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Greens Ledge Lighthouse

Greens Ledge lighthouse

Norwalk, Connecticut
Built in 1902



On a rocky reef southwest of Sheffield Island offshore from Norwalk, CT.

Latitude: 41° 02' 30" N
Longitude: 73° 26' 38" W

Historic Stories:

Greens Ledge Lighthouse, built in 1902 sits atop an isolated reef southwest of Sheffield Island, a few miles offshore from Norwalk Harbor. early Greens Ledge light
Early Greens Ledge Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

Keeper's Greed Ends in Tragedy

The lighthouse has a sad story in its history involving the greed of one keeper destroying the health of his assistant.

In 1910, Keeper John Kiarson left for shore to get much needed supplies and pick up his and the Assistant Keeper’s (Leroy Loughborough) paychecks. Kiarson, who had a drinking problem, decided to get greedy after leaving Assistant Keeper Loughborough at the lighthouse. He cashed both paychecks and went on a drinking binge, leaving his assistant Loughborough at the lighthouse for 11 fogged in and stormy days. To survive, Loughborough was living on potatoes, dog biscuits, and boiled salt water.

During the constant foggy and stormy weather that was plaguing the area, Assistant Keeper Loughborough tried to keep the light burning during his ordeal as the days wore on. The engine was causing problems with the light and Loughborough was spending much time trying to repair it to keep the light from going out. When he eventually passed out of exhaustion nearly 11 days later from trying to repair the engine, the light went out in the fog.

Local mariners notified the authorities, and the lighthouse tender Pansy was dispatched to investigate, where they found Loughborough in very poor health. Keeper Kiarson was immediately removed from his post but Loughborough never recovered from his ordeal. He died about a year later from tuberculosis.

greens Ledge light on a foggy day



One New England winter morning in 1917, Keeper Frank Thompson went ashore to get needed supplies. As he rowed back towards the lighthouse that afternoon, he became trapped amid monstrous ice floes from the tide that was taking him out to sea. One resident in South Norwalk witnessed the keeper in peril and quickly notified the lighthouse authorities. A tugboat was sent out with a crew to rescue the half frozen Thompson, and they finally found him late in the evening, and just in time before he perished from exposure that night.

Over the years the ground under the 62-foot structure shifted creating a slight tilt, which continued to worsen causing the keepers to place all furniture on the lower portion of the rooms.

After the hurricane of September 1938 slammed against the lighthouse, it developed a tilt that remains today. Greens Ledge light with tilt




Places to Visit Nearby:

Norwalk promotes many cultural events in the arts and music for its community and for tourists, including it’s own artists’ museum, the Norwalk Museum, and the Stepping Stones Museum nearby for children. The SONO Switch Tower Museum shows visitors how railroads used towers that house the mechanisms for switching trains from one track to another. Visit the Maritime Aquarium to view their aquatic exhibits.

Greens Ledge light from a distant view

Directions for a Distant View


Contact Info: 

Greens Ledge Preservation Society
PO Box 43, Rowayton, CT 06853
Phone: (203) 939-9654


Local Boat Tours

Norwalk Seaport Association
Provides ferry access to Sheffield Island from Norwalk and tours of Sheffield Island Lighthouse. Also provides special Norwalk Harbor cruises to view Pecks Ledge Light and Greens Ledge Light, and view Sheffield Island Light from the boat during the summer.  

4 North Water St  
Norwalk, CT 06854
(203) 838-9444


Maritime Aquarium
In addition to marine life study, seals, birding, and TGIF cruises, they offer a 3-hour Greens Ledge Lighthouse Tour, aboard their research vessel the Spirit of the Sound. It is the first vessel in the nation with quiet hybrid-electric propulsion.

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: (203) 852-0700


Charter My Sea Ray
For those who are looking for a private personal charter experience along Long Island Sound. As part of their Lighthouses Tour, they provide a close up view of Greens Ledge Light, Pecks Ledge Light, and Sheffield Island Light.

144 Water St.
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: (203) 943-6946



Books to Explore

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!

book about lighthouses in southern New England



book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

Available from bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships:
Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships.



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