Henry L. Ferguson Museum Director Pierce Rafferty to Host Illustrated Lighthouse Talk at Custom House Maritime Museum, 9/7
Next Saturday, September 7, the New London Maritime Society--Custom House Maritime Museum presents an illustrated lighthouse talk by Henry L. Ferguson Museum director Pierce Rafferty. The last special event of the museum's 2013 Summer Lighthouse Saturdays, the talk will examine Race Rock Light, from concept to completion, while celebrating the engineering feat accomplished by Francis Hopkinson Smith and his partner in construction, Capt. T. A. Scott of New London. The lecture takes place Saturday, September 7 at 4 PM at the Custom House Maritime Museum. Reservations are required; call 860-447-2501. Donation of $8 benefits both the Ledge Light Foundation and NL Harbor Light Restoration Fund.
Race Rock Light Station is located eight miles southeast of New London, Connecticut , and .6 of a mile southwest off Race Point on Fishers Island, Suffolk County, New York. Massive and solid, Race Rock's eight-year construction was a feat of engineering bravery. For 135 years its light has guided mariners into and out of Long Island Sound. Race Rock, along with the New London Harbor Light and Ledge Light at the mouth of the Thames River, create a pathway of beacons leading to New London.
Henry L. Ferguson Museum director Pierce Rafferty is the curator of the museum's annual (and current) exhibition, Race Rock Light. Over the past year, Mr. Rafferty brought together everything from preliminary sketches and early construction photographs, to contemporary paintings and interior photographs of this alluring beacon. The exhibition remains on view at the Ferguson Museum through May 2014, at which time a version of the exhibition will travel to the Custom House Maritime Museum.
In July 2013, New London Maritime Society was granted ownership of Race Rock Lighthouse from the US federal government.
Construction of Race Rock Light Station, photograph, ca. 1872 (at the point the foundation was complete), courtesy the Ferguson Museum, Fishers Island.
Image: Race Rock builder Capt. T.A. Scott is the tall figure in the top hat at the center of the photo. Architect/engineer F. Hopkinson Smith is the figure to the lower-right of Scott, also wearing a top hat, leaning on the massive stone block.