New London Ledge Lighthouse is located between New London and Groton, CT where the Thames River meets the waters of Fishers Island Sound. Rather than the typical spark-plug design lighthouse of the early 1900s for this area, Ledge Light turned into more of a mansion on the water. Styled in French Second Empire, this very ornate structure was built in 1909. It features five floors, eleven rooms, and a roof with two slopes on all sides. The lower slope is nearly vertical and the upper is almost horizontal. Its corners face the four cardinal compass points. This lighthouse has stood sentinel and guided early century tall ships and modern submarines between the shores of New London and Groton. Ledge Light Lighthouse was the last manned light in Long Island Sound until its automation in 1989.
At the time of my visit here in 2001, tours to the lighthouse run from mid-June to Labor Day and were two and a half hours long. As part of the tour, folks learned about Ernie the Ghost. The story was his wife ran away with a tugboat captain. Her unfaithfulness left Ernie so distraught that he stuck himself with a knife and jumped off the top of the lighthouse. Legend has it, Ernie’s been ambling around for quite some time and his domain is the New London Ledge Lighthouse.
This lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is like no other lighthouse.