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“while you are in Stonington”

Old Lighthouse Museum
Ranked #2 of 19 things to do in Stonington
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A museum dedicated to whaling, sealing and farming as it was hundreds of years ago in Stonington.
Level Contributor
168 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“while you are in Stonington”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

A cute museum with plenty of maritime history of Long Island. It is worth an hour or two of your time

Visited October 2013
Thank AlterK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
109 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Worth a stop”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2013

It seems like the residents of Stonington emptied their attics to stock this fascinating little museum. We learned a lot about the area and enjoyed the brief climb up to the top of the lighthouse.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank BearZee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
37 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Historical landmark worth visiting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2013

This museum is rich with history and artifacts dating back to the War of 1812. It was enlightening to learn of the attack on Stonington by the British. We never realized the vulnerability of Connecticut during this period. The tower has narrow and windy stairs leading up to the lookout. I didn't go all the way up - just enough to peek out the windows, but my husband did. Only 4 people can view the lookout at one time. It's not for those afraid of heights! The grounds lead down to the water's edge and it has a pretty view.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank HKC1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilton, California
Level Contributor
1,308 reviews
644 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 778 helpful votes
“Quaint but filled with the past”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2013

We stopped by the Palmer House (historical society) but it was closed. We were able to speak with a woman who suggested we visit the lighthouse. We arrived on Two-for-Tuesday and paid $9 for both of us to view the interior and light view upstairs. There are a plethora of wonderful, even unique, items within the actual museums (no pictures allowed on bottom floor). The bottom floor is dedicated to the fishing industry and Vern explained many items I never would have guessed the use. I saw a "hook-line & sinker". You can see through glass in the floor into the well underneath the building. The artifacts are splendid. Upstairs was more personal in nature, more cases with area treasures and one room that resembles a child's room and items they would have had. There is a bathroom on the 2nd floor. Just inside the entry door is the staircase into the lighthouse room. What a view. We can only imagine what it looked like before the breakwaters were added years later, but there is no doubt why it was needed. Well worth the time and small entry fee.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank ruthandvern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dover, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
898 reviews
407 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,788 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2013

This is Stonington’s best-known landmark. The present lighthouse was built in 1840 and discontinued in 1889. Stonington Historical Society acquired the lighthouse and keeper’s house from the US Government in 1925 and opened them as a museum in 1927. Located on the east side of Stonington Harbor near DuBois Beach, the lighthouse overlooks the treacherous waters of Fishers Island Sound which it was built to guide ships across.

Inside at the gift shop, one pays admission of $9.00 to tour the lighthouse and the Capt. Palmer House.

On the first floor of the keeper’s house, there is a museum for Stonington’s maritime and agricultural history in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curiosities that predate the lighthouse are a cannon ball lodged in a hearthstone from a house on Water Street and a Congreve rocket fired on Stonington during the War of 1812 by the Royal Navy when the British attacked in 1814.

To tour the lighthouse, one climbs 29 steps on the circular staircase, plus a short ladder which has a “big boy” step at the top into the lantern room. It's also a big step down.

The sixth-order Fresnel lens installed in 1856 has been removed. It's just as well because the lantern room is small.

The 360-degree panorama from the top is magnificent with views of Stonington Harbor, DuBois Beach, Stonington Point, Fishers Island Sound, and Little Narragansett Bay toward Watch Hill, RI.

On the day I was here, a local realtor was out front with a professional photographer. The photographer was photographing the gray house across the street and the views one would get from it, using a remote-controlled camera on a telescoping tripod that would go 50 feet in the air. He was entertainment for lighthouse visitors.

There are benches on the front lawn. Sit a spell and enjoy the view and the light sea breeze.

Picnics are allowed on the lighthouse grounds.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Maurene_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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