Built in 1821
Marking the entrance to Stratford Harbor, the lighthouse is off Prospect Drive from the airport. Grounds around the lighthouse are closed to the public.
|Latitude: 41° 09' 07" N
||Longitude: 73° 06' 12" W|
Stratford was involved in shipbuilding and the oyster industries, so Stratford Point lighthouse, was built in 1821 to accommodate the increasing traffic and the consistent foggy weather in the area. The lighthouse is sometimes referred to as "Lordship Light," as the light is stationed on land that was part of an early settlement called Lordship.
In 1871, Keeper Benedict Lillingston had a visit to the lighthouse from his 12-year old granddaughter Lottie. The keepers had to go on a rescue effort after receiving signals of a nearby vessel in distress. After they left, Lottie noticed the light had gone out and managed to relight the secondary light as she had watched her grandfather perform many times beforehand with her. Her quick thinking helped to guide the oncoming steamer Elm City into the harbor safely.
|One Keeper, Theodore Judson, claimed to have seen a group of mermaids off the point and further claimed that he almost caught one. One of his daughters, Agnes, is credited with saving two fishermen who were knocked out of their boat by a huge wave.||
Vintage image before red stripe is painted.
Courtesy US Coast Guard
Keeper William Petzolt and his assistant were credited with rescuing 30 passengers from the stranded vessel Ellen May, where they were all cared for at the lighthouse, then brought into New Haven by trolley.
Daniel McCoart, a Navy veteran and former light heavyweight boxer, was the civilian keeper from 1945 to 1963, where he lived at the lighthouse with his family. He retired with a total of 44 years of lighthouse service.
Places to Visit Nearby:
Stratford Point Island is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and is a great place for birding. Migrating monarch butterflies appear on the island in huge numbers during late September and early October. Places like the Great Meadows unit in Stratford, one of ten units that comprise the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, provide plenty of trails to hike around the coastal wetlands, with special wildlife observation platforms.
Stratford’s rich heritage, with it’s location on Long Island Sound, provides residents and visitors alike with two public bathing beaches, five marinas, several fishing piers and two public boat-launching facilities.
For those who want a more historic venue, Boothe Memorial Park and Museum sits on a 32-acre site believed to be the oldest homestead in America. While the park has well marked trails, the museum tends a collection of 20 unique buildings and structures, including a carriage house, trolley station, windmill, miniature lighthouse, chapel, Americana Museum, a clock tower museum, and a blacksmith shop. The National Helicopter Museum showcases the history of the helicopter and other aviation events from the early 1900s to the present, providing models, video, photos and documents. Strangely, its location is in a railroad station. The Stratford Antique Center is comprised of up to 200 dealers showcasing all areas of antiques.
In addition to offering natural resources like Stratford is host to a variety of cultural attractions as well, including the Shakespeare Theatre.
- From Route I-95 North, take Exit 30 to Route 113 (Lordship) and continue past Bridgeport Municipal Airport into Lordship.
- Continue along the airport fence and take left at Oak Bluff,
- At the rotary, follow Prospect Drive to a parking lot for lighthouse. Short walk to the lighthouse.
- From Route I-95 South, Take Exit 32, then left on Frontage Road.
- On Route 113, continue onto Short Beach Drive past the airport into Lordship,
- At the multiple way intersection, take Prospect drive to the lighthouse.
Town of Stratford
Stratford Point is owned and privately managed by Sporting Goods Properties, a subsidiary of the Dupont Corporation.
Local Boat Tour
Uses a special catamaran called the "Spirit of the Sound," and is the only research vessel in North America with hybrid-electric propulsion. In addition to marine life study, seal, birding, and TGIF cruises, they offer two lighthouse cruises in the Spring so book early. The one for Central Long Island Sound, covers Peck Ledge, Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island lighthouses in Norwalk, Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield and Stratford Shoal (Middle Ground) Light. The one for Western Long Island Sound covers Greens Ledge, Sheffield Island, Stamford Harbor (or Harbor Ledge), and Great Captain Island.
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
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. There are also over 360 images to enjoy.
More detailed accounts of the the stories mentioned above are provided along with some additional stories like the keeper who beleived to have had an encounter with mermaids, and of course, more attractions near this beacon.