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 our local-history clas for NL's thrid graders, 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, 150 Bank St, New London, 06320, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, tax ID #06-10866688.
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!
A History of U.S. Revenue Cutter Service and U.S. Coast Guard Sail Training Vessels curated by Norman Brouwer
AMISTAD: A True Story of Freedom
from two private collections: Jay Kane and Ed Uditis.
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. New London's Custom House opened in 1835 -- this is its 180th anniversary.
read more newsletters HERE
in the NEWS
In 2013, the US Postal Service made a video about New London Harbor Light. See it HERE.
Watch what we do
(below: photo Josie Islen, date TBD November, 2015)
The New London Maritime Society/Custom House Maritime Museum is made possible by generous grants from The Chester Kitchings Family Foundation, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Connecticut Humanities Council, Dominion Foundation, the Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Community Foundation of Eastern CT, Veolia / New London Water Authority, & and by the work of dedicated volunteers, members & friends.
WHAT'S UP at the CUSTOM HOUSE ?
Our 2015 Lighthouse D
Don and LeVon Atkins
Sandra and Lloyd Beachy
Bishop Family Living Trust
G. Thomas Couser
Capt. and Mrs. John P. Cromwell
Bruce and Ellen Cummings
Sue and Len Davis
Russ and Pauline DeMarco
Laurie and John Deredita
John P. Desjardins
Elizabeth and Anthony Enders
Jan and Larry Erhart
Paul and Timothy Foley
Sandy and Walter Friess
Karen and Frank Guidice
Mary Ellen Hanrahan
Kristen and Dawn Harkness
Joyce and Bruce Hart
Paul and Mary Illiano
Kitchings Family Foundation
Robin L. Lott
Amy Shahan Mantie
Morgan and Lisa McGinley
Frank and Linda McLaughlin
Philip and Christine Medbury
Jean and Dick Murphy
New England Science and Sailing (NESS)
Melissa and Michael Plumley
Carol and Aaron Rogovin
Daneen and Greg Roth
Jean and Steve Sigel
David and Leslie Spinelli
Gail and Bill Tubbs
Mr. Mrs. William Blunt White
We participate in the BlueStar Museums
program, providing free admission to active-duty members of the armed services and their families all year.
Congratulations to New London Maritime Society and executive director Susan Tamulevich, who received New London Elks' Citizen of the Year award on March 22, 2015.
Want to know what's up?
Sign up to receive our weekly email blasts!
For all events going on Downtown, visit the
NB: Per the fire marshal, our maximum occupancy is 49 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
New London Maritime Society - open year-round your local, independent, community museum
telling the stories of New London's waterfront.
OPEN April through December: Tuesday through Sunday,
1 to 5 PM, / (closed Monday,) Admission $7.
150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 - 860-447-2501
New London Light from the North East, oil on canvas, William Gooding, ca. 1909. collection Lyman Allyn Art Museum. Now on view at the Custom House Maritime Museum, New London, Connecticut.
August 6, 2015 Congratulations to US! Today, New London Maritime Society took ownership of a 3rd lighthouse: New London Ledge Light. The cake, below, is by The Cake Lady.
It was a good year! above from top, our NL 3rd-grade local history program, we hosted the Amistad, with the City of new London we were the local host for el Galeon.
We had Spanish exchange students visiting the Custom House Tuesday morning on their way to NYC. After learning about our lighthouses, they showed us pictures of their local lighthouse -- which dates back to Roman times. The students were amazed to see the actual document for Neal Armstrong, (below), when he reentered the US from the Moon and made his US Customs declaration for 'MOON ROCK AND MOON DUST SAMPLES'.
It's our 32nd Annual Meeting
Sunday, November 29th at 2:00 pm
AT THE CUSTOM HOUSE MARITIME MUSEUM
Captain T.A. Scott:
Legendary Master Diver and Wrecker,
an illustrated talk by Pierce Rafferty, director of the Henry L. Ferguson Museum
Sunday, November 29, at 2 PM
Join us for a brief annual meeting, Pierce's terrific talk, and Light refreshments.
