Light Hearted

Light Hearted episode 90 – Aimee Newell, Stonington Lighthouse Museum, CT

Stonington, Connecticut, grew into a thriving port known for its shipbuilding, sealing, and whaling. By 1819, the town had as many as 15 vessels engaged in fishing along with some engaged in coastal trade. In May 1822, Congress appropriated $3,500 for a lighthouse at the east side of the entrance to Stonington’s harbor. The stone lighthouse was first lit in 1824. In 1840, a new lighthouse was built further back from the eroding shore. A new 25-foot cast-iron lighthouse was erected on a breakwater in Stonington Harbor in 1889, rendering the old lighthouse obsolete.

The Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, Connecticut. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.
Aimee Newell

The fortress-like stone lighthouse was acquired by the Stonington Historical Society in 1925. They converted the interior into a six-room museum of local history.

It’s considered the oldest lighthouse museum in the U.S. Visitors get to ascend the 29 steps to the lantern room for a spectacular view.

Aimee Newell is the executive director of the Stonington Historical Society. She comes to Connecticut from Pennsylvania, where she was executive director of the Luzerne County Historical Society and also an adjunct professor of history at Wilkes University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *