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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.