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Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse

stamford harbor lighthouse

Stamford, Connecticut
Built in 1882


On a ledge marking the entrance to Stamford Harbor.

Latitude: 41° 00' 48" N
Longitude: 73° 32' 31" W


Historic Stories:

The entrance to Stamford Harbor contains many treacherous reefs and ledges, leading to many shipwrecks during storms and foggy days. Stamford Harbor Lighthouse was built in 1882 on one of those ledges, marking the entrance to the harbor.

The original quarters of the structure were cramped, but the lighthouse’s second keeper, Naylor Jones, tried to adjust with his family stationed there. To make everyone confortable he built a dock and chicken coop. However, a short time after his construction of his projects were completed, a windy nor’easter came along and swept the coop, dock, and even his boat out to sea. Fearing for everyone’s safety, Keeper Jones moved back to shore with his family, and decided to row to the lighthouse everyday to tend the beacon during his service.

In 1931, Keeper Bliven, who had been missing for three days, leaving the lighthouse unattended, was found dead nearby with his boat. Although some believed his boat simply overturned, many suspected due to the head injuries discovered that he had been pushed off the lighthouse. No one was ever charged.

In 1939, Keeper Marty Sowle, who served from 1938 to 1953, rescued one of two men whose boat had sunk in an October storm. For his heroism, he received a Congressional Silver Medal. early Stamford_Harbor_light
Early Stamford Harbor Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

The beacon currently is in need of funds for restoration.




Places to Visit Nearby:

Stamford has a rich history you can enjoy at the South-End historic district and has beaches and parks to enjoy. There’s plenty of architecture to study in this 177-acre area from the late 1870s to 1930s. One of these parks, the Jackie Robinson Park, is named after baseball legend, Jackie Robinson, who lived in Stamford. If you enjoy biking and hiking, the 220-acre Mianus River Park is worth visiting. Being an affluent area, if you are driving to get a distant view of Stamford Harbor Light, there are some great opulent homes to see along lower Shippan and Ocean Drive routes.

Take a walk through the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens, a 91-acre preserve in North Stamford including several species of “champion” trees, the largest of their type in the area. You can enjoy cultural events and arts at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center.

If you are driving to get a distant view of the lighthouse, there are some great opulent homes to see along lower Shippan and Ocean Drive routes.

For those who want to go out sailing out of Stamford Harbor along Long Island Sound, climb aboard the 3-masted Schooner SoundWaters for afternoon and sunset sails. The SoundWaters Coastal Education Center provides a variety of educational hands-on marine exhibits, events, and activities.


Driving Directions for a Distant View


Contact Info:
Stamford Historical Society
1508 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT 06903
Telephone: (203) 329-1183



Local Sailing Cruise

Schooner Sound Waters

The three-masted schooner offers public sails morning, afternoon, and sunset, along with various education sails and charters. It may pass by Stamford Harbor Ledge Light on some excursions from Brewer Yacht Haven Marina in Stamford, depending on weather conditions, however, they don't offer a lighthouse cruise.

4 Yacht Haven West Marina
Washington Boulevard
Stamford, Connecticut 06902
(203) 323-1978


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 and tours.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses in southern New England



book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

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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