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Stratford Shoal Lighthouse
(Middleground Light)

stratford lighthouse

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Built in 1878



Location:

Midway between Stratford Point, Conn., and Long Island’s Old Field Point, NY. Access only by boat.

Latitude: 41° 03' 35" N
Longitude: 73° 06' 05" W

Historic Stories:

Although the lighthouse was due to be completed around 1872, consistent severe weather delayed completion until it’s being lit in 1878. The schooner Mignonette was being used at the construction site to house men and store supplies. In 1877, during a severe November storm, the ship was driven onto the ledge. Luckily no lives were lost, but added to the many delays in completing the structure.

Due to its isolated location, keepers sometimes would develop psychological issues. While the head Keeper was ashore on vacation in 1905, one Assistant Keeper, Julius Koster, attacked another Assistant Keeper, Morrell Hulse in an argument with a knife, he also tried to commit suicide once when left alone. After five nervous days of fearing for his own life and trying to keep the lighthouse working, he found Koster in the lantern room with an axe ready to destroy the lens. Hulse was able to subdue Koster and get help from the mainland. Koster was immediately removed from service and committed to a New York sanitarium.

In 1915, Keeper Usinger rescued 5 people whose boat was knocked over from gale force winds. In 1933, Keeper Allen and his assistant rescued a crew of 10 aboard the Saugatuck. The crew had been without food or heat for almost two days. stratford shoal light
Vintage image courtesy of
US Coast Guard

 

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

The city of Bridgeport, in addition to promoting the arts, provides visitors with a new sports and entertainment complex called the Arena at Harbor Yard with events happening year round, and the Shoreline Star, which provides greyhound and horse racing. From Bridgeport’s culturally diverse communities, there are offered plenty of special events throughout the year, and special places to visit like Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

Nearby, you can visit 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.

Long Island Sound is 113 miles long and 21 miles wide at its widest point, covering most of Connencticut's shoreline and parts of New York.

In addition to offering natural resources like the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Stratford is host to a variety of cultural attractions as well, including the Shakespeare Theatre and Boothe Memorial Park.

 

Contact Info:
City of Bridgeport

 

Local Boat Tour

 

Maritime Aquarium

Uses a special catamaran called the "Spirit of the Sound," and is the only research vessel in North America with hybrid-electric propulsion. She runs virtually silently on electric power for our 2½-hour study cruises on Long Island Sound. 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
Phone: (203) 852-0700

 

 

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.

In the book you'll find a more detailed account of the story mentioned above of the Assistant Keeper Koster who went insane and haunts Middleground Light today.

Look inside!

 

 

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