and laid in courses. The walls were nine inches thick and lined with brick inside. A wooden spiral staircase led up to the lantern room. Since construction of the tower, various renovations have been affected such as installing a new lantern with a copper dome, repainting the exterior walls with hydraulic cement and whitewash, and replacing the interior stairway.

When the new station opened in 1801, its flashing light was produced by oil lamps and an eclipser. This apparatus was replaced in 1834 by eleven lamps with 14-inch reflectors. Finally, a fourth-order Fresnel lens, which remains in the lighthouse today, was installed in the late 1850s. The first keeper’s house deteriorated quickly and was replaced in 1818. The current gable-roofed, 2 ½ story keeper’s residence was built in 1863.

During the War of 1812, the New London Harbor Lighthouse was extinguished. The British did not attack the station during the conflict, as it was guarded by colonial troops, but instead invaded the undefended Little Gull Island Light, taking all of its lamps and reflectors.

Click to view enlarged imageNew London was not the first town where landlubbers found themselves at odds with the maritime community. In 1904, the thorn in the town residents’ side was the fog siren newly installed in the New London Harbor Lighthouse. The sizable number of seasonal summer residents was especially dismayed after arriving for their annual period of rest and recuperation from big-city stresses only to have the new fog signal prevent any possibility of a good night’s sleep. While city residents complained about the “horrible groaning and shrieking,” local ship captains found the sound of the long-requested signal to be sweet music to their ears indeed when attempting to navigate the harbor through a typical pea-soup fog.

The problem was finally resolved in 1906 when a Daboll trumpet replaced the maligned fog siren. The whole issue became mute in 1911 when the New London Ledge Lighthouse was activated, and the Harbor light’s fog signal was turned off for good.

New London

by shortaybrown

"New London Connecticut as seen from Groton"

Across the water from Groton, CT., you will see this view of New London as the city streets slope down to meet the Thames River. The large red brick building is the train station. You can catch an Amtrak Acela high-speed train to Boston or Washington D.C. The very tall tower with multi antenna array means New London has the best cell phone reception in America. Go ahead and dial from anywhere, the connection is always crystal clear. Billie Holiday sang about covering the waterfront, and this picturesque part of the town would have taken Billie about 15 minutes to stroll through.

Be cautious, because Amtrak and massive freight trains plow through this area frequently during the day, and the railroad tracks are right along the waters edge.

"Welcome to Neo London"

The view from Fort Trumbull State Park looking north. New London was a great whaling port of the 19th century. Because hunting and slaughtering whales is considered barbaric by today's standards, New London downplays its original nickname... "The Whaling City" . The whales that swim in these waters are now powered by plutonium, and they have become the hunters.

"Goldstar bridge looking towards New London"

If your visiting from Rhode Island, youll drive over this bridge. Take the first exit on your right off this bridge, which is actually a part of I-95. Up there in the sky you will not only see the best view of New London, but some of the best views of the entire Connecticut coastline. This is the eastern part of Connecticut and there are no hills. Everything is flat. Sometimes I drive over this 1 mile long bridge on a nice day just for the sights. Look to the north to see the Navy's Groton Submarine base. Its the home of the Sea Wolf Attack submarine. One button and it could destroy all life on earth. Ive been down under this bridge when they sail the submarines out to sea. You have to be lucky to get a glimpse. They dont take them out every day of the week.

Home of the US Coast Guard Academy

by dln6874

Spent a few years here in New London while attending the US Coast Guard Academy as a member of c/o 1997. It was certainly the best of times and the worst of times. New London isn't the most exciting place in the world - very residential and few places to hang out. But you're kept pretty busy at the Academy, and you're always with your friends so you're never bored.


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