Suggested donation is $5 for NLMS members, $10 for non-members.
The MUSEUM SHOP will be open.
November 22, 2015, 2015
Some misleading statements have recently been made in the press about activities related to Harbor Light.
We'd like to set the record straight.
The old saying goes that reasonable minds may disagree. The opinions of reasonable minds should at least be based on facts, though. In recent weeks, David Collins has expressed his opinion about the “litigiousness” of the New London Maritime Society (NLMS) and accused NLMS of making misleading claims. Hopefully this response will set the record straight.
Mr. Collins asserts that NLMS “made a lot of promises” to the federal government in its application for the lighthouse, and implies that it failed to keep those promises. In the 2002 application, former NLMS President Ben Martin proposed extensive increases to the activities at the lighthouse and related physical changes to the property. In 2004, the City Planner informed NLMS that only site plan and coastal site plan approvals were needed if the primary use of the property remained a lighthouse, but that a Special Permit was required if the primary use changed to a museum.
After NLMS obtained the lighthouse in 2009, it decided against making the lighthouse a museum and increasing the activity on the property, in part because of the disruption it would cause to the neighborhood. NLMS instead kept the lighthouse as a lighthouse, with minimal visitation and minimal physical changes to the property. In 2013, for example, guests were at the property only .1% of the time, and most of that time was spent inside the lighthouse. The rights of the United States—and NLMS, by extension—to use the lighthouse in its present form have existed since long before zoning regulations were enacted in the City, so no further approvals were necessary.
Anyone who has been party to a lawsuit knows it takes an enormous toll on those involved, and should be initiated only as a last resort. NLMS did not initiate the present federal lawsuit with neighbors to the north of the lighthouse, who filed it based on an erroneous claim that they own part of the lighthouse property, all in an effort to enhance their privacy by limiting NLMS’s access to and use of the lighthouse. Similarly, the neighbor to the south blocked the one safe path to the lighthouse, which admittedly crosses a portion of their property, but which has been used for years by NLMS and the Coast Guard. Relations with the neighbors have not always been acrimonious. NLMS benefitted from good relations with the former neighbors, but, unfortunately, their promises and good will are not binding upon the current owners.
Like anyone who is sued or faced with actions that directly impact one’s rights, NLMS was forced to either give in to the demands of its neighbors or defend itself. In these matters, NLMS felt obligated to defend its rights, not only for itself, but for the public, who would be most affected by any restrictions on access.
As for the dock, Mr. Collins is correct that “wanting” a dock is not the same as “needing” a dock. In this case, though, the two concepts become nearly identical because of the actions of the neighbors. Access to the lighthouse from land existed since 1761 and that will need to continue; however, the current situation necessitates that NLMS find alternate access to the lighthouse so as to minimize contact with the neighbors and intrusions upon their privacy, a goal that is met by creating access from the water.
NLMS hopes to resolve all issues with the neighbors in the near future, and looks forward to working in cooperation with them to develop a plan for access and use of the lighthouse that is acceptable to all.
George Sprecace, NLMS president
NLMS is willing to answer your questions about this situation. Please leave a message with your name and phone number at 860-447-8700 and we will call you back, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Visit the MUSEUM SHOP for all things whale, maritime, & New London! SHOP SMALL on Saturday, November 28 from 10 AM to 7 PM.You tax-free purchase will be 20% off!
Thank you CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection!
Design of DEEP's Duck Stamp, right, is an annual contest. This year's winner is artist Jeffrey Klinefelter, of Etna Green, Indiana, who depicted three Atlantic Brandts passing New London Harbor Light.
Buy a 2016 Connecticut Duck Stamp or reproduction print, signed by the artist; all funds support the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats.
Our thanks to David Lersch for spotting the stamp and letting us know! .
You may purchase the signed 2016 Duck Stamp print through the MUSEUM SHOP. It's $200.
