Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sperry Light, CT, 1899-1933

This is an early 1900s postcard of the Outer Breakwall Light in New Haven, Connecticut, better known as Sperry Light. It was built in 1899. 

Travel to and from the lighthouse was often difficult, especially in the winter months. To ease the isolation of the keepers, for some years representatives of the Seamen's Bethel in New Haven made regular trips to the lighthouse to deliver newspapers and magazines.

 One day in January 1907, Keeper Samuel Armour left the lighthouse to row ashore for supplies. As he prepared to head back to the station in the early evening, a storm was worsening and the seas were growing rough. A New Haven man suggested that Armour spend the night on shore, but he felt he needed to return because the assistant keeper was in the hospital. Armour set out in his 15-foot rowboat. 

The captain of a British schooner later reported seeing the rowboat overturned near Southwest Ledge Lighthouse, but Armour was never seen again. By 1907, several cracks were found in the foundation and the lighthouse began to tilt. 

The cracks were filled and the tower was righted and reinforced with iron straps, allowing the lighthouse to remain operational until 1933, when it was replaced by an automatic skeleton tower.