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Lynde Point Lighthouse

lynde point lighthouse

Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Built in 1803


Location:

West side of the mouth of the Connecticut River, off Route 154 from Route 95. Private residence.

Latitude: 41° 16' 17" N
Longitude: 72° 20' 35" W

 

Historic Stories:

With increased shipping traffic and fishing, Lynde Point Lighthouse was built in 1803 to guide ships coming through Long Island Sound where the Connecticut River empties into the sound at Old Saybrook. The first wooden lighthouse with a whale-oil lantern placed on top was criticized by mariners as being too difficult to see. They complained it was too dim and too short, and the evaporation from the nearby marsh would cause a constant fog obscuring the lighthouse, even though the air would be clear out at sea.

Instead of raising the tower, the lighthouse was rebuilt instead in 1838 with a 65-foot stone tower, with windows pointing towards the water for keepers to watch the busy shipping traffic.

A year after the outbreak of the Civil War, John Ninde Buckridge joined the Union Army and fought in Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and was involved in other small battles in northern Virginia. On March 24, 1864, Buckridge was part of a wood cutting detail in northern Virginia, when his axe slipped and he cut off a toe. Gangrene had set in, and his right leg soon had to be amputated at the thigh. After recuperating and being fitted with a wooden leg, Buckridge was discharged in July of 1865. He joined the lighthouse service a few years later and tended Lynde Point Light successfully from 1883 to 1902 with his one good leg.

Buckridge and his wife Margaret had six children. Thomas Buckridge, the couple’s only son, became a lighthouse keeper himself, finishing his career at nearby Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse.

Actress Katharine Hepburn lived for many years near Lynde Point Lighthouse and Saybrook Breakwater Light.

lynde point light early construction
1838 Construction
Image courtesy of US Coast Guard

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

Old Saybrook offers plenty of community events and historical New England 19th century Victorian architecture. It is one of the yachting capitals of the Connecticut shoreline and boasts as being one of Connecticut’s earliest settlements. You can take a swing at the Fenwick Golf Course, or head to the bowling lanes. Take a nice shoreline drive to enjoy the views.   

You can find nice views of Lynde Point Light (private residence), which you can observe a few hundred yards away along shore and also get some good distant views of Saybrook Breakwater Light nearby.

 

Directions:

 

Contact Info:
Old Saybrook Chamber

Old Saybrook Historical Society
PO Box 4
Old Saybrook, CT  06475
www.saybrookhistory.org

Phone (860) 388-2622

 

 

Local Boat Tours

Connecticut River Expeditions
Provides a lighthouse cruise to both lighthouses in Old Saybrook along the mouth of the Connecticut River, usually in August. May also charter to lighthouses.

CRE
PO BOx 488
Haddam, CT 06438
Phone: (860) 662-0577

Email: captainmark@yuknat.com

 

 

 

Real Escape Cruises
Luxury cruises all along Long Island Sound, and along the Connecticut River shoreline.

99 Ledge Road, Plainville, CT 06062
Phoen: (860) 793-9933

 

My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore, and tours.

Look inside!

 

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