Order now and get it framed by Christmas, Call 860.447.2501.
Dear friends of New London Maritime Society,
Once a year, we pause and ask you our members & benefactors, to give what you can to support the work of New
London Maritime Society. It's critical. Your Annual Fund contribution, as separate from membership, provides the essential day-to-day support that enables us to preserve and present New London's maritime life and heritage.
We are a small, independent, community museum.
NLMS is a great community partner: Just over the past year, we've won a Certificate of Appreciation award from the New London Beautification Committee, our director was named Citizen of the Year by the New London Elks, NLMS received a Proclamation from the City of New London for our 'enhancement of and contributions to the economic development of the City', and the New London Economic Development Commission in partnership with NL Main Street presented NLMS with their Business Achievement Award.
We tell important stories. In May we welcomed the Amistad to New London's Custom House Pier. The Custom House served as local host to the ship through September, helping to introduce hundreds of visitors and students to this important story of freedom and self-emancipation.
We help enliven the waterfront. In July, with the City of New London, we were local host to El Galeón, a replica 16th-c Spanish tall ship. For the 5th year, we offered lighthouse boat tours from June through October.
We believe in historic preservation. Partnering with the National Park Service and Ledge Lighthouse Foundation, in August we took ownership of Ledge Lighthouse. We now keep three local lighthouses ship-shape and work to ensure they remain accessible. Five years spent developing New London as a Lighthouse Hub blossomed in 2015, with new lighthouse activities downtown in addition to our own lighthouse special events, lectures, and boat tours. According to the CT Trust for historic preservation, three of our buildings: New London Harbor Light, the Custom House, and Ledge Lighthouse are among the 100 most-significant historic buildings in Connecticut history!
Education is primary. In September we commenced our local-history program for New London Public Schools' entire third grade class - approximately 300 students (see photo, above). Educator Jody Barthel directs this program, which bring students to visit our local historic landmarks. Sea-toTable classes informed adult students about environmental issues in Long Island Sound, and also on the sourcing and cooking of local sea foods. Every month, Jibboom Club #1 combines local history, coffee, and cookies with good cheer and camaraderie.
For thirty-two years, New London Maritime Society has preserved our maritime heritage and brought it to life at the Custom House Maritime Museum. New exhibitions this year focused on the 225th anniversary of the USCG and the 226th of US Customs. Especially for young people, our new exhibition, Kids Ahoy, illustrates the maritime influence on children's fashions, toys and entertainment.
Please make a 100% tax deductible donation to the New London Maritime Society ANNUAL FUND.
The New London Maritime Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, tax ID #06-10866688. NLMS receives no regular funding from any other organization. We rely entirely on donations and the money raised from visitors to the Museum. There is only one staff member; the museum is run by a dedicated band of volunteers who give generously of their time.
Every contribution counts.
Many thanks for your support, and best wishes for the Holidays,
NLMS TRUSTEES:G. Roger Clements, Russell DeMarco, John Desjardins, R.N., B.S.N., Josie Esposito, James Fleishell, Josephine Giantiano, Robert Groves, Ken Halloway, Margaret Hauschild, Jennifer Hillhouse, Harrison Lea Jewitt, Robert A. Pittaway - Vice President, William LaRoue, PhD - Head Docent., Carolyn Leuze, Alan Lyon - Treasurer, Morgan McGinley, Jean Murphy - Secretary, Margaret Palmer, Peggy Peters, James Reyburn, Tommy Soulignavong, George Sprecace - President/Board Chairman,Susan Tamulevich - Executive Director. HONORARY TRUSTEES: Vincentia Belbruno, Lonnie Braxton, II, Esq., Elizabeth Enders, Nicholas Hanke, Alice Houston, Kathleen Jacey, James C. McGuire, Esq., Frank Racette, Richard Salews, Sarah Steffian, Greg Stone, James Streeter, George H. White. LIBRARIAN: Brian Rogers.