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Stratford Point Lighthouse

stratford point lighthouse

Stratford, Connecticut
Built in 1821

Location:

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

 

Historic Stories:

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.

Stratford Point’s first keeper was Samuel Buddington. He and his wife Amy had seven children. The keeper was replaced at one time for political reasons, which were common practice, then reinstated in 1844 when Democrat James Polk won the election. Buddington died in 1848, and his wife took on the keeper’s duties.

 

Keeper’s Granddaughter Saves Steamer Elm City

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.

water view of startford point light

 

 

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. early stratford point light
1884 Image Before Red Stripe
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.

water view of Stratford Point light

 

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

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.

monarch butterfly on flower Stratford Point Island nearby is a great place for birding. Migrating monarch butterflies appear on the island in huge numbers during late September and early October.

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.

Stratford Point Lighthouse is a private residence, and the grounds around the lighthouse are closed to the public.

However, visitors can still get interesting views and photos from outside the gate at Stratford Point, at the end of Prospect Drive. tree in front of gate at Startford Point lighthouse grounds

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.

 

 

 

Driving Directions

Heading North

 

Heading South

 

Contact Info:
Town of Stratford

As of summer pf 2023, Stratford Point is owned and privately managed by Sporting Goods Properties, a subsidiary of the Dupont Corporation. It is currently in the process of being transferred over to the Connecticut Audubon Society for the near future.

 

 

Local Boat Tour

At this time there are no boat tours out to the lighthouse

 

 

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, 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.

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 bookstoresin 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 beginning of the twentieth century, 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.

 

 

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