New London Maritime Society (NLMS) - CUSTOM HOUSE MARITIME MUSEUM 150 Bank Street, New London, Connecticut 06320 - phone: 860-447-2501 fax: 860-447-8086
The Custom House Maritime Museum - your local, independent, community museum - open year-round - telling the stories of New London's waterfront!
Now on exhibition: Vintage Dive Gear from Collectors Jay Kane & Ed Uditis
Vision. Process. Finished Painting: the Creative Process of Tony Falcone
To the Rescue: Connecticut Marine Modelers at the Custom House
Visit the MUSEUM SHOP today for deep-sea diving & other nautical note cards, scarves, tea towels and rubber stamps, cookie cutters, special ribbons, new & vintage maritime books, toys, old-time gifts, and ornaments. We have Lighthouse Keepers caps, Old Town Mill corn meal for Johnny Cakes, balloon-powered toy boats, Mark Shasha books & prints; USCG video about the Eagle; whale bottle openers , cards, & coffee mug; and terrific photography. We're open from 1 to 5 PM Tuesday through Sunday!
Call 860-447-2501 to arrange your visit. Regularly scheduled tours are every Wednesday at 1 and 3 PM; reservations are required. Admission is $35 for adults, $15 children ages 8 through 13.
Every Thursday, from 5 to 6 o'clock PM we're on TV.
Watch New London Maritime Society (NLMS) Custom House Maritime Matters, on New London Metrocast cable TV, channel 25, with host Dr. George Sprecace.
AMISTAD: A True Story of Freedom
a new permanent exhibition at the site of the original Amistad events of 1839.
See New London Maritime Society's Amistad exhibition at United Nations headquarters, NYC, March 2010. CLICK >> HERE. Read the latest about Amistad America in The Day 1.23.12
Vintage Dive Helmets from two private collections.
museum's most important artifact may well be the building, itself. Built
in 1833 as New London's U.S Custom House and designed by architect Robert Mills,
it has been the museum's home since 1983. The historic Greek revival building, itself, is 180 years old.
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Watch what we do
In 2013, the US Postal Service made a youtube video about New London Harbor Light. See it HERE.
NB: Per the fire marshal, our maximum occupancy is 49 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
The New London Maritime Society/Custom House Maritime Museum is made possible by generous grants from The Chester Kitchings Family Foundation, the Connecticut Humanities Council, Dominion Foundation, the Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, the Community Foundation of Eastern CT, Veolia / New London Water Authority, & and by the work of dedicated volunteers, members & friends.
The Custom House Maritime Museum participates in the Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission to active duty military personnel and their immediate families all year.
OPEN: Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 3 PM, Admission $5.
150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 - 860-447-2501
WHAT'S UP at the CUSTOM HOUSE ?
Above, artist J H Torrance Downes, Eva & John Henry, right, brought the original drawing for Connecticut's Preserve The Sound license plate to add to our exhibition.
Left, Mustards Retreat gave a great concert for NLMS's 30th Founders' Day gathering, March 12, 2014. Thank you to Michael Hough and David Tamulevich
and to everyone who turned out to celebrate.
NLMS visits the Lightship Nantucket in Boston.
Sponsors of the Lighthouse Fund include: The Chester Kitchings Family Foundation, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Veolia Water / New London Water Authority, Dominion Foundation, Loring & Son Masonry, Surveyor Jim Bernando, Hefel Masonry LLC, Captain Scott's Lobster Dock, Ocean Beach Park, The Big House B&B, Cristifori Foundation, CTrides, New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Stone Masons Union, John Mock, Dave Fallon, Fishers Island Ferry, Cross Sound Ferry, Dominion Foundation, and the Eschenfelder Family.
Phase One Restoration of New London Harbor Light is slated to commence in May 2014.
PLEASE MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
No matter how the wind howls or the sea lashes, we see clear sailing ahead for our work preserving and promoting New London's maritime heritage.
None of what we do would be possible without support from like-minded individuals whose contributions keep us going every single day, week, month, and year; whether we're running a boat tour to Plum Island, or researching a manuscript in our library. By
contributing to the Society's Annual Fund, you provide the essential
day-to-day support that enables us to preserve, protect, and present New
London's maritime heritage.
Every contribution counts.
Please take a moment to make a 100% tax deductible donation to the
New London Maritime Society. The New London Maritime Society
is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, tax ID #06-10866688.
Many thanks for your support.
You may specify LIGHTHOUSE FUND, for your donation.
Custom House Maritime Museum
New London Maritime Society
150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 860-447-2501
April 21, 2014: We just won Yankee Magazine's 'Best of New England Travel 2014' Editors' Choice for Best Lighthouse Tours!
Somewhere between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, NLMS held its own award ceremony (above). On Thursday, January 23, 2014, at the Washington Street Coffee House, Robert Pittaway (standing at left) bestowed the first Pittaway Lighthouse-Keepers Award on lighthouse advocate Pierce Rafferty.
Last summer, Mr. Rafferty's efforts culminated in the exhibition, Race Rock Light, which opened at the Ferguson Museum in June 2013. The award is named in honor of Mr. Pittaway's late wife, Louise Davis Pittaway, a passionate lighthouse lover, NLMS honorary trustee, and long-time curator of Stonington's Old Lighthouse Museum, who died in 2013.
We want potential buyers to see & understand how much the Inn means to New Londoners.
