A wood lighthouse on Old Saybrook’s Lynde Point was first lit in 1803. It was replaced by the current brownstone tower in 1838, which is similar to the earlier New London Harbor and Faulkners Island Lights, but is considered to be the finest of the three buildings. Lynde Point Light is an also referred to as the Saybrook Inner Light, in contrast to the Outer Light, or Saybrook Breakwater Light. A seawall was constructed to protect the original tower in 1829. The first keeper’s house stood from 1833 to 1858. This was followed by a Gothic Revival gambrel-roofed home, demolished in 1966 and replaced by a duplex, which houses Coast Guard employees. The Light was electrified in 1955 and automated in 1978.
Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse, a 49-foot cast-iron tower, first activated in 1886, is located at Fenwick Point, near Old Saybrook. Commonly known as the “Outer Light,” it assists the earlier Lynde Point Light, which is located a mile-and-a-half away, in marking the mouth of the Connecticut River. Saybrook Breakwater Light was built on a large sand bar at the harbor entrance and the interior was lined with brick to provide insulation. It was equipped 1,000-pound fog bell in 1889, but this was replaced with a smaller one after residents objected to the noise. The light was automated in 1959. An image of the lighthouse is also featured on the state’s popular “Preserve the Sound” license plate. In 2007, the Federal Government announced that he lighthouse would be sold under the provisions of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, although the planned sale is currently on hold. The Coast Guard will continue to maintain the light, while the eventual new private owners will maintain the historic structure. Edit: There is HABS info on this building.
According to tradition, the house at 500 Main Street in Old Saybrook was built by Dr. Samuel Eliot around 1737. Records indicate, though, that the house was built by Eliot’s brother, Dr. Augustus Eliot, who was also a physician. The house was likely not completed at the time of Augustus Eliot’s death in 1747. It was sold by his estate to Capt. Samuel Lord in 1749, who then sold it to his son-in-law, Capt. Jabez Stow, Sr. It was Capt. Stow who most likely finished the house. He later served as a lieutenant in the defense of Fort Griswold and was taken prisoner by the British. He died in 1785 and his son, Jabez Stow, Jr., was lost at sea in 1788. The house was then occupied by his daughter, Mary Stow, who had married Capt. David Newell in 1784. According to The History of Middlesex County (1884), “Capt. Newell was engaged in the slave trade, and was killed during a rising of the slaves on board his vessel” at the Island of Boa Vista, in the Cape Verde Islands in 1819. Sea captains’ families continued to live in the house until 1890. It remains a private residence today.