Previous Light:
Morgan Point
Next Lighthouse:
Watch Hill, RI

Stonington Harbor Lighthouse

Stonington Harbor lighthouse

Stonington, Connecticut
Built in 1823


Entrance to Stonington Harbor. The lighthouse serves as the town library and museum and is open to the public during regular hours. Grounds are also open to the public.

Latitude: 41° 19' 43" N
Longitude: 71° 54' 20" W


Historic Stories:

During the War of 1812, in 1814, the townspeople of Stonington, who were badly outnumbered and outgunned, still fought bravely and managed to repel an attack by five British warships.

In the early 1800’s, Stonington became a center for shipbuilding, whaling, and fishing industries, prompting the need for the current Stonington Harbor lighthouse to be built in 1823 at the entrance to the harbor. It was the first lighthouse built in Connecticut. It was later rebuilt in 1840.

The lighthouse was offered for sale by the US government. The winning and only bid came from the Stonington Historical Society in 1925,

They completely refurbished the structure with the help of local volunteers and tradesmen, and opened it to the public as a museum. Stonington Harbor lighthouse

The Old Lighthouse Museum still operates today, and boasts as the only lighthouse on the Connecticut mainland that is regularly open to the public.

Stonington Harbor light tower  Although the current lighthouse does not have a fixed light to serve as a beacon for mariners, the original whale oil light from the first Stonington light is one of the many items on display inside the museum.



Places to Visit Nearby:

Stonington is a beautiful historic village, with many well-preserved houses and architecture from the 18th-century and 19th-century fishing and whaling days.

The lighthouse itself is known as the Old Lighthouse Museum owned by the Stonington Historical Society and is now a library of the village of Stonington. American flag by Stonington Harbor light

You can park nearby and visit the lighthouse and surrounding grounds,

DuBois beach in Stonington Within walking distance of the lighthouse, enjoy nearby DuBois Beach.

Stonington is also one of the main starting points of the Connecticut Wine Trail, highlighting 25 of Connecticut's wineries.

At the wildlife sanctuary of Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, you can attend one of their environmental education seminars, or take a leisurely nature trail hike.

Mystic Seaport nearby is an outdoor maritime museum replicating a typical New England seaport staged around the 19th century. You'll be educated about the craftsmen and skills utilized during this era, and explore fully reconstructed vessels from the whaling and tourism industries, and how they used the stars to navigate. These include the world's only functional whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan, and a 106 year old wooden steamboat, the Sabino.

You'll also find a full sized replica of a New England lighthouse constructed familiar to Brant Point light on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.

Mystic Seaport during sunset

This is where you can explore, learn, and fully experience our New England maritime heritage, as those who've sailed these vessels many years ago.

The Mystic Aquarium provides educational and up close exhibits of marine life that include sharks, jellyfish, eels, barracuda, and sea lions. It also has one of the largest Beluga Whale exhibits in the country. 

Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer House is a Victorian era historic house turned into museum of the pioneering Antarctic explorer, Nathanial Palmer.

Stonington Harbor Lighthouse Museum




Contact Info:
Stonington Historical Society
P.O. Box 103
Stonington, CT 06378


Local Boat Tour

Hard Tail Charters

They offer water taxi and charter services from Watch Hill, Rhode Island, to Stonington and Mystic, Connecticut, and out to Fishers Island, New York.

Phone: (845) 263-0119


Books to Explore


Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts

This resourceful book provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore, along with various cruises and tours.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses in southern New England



book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

Available in paperback, hard cover, 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. These true stories include competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.



Back to Top