We know that the at Stonington Point is one of our greatest assets here at the Stonington Historical Society, appealing to both visitors and many longtime residents of Stonington. It is a unique structure and perhaps the oldest Lighthouse Museum in the country. It has been the setting for lots of history and this year it was the setting for some future plans.
The museum is open seasonally from early spring through late fall but this New Year's Eve, we couldn't resist the request of Robert Snelgrove, son of Stonington. He wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Megan Pennie, at the top of the Lighthouse tower.
"I grew up in Stonington as the son of a lobsterman and the lighthouse means a lot to me," Snelgrove said.
And the conspiracy was launched, "...As for a story, I think I will bring her down to the Point as I usually just drive down there to look out over the water," Snelgrove said. "I have not yet brought her to the Lighthouse so when we drive by I think I'll say something like 'oh it looks like it's open' and we can check it out."
"She loves lighthouses and we usually just saunter around on our own when we go to them so I think we will probably just check things out downstairs and then make our way up to the top to enjoy the view and then I will propose up there."
Robert's sister, Reiva Grimshaw, brought dozens of roses and battery operated candles shortly before the couple arrived around 4 p.m. The Lighthouse tower, although accessible to visitors, is not for the faint of heart. Twenty-nine narrow winding steps bring you only to another short ladder that you must climb to access the iron platform. The 360-degree-view is spectacular and well worth the trouble for many, but it isn't necessarily a comfortable spot for those who don't like heights.
Around 4 p.m., as planned, we left the front door slightly ajar. Luckily the weather was balmy and as it turns out an open door is a welcome sight to visitors, even in the middle of winter. Several people poked their heads in the door to inquire if we were open. Never having met Mr. Snelgrove, we were unsure how to respond to the potential proposers so we let everyone who asked in for a quick look around. Well, it was obvious when the smitten couple arrived and we made ourselves busy with "inventory."
They meandered a little around the museum and quickly focused on the tower. Whatever words were exchanged were private, but we do know that she said yes.