Fayerweather Island Lighthouse, located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is a historic beacon of hope for local sailors and a beloved landmark in the city. The lighthouse was established in 1808 and is situated at the tip of Fayerweather Island, overlooking the Long Island Sound. The need for the lighthouse became clear as many mariners were struggling to navigate in and out of Black Rock Harbor which was a developing shipping center. It should be noted that Fayerweather Island Lighthouse is also known as Black Rock Harbor Light.
In 1808, the first Fayerweather Island Lighthouse was erected and went into service. It was a 40-foot tall octagonal wooden tower constructed by Abisha Woodward and commissioned by the US Government. Sadly, this tower was destroyed by a major storm in 1821 and a new stone tower was built at the same location in 1823.
The new tower is a white, octagonal tower with a black lantern room. It stands 41 feet tall and its focal height is just over 41 feet. Up until 1933, the Fayerweather Island Lighthouse served as a functional navigational aid until being replaced by two automated lights offshore. The lighthouse is currently equipped with a decorative light which flashes white. The light has a range of 11 nautical miles.
The City of Bridgeport subsequently received the beacon in 1934. The tower’s deteriorating condition was improved by two substantial efforts in the 1980s and 1990s, and the light was relit as a non-navigational aid in 2000. The land surrounding the lighthouse is open to the public. It is a wonderful place to explore. Many visitors walk the jetty out to the lighthouse to admire the tower from up-close.
It should be noted that the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 1, 1982 as part of Bridgeport’s Seaside Park Historic District.
- Originally constructed: 1808
- Current tower constructed: 1823
- First lit: 1823 (current tower)
- Construction: Granite rubble and brownstone block tower
- Tower shape: Octagonal tower with balcony and lantern
- Height: 41 feet
- Focal height: 41 feet
- Markings: White tower with a black lantern
- Characteristic: Flashing white light
- Range: 11 nautical miles
- Status: Active as a private decorative aid
- Address: Fayerweather Island
- Town: Bridgeport
- State: Connecticut
- GPS: Lat 41.1423539 Lng -73.2173848
- Parking notes: There is a large parking area at the end of Barnum Drive which is about a half-mile from the lighthouse. This is the closest parking area to the lighthouse. The lot is also used for Seaside Beach visitors. Parking is free in the off-season, but in the summer prices are high. On weekdays it costs $50 and on weekends it costs $60 – for non-residents of Bridgeport. If you don’t mind seeing the lighthouse from a distance, you can park along Eames Boulevard for free and look at it across the channel.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE