Southwest Ledge Light

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Southwest Ledge Light
New Haven Breakwater
SouthwestLedge NewHaven.jpg
Southwest Ledge Light
Southwest Ledge Light is located in Connecticut
Southwest Ledge Light
Location New Haven
United States
Coordinates 41°14′04.08″N 72°54′43.55″W / 41.2344667°N 72.9120972°W / 41.2344667; -72.9120972
Year first constructed 1877
Automated 1973
Foundation cast iron and concrete caisson basement
Construction cast iron tower
Tower shape octagonal tower with balcony and lantern incorporating 2-storey keeper's quarter
Markings / pattern white tower, black lantern, brown basement
Height 45 ft (14 m)
Focal height 57 ft (17 m)
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel lens
Current lens VRB-25
Light source solar power
Range 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi)
Characteristic Fl R 5s.
Fog signal 1 blast every 15s
Admiralty number J0780
ARLHS number USA-778
USCG number 1-21210
Managing agent

United States Coast Guard[1][2][3][4]

Southwest Ledge Lighthouse
Southwest Ledge Light is located in Connecticut
Southwest Ledge Light
Southwest Ledge Light is located in the US
Southwest Ledge Light
Nearest city New Haven, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°13′53″N 72°55′25″W / 41.23139°N 72.92361°W / 41.23139; -72.92361Coordinates: 41°13′53″N 72°55′25″W / 41.23139°N 72.92361°W / 41.23139; -72.92361
Area less than one acre
Built 1876
Architect Elliot, Maj. George H.
Architectural style Second Empire
MPS Operating Lighthouses in Connecticut MPS
NRHP reference # 89001475[5]
Added to NRHP May 29, 1990
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

Southwest Ledge Light is an active lighthouse in New Haven, Connecticut. United States, on the reef at main entrance to New Haven Harbor. It was one of the first to be built on a cylindrical iron foundation, an innovation by Maj. George H. Elliot to address shifting ice that is regarded to be very important in lighthouse design.[6]:3


Construction on the Southwest Ledge Lighthouse started in 1873 and was finished in 1877. The superstructure originally intended for this light was put on display at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876; in order to more quickly finish the light, however, a duplicate superstructure was built and installed at this light. The original house remained at the exposition until its close, and was then used for the Ship John Shoal Light in Delaware Bay.[3]

The lighthouse was automated in 1973.

Historic Photo

The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 as Southwest Ledge Lighthouse.[5][6]

The lighthouse is currently an active aid to navigation.

The lighthouse was placed up for sale in August 2016, and was sold to Dr. Casey Jordan of Beacon Preservation, Inc., in September 2016.[7]


  • Elizur Thompson (1877 – 1881)
  • Henry C. Thompson (1881 – 1898)
  • Frank C. Hall (1898 – 1905)
  • Jorgen Tonnesen (1905 – 1914)
  • John Petterson (at least 1915 – at least 1917)
  • David Griffiths (at least 1918 – at least 1919)
  • Albert Wilkinson (at least 1921 – at least 1922)
  • John Ostman (at least 1935 – at least 1940)
  • Michael Scanlan (1942 – 1943)[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Southwest Ledge (New Haven Breakwater) The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 22 June 2016
  2. ^ Connecticut Historic Light Station Information & Photography United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 22 June 2016
  3. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Connecticut". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 
  4. ^ Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 214. 
  5. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ a b Dorothy B. Templeton (October 22, 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Southwest Ledge Lighthouse". National Park Service. 
  7. ^ "GSA Auction". 
  8. ^ Southwest Ledge (New Haven Breakwater), CT Lighthouse Friends. Retrieved 22 June 2016

External links[edit]