Someone out there wants to buy Little Gull Island and its historic lighthouse.
Though the auction to sell Little Gull Island closed Wednesday at 4 p.m., the New London Maritime Society is still hopeful that it may still be chosen as the recipient for the island and its historic lighthouse, which was built in 1869 as a navigational aid for the Race in Long Island Sound. The beacon is actively maintained by the Coast Guard and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The last bid was $381,000. The New London Maritime Society — in collaboration with Save the Sound, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and Quebec-Labrador Foundation with help from private donors and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — made its bid of $150,000 on Oct. 9, and Leah Schmalz, attorney for Save the Sound, said that she’s confident strong stewardship will win the day with the U.S. General Service Administration.
“The GSA has some discretion on which bid to take,” Schmalz said on Thursday, adding that Susan Tamulevich of the New London Maritime Society has been leading the charge to get letters to the GSA that “highlight the need to ensure the protection of the lighthouse and habitats.”
The National Lighthouse Preservation Act, passed in 2000, allows for historic light stations to be “transferred at no cost to federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit corporations, educational agencies, and community development organizations.” The society took stewardship of New London Harbor Light in 2010 and has expressed interest in acquiring Race Rock Light as well.
The GSA will make its decision on Little Gull Lighthouse within 60 days and will not release personal information of bidders until the property is deeded.