Digest>Archives> March 1997

Chatham Rocks/Ledge Obstruction Light For Sale


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Chatham Rocks Light, Connecticut.
Photo by: Sandra Shanklin

According to Dr. Harlan Hamilton in his book, Lights & Legends Connecticut's Ledge Obstruction Light also known as the Chatham Rocks Light and Stamford Harbor Light, has had more owners than any other lighthouse located in the First Coast Guard District. And it may soon have another new owner, since the historic beacon is again on the market.

The value of the lighthouse has skyrocketed since the time the Federal Government discontinued the lighthouse in 1953 and put it up for sale. At that time, no one wanted the lighthouse and the government couldn't even find a buyer. Eventually it was sold for $1.00 to Thomas F. Quigley, who had hoped to give it to the city as an historical landmark, a deal that never materialized. In 1967 it was sold for $10,000 and, through a succession of other owners, it finally sold in 1984 for $230,000. Today's asking price is $1,100,000.

We have been told, although we haven't seen it, that the lighthouse has been totally renovated inside and makes a beautiful full-time home or that special vacation home. The lighthouse does come with ten acres of land, although all of it is under water.

One thing is for certain, the new owner will have some intriguing history that comes with the lighthouse.

The daughter of one keeper decided that she liked living in the lighthouse better than the mainland. When she got married, she refused to live on shore with her husband. Her husband finally convinced her to come ashore to talk out the problem and, hopefully, reach a solution. However, the minute she stepped out of the boat on shore, he promptly pulled out a gun, fired one shot, killing her instantly.

One keeper, Naylor Jones, had big plans for living at the lighthouse. Shortly after he moved all his furniture and family to the lighthouse, a violent storm hit the area. The storm not only destroyed the dock and washed the station's boat away, it so shook up the keeper and his family, that they moved back on shore and never again lived in the lighthouse. Instead, Keeper Jones rowed out to the lighthouse daily to attend his chores and then rowed back to land.

Another keeper, Ray Bliven, met with a mysterious death that was never solved. It is highly believed that he was pushed from the lantern room to his death.

If you are interested in buying this lighthouse, you might want to contact Gigi Sakrm at Prudential Connecticut Realty, 272 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880 or call her at 203-227-5117.

This story appeared in the March 1997 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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