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:

ernie the ghost new london ledgelight

REAL PICTURE I TOOK of Ernie the Ghost (replica)

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.

new london ledgelight lighthouse

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:

new london ledgelight todd gipstein

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.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

It did not. I was kind of disappointed.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Jeeze lady, that skirt’s a little short for a work even with your husband’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Basement steps. They used to store the coal down here before the light was electric.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Basement floor

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Main stairs

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Picture of a lighthouse in a lighthouse. So meta.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Plum Island (Have you ever read that book? Great book.)

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

There was a toilet in this room that works by burning away the waste. It was kind of terrifying.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

On top of the world

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

I dropped those sunglasses over the side as I was leaving. Only bad part of the whole day.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Every lighthouse lamp has a different pattern, so sailors could tell where they were approaching even in the dark or fog.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Ledgelight’s pattern is three white, one red

New London Ledgelight lighthouse view of New London

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse view

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

The people standing up there are all pretty important, but you don’t care.

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

And if you want more information on Ledgelight, you can like them on Facebook or visit their website.

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.

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13 Responses to “New London Ledgelight Lighthouse Tour”

  1. Jess Judkins says:

    Oh my goodness, no lie Scott and I want to renew our vows in a few years because our wedding was horrible (family drama) and this place would be PERFECT for us bc all of our family (the ones that we like) from new england can come out to it and cant you just imagine me at the lighthouse with a white dress and billowy hair :-)

    Im forwarding this to my family up there :-)

  2. Erin says:

    This looks so cool! Can I ditch my child at your house and go see it?! ……Just kidding!……Sort of.

    Can I be the photographer for your vow renewal?!?!? That would be the coolest thing ever!

  3. I LOVE the lighthouse and vow renewal should so totally be there. It would be perfect!

  4. Sarah says:

    Wow looks like so much fun! A total adventure. Glad you had a great time =)

    – Sarah

  5. mego says:

    I wanna see the weird toilet!
    Beautiful pictures

  6. Sarah says:

    I love lighthouses! My grandparents used to live on the Oregon coast and I’ve probably visited every lighthouse in the state!!! LOVE IT! The eastern lighthouses are so different!!!

  7. Kimberly says:

    Do it now! Do it now! And I want an invite :)

  8. MKP says:

    I really love that pic of the blue stairs – if it were cropped or altered at the top I would totally buy that as a print and hang it on my wall – everything in my room is some shade of blue or black :)

  9. Amy says:

    Great photos! You looks so blonde and tan! I never knew that about the patterns of a lighthouse. I’ve also never been to a lighthouse.

  10. I love your pics!! They look AWESOME! And if you need a dress, let me know… Mine is stuffed in a closet somewhere.
    Also, if you love lighthouses, come out west to visit us and we’ll make you walk the 300 stairs to the Pt Reyes lighthouse. It’s AWESOME.

  11. Christa says:

    I adore lighthouses. I DID get married at a lighthouse, although it was on land and here in MD. Great photos as always!

  12. karen says:

    Oh, how I love that lighthouse. I grew up in the area and went inside on a Project O trip at least a few years ago. (okay, 20 years ago) I always loved looking out on that house on the water and thinking about what it would have been like to live there, ghost and all. Looks exactly the same as I remember.

  13. Autumn says:

    I don’t care what you say, I still think the Lighthouse is Haunted.

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