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Reaching a height of 90 feet, the New London Lighthouse has been guiding vessels in and out of the Long Island Sounds since its construction in 1801. Still an active navigational aid, it has eight sides and is situated on the west side of the New London harbor entrance. Its light can be seen 15 miles away. The U.S. Coast Guard operates the light but the lighthouse is owned by the New London Maritime Society. The lighthouse is the fourth one to be located at this site; the first was erected in 1760 or 1761. As such, it holds significant historical importance as one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. For this reason, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. At present, the lighthouse is not open to the public on a regular basis.


  • The New London Harbor Lighthouse was built in 1801 (the keeper's house was added in 1863) and still functions as a navigational aid operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The first lighthouse built here was one of twelve that the British built as part of their coastal defense system, primarily as a way to warn of an approaching French fleet. The newly-formed American government took control of these lighthouses and starting in 1789, they were managed by the United States Lighthouse Establishment, the predecessor to the United States Lighthouse Board.

The original lighthouse that was built in the colonial era operated until the current one was built in 1801. The lighthouse used the original lamps until 1855 when a fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed. The lighthouse keeper's house was built in 1863 to provide a living space for a lighthouse keeper. Having a home was an important incentive, as work as a lighthouse keeper could be a lonely occupation, especially in remote areas. The light was automated in 1912 and then electrified in 1930. The New London Maritime Society has operated the lighthouse since 2010.

"New London Harbor 'Pequot' Light." New London Maritime Society. Accessed January 23, 2019. http://www.nlmaritimesociety.org/NL-Harbor-Light.html.

Templeton, Dorothy B. "New London Lighthouse." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. May 29, 1990.  https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/89001470_text.