New London Ledgelight Lighthouse Tour
Spoiler alert: The New London Ledgelight lighthouse’s ghost turned out to be a legend based on legend, not a real person. Although I did get a pretty good picture of him:
Even an unhaunted lighthouse is better than no lighthouse, and a lighthouse built on a shelf out in the middle of the harbor is awesome. We got to go as part of a charity auction I talked my very drunk husband into bidding on (along with the rest of his command) but it turns out Ledgelight actually allows tours several times a week through Project Oceanology – although kids under 6 aren’t allowed so we won’t be dragging Evan and Caroline out there just yet.
Basic facts: Built in 1909, the light was manned by civilians, then taken over by the Coast Guard. They left in 1987 after installing an automatic light and foghorn and since then a private charity has been working to preserve the building. Tons of information about Ledgelight here on their website. They have managed to fix up the second floor and put in a TV to show the film about the light created by this guy:
Todd Gipstein and his wife were just two people who loved the light and wanted to do a little to help. They ended up taking over Ledgelight’s 100th anniversary celebration and now give tours, do hands-on work, manage the website, create brochures and videos and fundraise to continue their mission. (Todd also wrote a book, Legacy of the Light, set on the other super-cool local lighthouse Race Rock.) Although with two kids hanging around all the time, I won’t be able to volunteer as a railing painter or floor scrubber very often, I’m hoping to find ways to support Ledgelight. Because I’m a dork who thinks lighthouses are super cool.
p.s. While we were out there, Todd was listing ways they were trying to raising money for the light, and he said “And if someone wanted to get married out here, we’d charge them a little fee and that would be totally doable.” So now my new Life’s Goal is to find SOMEONE to get married on Ledgelight. It would be fabulous.
p.p.s. Connecticut allows same-sex marriages. Just saying.
p.p.p.s. Although if we’re still stationed here in 2014, we are TOTALLY doing a 10-year vow renewal on Ledgelight. I will buy a big fancy wedding dress and E will wear his uniform and we’ll wrap the railings in twinklelights and tulle and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, let’s do it NOW.