The beautiful Connecticut coast is well known for its lighthouses that aided ships to important ports during the early settling of America.
Great Lighthouses In Connecticut:
- Great Captain Island Lighthouse
- Sheffield Lighthouse
- Peck Ledge Lighthouse
- Penfield Lighthouse
- New London Ledge Lighthouse
- Mystic Seaport Lighthouse
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Mystic Seaport Lighthouse History
The lighthouse at Seaport is unique. Visitors should make sure to include this lighthouse in their tour. Unlike the ancient lighthouses that dot Connecticut’s coast, the Mystic Seaport Lighthouse was not constructed until 1966.
In 1929 a group of three residents realized that the community of Mystic, Connecticut, was losing important pieces of their maritime history. After all, from 1784 and 1919, 600 vessels were constructed along the Mystic River when wooden shipbuilding ruled supreme.
However, the construction of the railroad put a stop to the need for these ships. Mystic, Connecticut, stopped being known as a ship building location and became an important textile manufacturing city.
Over the next 50 years, people from around the world donated over 1,000,000 images, over 500 boats, and over 2,000,000 maritime artifacts. From its humble beginnings of three interested citizens, the city had amassed the largest collection of maritime materials in the world – including the last wooden whaleboat. However, something was still missing. They soon decided that the item that was missing was a lighthouse!
In 1966, a group of concerned citizens took on the construction of a lighthouse based on the 1901 Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The 1901 Brant Point Lighthouse was the tenth light and the seventh tower used on this site.
Mystic Seaport Lighthouse Renovation
Until 2007, visitors could only see the beautiful white wood exterior of this lighthouse. Then the lighthouse was closed and a major renovation was conducted under the control of Oudens Ello Architecture. Visitors could also see the fourth order Fresnel lens near the top of the 25 foot structure. The lens is on permanent loan from the United States Coast Guard.
When the Connecticut Mystic Seaport Lighthouse reopened in 2008, visitors for could enter the lighthouse, for the first time ever! Once inside visitors can watch an interactive video on the history of the maritime industry with a special emphasis on historical lighthouses. Make sure to be at the lighthouse in the middle of the afternoon for a fascinating lecture about the history of New England lighthouses.
Other Activities in Mystic Seaport
Visitors to the Mystic Seaport Lighthouse will find that there are many other activities available in the area. These include a great historical park to explore, which includes an outstanding small aquarium. Visitors will also enjoy a jaunt to nearby Stonington Village. Others will enjoy gambling at Foxwoods Casino and playing on the many miles of golden sand beaches. Shopaholics will find many quaint shops worth exploring.