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Black Rock Harbor Lighthouse
(Fayerweather Island Light)

black rock harbor lighthouse

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Built in 1808

 

Location:

The lighthouse is at the southeast end of Fayerweather Island, connected by a mile long jetty from Seaside Park. Public access is allowed for a park fee.

Latitude: 41° 08' 32" N
Longitude: 73° 13' 12" W

Historic Stories:

Black Rock Harbor is sheltered by Fayerweather Island, which made the island an ideal place for a lighthouse to mark the harbor entrance in 1808. The first Keeper, John Maltbie was only at the lighthouse for five months until his death at the station.

The lighthouse was destroyed in the 1821 hurricane, and replaced in 1823. The 47-foot stone tower has since survived for over 180 years.

early image black rock light
1823 Construction
Image Taken 1894
Courtesy US Coast Guard

Keeper Family with Great Genes

The lighthouse, located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was tended predominantly by two generations of the Moore family for over 70 years. Catherine Moore, daughter of Keeper Stephen Moore, took over full duties of the lighthouse when her father became disabled in 1819. Her father still remained Keeper for over 50 years until 1871, as Catherine remained as his assistant and tended to most of the lighthouse duties until his death at the age of 100.

Catherine Moore was appointed keeper to secede her father when she was 66 years old, and remained at the station for an additional 7 years until 1878. In the total 62 years she spent tending the light for her father and as the lighthouse keeper, she helped in various rescue efforts and is credited with saving 21 lives. In addition to tending the lighthouse, Catherine cared for a flock of sheep, carved and sold duck decoys, and had a little oyster business. She lived to be 95 years old. Many would comment that it must have been the salt air and good genes for both father and daughter to have lived such long productive lives in those days.

sailboat by Black Rock Harbor light

 

 

In 1998, two Bridgeport natives, David Grant Grimshaw and Patricia Roche, restored the tower to its original condition with their fundraising efforts.

 

 

Places to Visit:

The city of Bridgeport offers plenty of diverse cultural events and rich history. The Barnum Museum is home of the world-famous circus impresario of the 19th century, PT Barnum. Visitors can also find the graves of P. T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum, famous circus owner, and his famous circus performer, Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton) in Mountain Grove Cemetery. P.T. Barnum designed the cemetery for Bridgeport natives, himself, and Tom Thumb. He had Tom Thumb’s life size statue of 25 inches placed on a 40-foot granite obelisk.

Bridgeport provides visitors with a new sports and entertainment complex called the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, with events happening year round, and the Shoreline Star, which provides greyhound and horse racing. The Downtown Cabaret Theater offers plenty of musical and theater events for all ages all year round. You can also bring your own food creations and have an indoor picnic as you enjoy the show.

The Beardsley Zoo offers fun for children and adults alike.

Captain’s Cove Seaport is a complex of buildings that includes an amusement center, a 400-seat restaurant, lots of specialty shops resembling a typical seaport village, and it promotes music festivals and events.

Black Rock Harbor (Fayerweather Island) Light is connected by a mile-long breakwater from inside Seaside Park. mile-long jetty to Black Rock Harbor light
hiking along jetty to Black Rock Harbor light The hike is a great experience and along flat land, and will bring you right to the lighthouse tower.

The parking fees to stay at the beach are a bit steep but the beach area is quite nice. It provides scenic views of the area with the beach area and park well maintained.

Nice views of the lighthouse can also be found by boat

Sun illuminating tower of Black Rock Harbor (Fayerweather Island) light

 

Driving Directions

 

Contact Info:
City of Bridgeport
Fayerweather Island Restoration Fund
c/o Burroughs Community Center
2470 Fairfield Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 334-0293

 

 

 

Sun breaking through clouds at Black Rock Harbor light

 

Local Boat Tour

Captain’s Cove Seaport Harbor Cruises
Cruises are aboard a 40-foot Navy launch
1 Bostwick Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 335-1433

 

 

My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore, along with various tours, and even stories of haunted lighthouses.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local attractions in southern New England

 

 

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