The lighthouse has become a symbol of New England. They dot the east coast from the tip of Connecticut up to the top of Maine.
Long Island sound, the water between Connecticut and Long Island NY probably has the most of any state. Here there has been shipping since the 1700s, the water is shallow and rocky along the coast, and worse the sandy bottom changes depth almost every winter.
The Coast Guard took over all lights in 1939. However now they have sold or are selling all they can. Many museums and non-profits have purchased what they can. There are some privately owned. Dumpling island (the header image here) is owned by Dean Kaman, the inventor of the Segway.
The new owners must provide access to the Lighthouse for light maintenance. Oh, and some still have fog horns and automated bells.
One of the great trips for any photographer is to visit these lighthouses. This year I have flown to shoot Race Rock light from land and taken a boat to photograph 8 others. It has become so popular there are hundreds of images on-line, each day. I believe at least 2 different groups provide trips from New London alone.
These photos are from a trip just this week. If you have the opportunity it is well worth your time.