You’ve probably seen New London Ledge Lighthouse from the shores of New London or Groton. But you can also get an up close and personal look at it while learning the history of the landmark.
“The Lighthouse was designed and built and opened in 1909,” said Stanley Solinsky, a volunteer tour guide at the New London Maritime Society.
Located in the mouth of the Thames River, Ledge Lighthouse has served an important purpose for the past century.
“They put it on the west side of what’s called Black Ledge” Solinsky explained. “This ledge extends all the way to the town of Groton and it tells ships that they can past west of the light and therefore be safe in the deeper water.”
Through September 30th, The New London Maritime Society is offering tours of the historic structure, which begin at the Custom House inside the ‘Lighthouse Room.’
“And there are many wonderful artifacts,” Solinsky said.
Visitors then board a boat nearby that takes them down the Thames River towards the Long Island Sound.
“We also stop by and look at the New London Harbor Light — the tall white lighthouse along Pequot Avenue in New London,” Solinsky said.
Once at Ledge Light, you can walk around the outside and interior of the structure, and even to the very top of the lighthouse.
“And just seeing the view from the top of the lighthouse, I mean that really is the big thrill and everybody should really have an opportunity to do that,” Solinsky said.
For the paranormal lovers, you can even learn about local lore.
“There is a room set up — a bedroom — as Ernie’s room,” Solinsky explained.
According to legend, Ernie was a lighthouse keeper in the early 20th century, whose wife ran off with the captain of the Block Island Ferry. The grief-struck Ernie allegedly jumped off the top of the lighthouse, ending his life.
“And his ghost haunts this lighthouse to this day,” Solinsky said.
With stunning views and a rich history, the Ledge Lighthouse is a tour worth taking.
“There are many folks that have lived in New London their entire life that have never been out there to walk around inside the light,” Solinsky explained.
So if you’ve only ever admired ledge lighthouse from a far, now’s your chance to experience it for yourself.