Stratford Point Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1822
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1881
Year Automated: 1970
Tower Height: 35 ft.
Original Optic: 3rd Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 190mm
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1881
Number of Stories: 1.5
Architectural Style: Gothic
Construction Materials: Wood
Stratford Point Lighthouse
(5 photos, 129KB total download)
Last Visited: August, 2004
To mark the entrance to the harbor, the first Stratford Point Light was built on the west side of the dangerous mouth of the Housatonic River in 1822 at a cost of $4,000.
The revolving light consisted of ten lamps and reflectors on two tables of five lamps each. In 1855 the 28-foot octagonal wooden tower was fitted with a fifth order Fresnel lens. A fog bell in a bell tower was added in 1864. It took 20 minutes to wind the clockwork mechanism in the tower sufficiently for it to run for 30 minutes.
In 1881 a new 35-foot cast iron tower and a new eight-room Gothic Revival house were built. The tower, one of the earliest prefabricated cylindrical cast-iron lighthouses in the nation, was equipped with a third order Fresnel lens exhibiting a flashing white light. A new fog bell was added the same year. In 1906 the lens was replaced by a fourth order lens that rotated in a bed of mercury. In 1910 a fog siren replaced the old fog bell and a brick powerhouse was built to house the equipment.
In 1969, Stratford Point Light took on the appearance of a "headless" lighthouse as the lantern was removed to make room for new automated DCB-224 aerobeacons. These powerful beacons for a time made the light the most powerful on Long Island Sound. The old lantern was donated to the Stratford Historical Society, and it was displayed at Booth Memorial Park in Stratford for 21 years.
In 1990, a smaller optic was installed and the lantern was refurbished and reinstalled at a cost of about $80,000, with a dedication ceremony on July 14, 1990. The tower was repainted in 1996, keeping its distinctive markings of white with a brown band in the middle.
A Coast Guard family lives at the lighthouse and the station is not open to the public.
New England Lighthouses - A Virtual Guide
The grounds are a private residence for Coast Guard personell and is not open to the public. You can get an OK view from the end of their driveway but the best views are by boat.
Nearest Address: 1299 Prospect Dr, Stratford, CT
- From Fairhaven take Route 95 south to exit 31.
- At the end of the ramp take a left onto South Ave.
- In about 0.5 miles at the intersection with Route 113, turn right onto Route 113.
- Stay on Route 113 for about 2 miles (past the airport) and turn left onto Prospect Drive.
- Take Prospect Drive to the end. You'll see the lighthouse in front of you. Please respect the privacy of the residents in the neighborhood.
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