Phase I restoration of New London Harbor 'Pequot' Light will commence in May, 2014. It is estimated the process of scaffolding the 89-foot lighthouse, removing the paint, investigating and repairing the mortar, restoring the seven bronze windows, repainting the tower, and removing the scaffolding will take from six to eight weeks. New London Maritime Society began fund-raising for the restoration in June, 2013. That campaign: Be Part of Something BIG, raised nearly $118,000 in donations and lighthouse program revenues, and an estimated $300,000+ in in-kind donations. Now, in honor of NLMS past president Ben Martin, we've launched a final appeal. Donations may be sent to Ben Martin Lighthouse Fund, Custom House Maritime Museum, 150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320, or use donation button below.
Friends of Ben already have raised $29,000, bringing our Lighthouse Fund to $147,760! Our goal is $150,000. Ben was instrumental in developing our lighthouse programs--for both preservation & recreation--and we want him to know we appreciate his vision.
As soon as he heard about the restoration effort, Chris Bachant, of the Carpenters Union, reached out to the Maritime Society with the promise of volunteer help. He then contacted friends at Brand, who came forward with their own offer. Brand, Specializing in Specialty Services Solutions, proudly supports the maritime society in the restoration of this historic landmark and will donate full scaffolding for the project; The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has volunteered to erect and dismantle the scaffolding; members of the the Painters Union have volunteered to do the actual painting of the lighthouse. Last week, Loring & Son Masonry donated removal and testing of one window and taking core samples of the tower -- work valued at $5,000.
Thank you to everyone contributing to this tremendous effort! We'll post process photos on facebook. These photos show the first steps in replacing the wall.
New London Light from the North East, by William Gooding (American, (1775-1861), Collection of the Lyman Allyn Museum, on view at the Custom House.
Composer Jin Hi Kim presents
Cross-Cultural Music Meditation Workshops
at the Custom House Maritime Museum
Two five-day workshops May 5-9 & July 14-18
with two different sessions each week: 9--10 AM, 6:30--7:30 PM.
Cross-Cultural Music Meditation is a bi-cultural exposure to the basic aesthetics and concepts of Asian philosophy, music, and instruments enabling contrasts to Western music and creative thought. Through the sessions, participants gain first-hand experience of the role music plays in meditation and the benefits it offers to develop a calm, focused group experience. Individuals and groups (up to 10) are encouraged to sign up for the music meditation workshops, which will be offered again in May and July.
Each workshop session involves 10 participants and takes place over five consecutive days. At the conclusion of the residency there will be a culminating performance with participants and Kim’s komungo (6 string Korean zither) performance.
Workshops takes place Monday through Friday, March 24-28; with additional workshops taking place April 7 to 11, and May 5 to 9, 2014.
Two different sessions are offered: from 9 to 10 AM, and 6 to 7 PM. (Times subject to change based on student availability.)
Fee per participant is $50. Some scholarships available through a generous gift from Provenance Center. Call 860-447-2501.
Renew yourself. Call 860-447-2501 to register.
Composer Jin Hi Kim presents
Cross-Cultural Music Meditation Workshops
May 5-9 & July 14-18 Scholarships available
Local diver and historic dive-gear collector, Jay Kane, loans us the magnificent Mark V deep dive suite we have on display in the museum's front hall.
Last summer, he borrowed the suit and took it for a dive off Fort Trumbull, New London.
Here, at right, are photos of that event.
You can see the suits employed at New London's TA Scott Company in the early 1900s (photo at top right). The Mark V suit was the standard gear for the Navy from the early 20th century into the 1980s!
The helmet weighs 60 lbs, each shoe: 20. There is a belt composed of 10 lead weights, with 10 weights with each piece of lead at10 lbs. Altogether, the suit weights 200 lbs+, which is enough to counter the buoyancy of an adult male.
In February, 2014, Jay took the gear to Florida for another dive.
We are thrilled with the tale and happy to have the suit back at the Custom House!
SEAL WATCH -- We went out into Fishers Island Sound with Project O March 23 and, yes, there were 269 seals! We'll go again next winter. Thanks to Scott Loring for this terrific photo (above) -- see more on our Facebook page: Custom House Maritime Museum.
We've been collecting photographs of children dressed in sailor suits for our new exhibition 'Kids Ahoy!' Can you find FDR ? Shirley Temple? Do you have a picture of yourself or a family member in a sailor suit to share with the Custom House? Which one is NLMS volunteer Doug Allen?
The exhibition will open soon. And we'll keep collecting photos...
2008, Ben Martin at New London Harbor Light.
Sunday, April 6 brought historian Allegra di Bonaventura for a book discussion of For Adam's Sake, with tea, at the Custom House.
Join us for a Mother's Day Nature Walk at Groton's Bluff Point State Park — a joint program of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and New London Maritime Society
sponsored by a grant from the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund.
Bluff Point State Park occupies an undeveloped peninsula on Long Island Sound between the Poquonnock River and Mumford Cove. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center Executive Director Maggie Jones will lead a walking tour of native spring wildflowers and wildlife, winding up with a Mother's Day tea (lemonade, grapes & cookies)! Call the 860-447-2501 to register. We meet at 3 p.m., Sunday May 11 at Bluff Point State Park, 1 Depot Road, Groton. Tickets are $5 per person, $20 maximum per family.
In addition, both the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, 109 Pequotsepos Road, Mystic,860-536-1216 and the Custom House Maritime Museum, 150 Bank Street, New London 860-447-2501, are offering free admission to all moms and grandmas all day on Mother's Day. The Nature Center is open from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m.; the Custom House is open from 12 noon to 3 p.m.