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.

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!
US Customs 225th Anniversary  Opens Sept 21

AMISTAD: A True Story of Freedom  
a 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.  HERE.    International Day of Rememberance - United Nations - March 25, 2012

Vintage Dive Helmets 
from two private collections:  Jay Kane and Ed Uditis.

The 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 the new 2015 AUTUMN NEWSLETTER

read more newsletters HERE

Keep up with what's happening: read the weekly e-blast 

Custom House Maritime Museum is on Facebook

​Facebook New London Harbor Light 

Facebook Race Rock Lighthouse

Facebook Sentinels on the Sound


Facebook Lighthouse Inn

Learn about our Book of the Month

in the NEWS
State funds a boost to two New London nonprofits The Day 10.4.15

A permit for New London lighthouse not such a bad idea The Day 9.28.15 

New London Lighthouse Owners Fight Order To Stop Tours  The Hartford Courant 9.25.15

New London Maritime Society loses zoning appeal for Harbor Lighthouse  The Day  9.25.15

New London lighthouse owners fight cease-and-desist order The Day 9.24.15

New London lighthouse owners appeal cease-and-desist order The Day  9.23.15

New London Celebrates 225 Years of US Custom Service  9.15.15

A cease and desist order blocks access to New London Harbor Light  WTNH TV 9.15.15

New London Lighthouse Reflects Tastes Of City's Wealthy The Hartford Courant 8.22.15

Nimble Arts Circus wows in New London  The Day 8.9.15

New London Maritime Society takes over as New London Ledge Light owner  The Day 8.7.15

Take a Tour of New London Ledge Light  WTNH TV 8.6.15

Meet Ernie: The Ghost Of The Ledge Light Lighthouse  Hartford Courant 8.7.15

Spanish History Docks in New London
FOX TV 7.31.15

Replica of Spanish Galleon Moored in New London  NBC TV 7.30.15

Tall ship El Galeón arrives at New London waterfront  The Day 7.29.15

VIDEO: Tall ship El Galeón arrives at New London’s City Pier  The Day 7.29.15

A Guiding Beacon: New London’s ‘Pequot’ Lighthouse Antiques and the Arts WeeklyJuly 10, 2015

New London non-profit fights for historic lighthouse access
FOX TV news  6.25.15

New London Maritime Society pushes harder for dock as it faces another property dispute   The Day 6.21.15

New London EDC recognizes three water-related enterprises The Day  6.14.15

‘Sea to Table’ celebrates New London’s seafood bounty 
The Day 6.10.15

Video: director Susan Tamulevich - MUSEUM MADNESS - New Canaan Public Library 5.9.15

Photos: Amistad Returns Hartford Courant   5.2.15

Amistad welcomed to New London for the summer 
The Day  5.1.15

Maritime Society director Susan Tamulevich on Community Culture Showcase TV program 4.20.15

North Stonington lighthouse keeper appears on National Geographic Channel  The Day  4.16.15

Amistad tours will be available in New London to students 
The Day  4.13.15

Video: The Mystique of the Lighthouse: Legend and Lore, at Hartford's Old State House, with Jeremy D'Entremont, Judy Dworin, and NLMS director Susan Tamulevich
CT-N  3.30.15

Custom House exhibit ties together two generations of knotters  The Day 3.21.15

History Around the Corner: The Custom House in New London  New London Times 1.14.15

Historian at New London Maritime Society program says former slave produced landmark work
The Day 12.14.14

Lighthouse Kids are Bright Beacons
The Day 11.12.14

New London Harbor Light visitors enjoy view from the top
The Day 10.13.14

New London’s renaissance  Boston Globe 10.9.14

Editorial: Maritime Society apt owner of New London lighthouses The Day  9.18.14

New London Maritime Society granted ownership of Ledge Light   The Day  9.17.14 

Connecticut lighthouses offer tours, activities
Providence Journal  9.14.14

To The Lighthouse: Tours, Museums And Festivals
Gothamist   9.3.14

Amistad's story endures after 175 years   The Day 8.26.14 

Taking In the History of New London, a City Shaped by the Sea   The New York Times  8.15.2014

Video: Restoring the Lighthouse The Day  7.23.14

See all News Here


In 2013, the US Postal Service made a video about New London Harbor Light.  See it HERE.

See our Video about Race Rock Light Station 
(thank you Todd Gipstein)​.

Watch what we do

2015 Sentinels on the Sound events guide 
(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 CTVeolia / New London Water Authority,  &  and by the work of dedicated volunteers, members & friends. 

CalendarBlogLibraryLighthouse StewardshipAmistadAbout Get InvolvedEducationRental

Our 2013-14 campaign Be Part of Something BIG, raised 
nearly $200,000 in donations and lighthouse program revenues, 
and an estimated $400,000+ in in-kind donations.
Be Part of Something BIG 

Watch HERE!  Read about it in The Day. Watch TV.
Our 2015 Lighthouse DOCK Sponsors (as of 7.26.15)
Don and LeVon Atkins
Aribel Fund
Sandra and Lloyd Beachy
Elizabeth Bishop
Bishop Family Living Trust
Douglass Bjorn
Katie Bradford
Nancy Chester
Kristin Clarke
G. Thomas Couser
Greg Crocker
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
Louise Fabrykiewicz
James Fleishell
Herb Floyd
Paul and Timothy Foley
Mel Foti
Sandy and Walter Friess
Josephine Gangitano
Marty Glavan
Robert Groves
Karen and Frank Guidice
Teresa Hamilton
Mary Ellen Hanrahan
Kristen and Dawn Harkness
Joyce and Bruce Hart
Arthur Higbee
Jen Hillhouse
Anita Hochstein
Ken Holloway
Barbara Hoover
Elizabeth Hopkins
Alice Houston
Paul and Mary Illiano
Harrison Jewett
Kitchings Family Foundation
William LaRoue
Carolyn Leuze
Spike Lobdell
Tim Longregan
Robin L. Lott
J.Richard Ludgin
Michelle Maitland
Amy Shahan Mantie  
Linda Mariani
Morgan and Lisa McGinley
Frank and Linda McLaughlin
Philip and Christine Medbury
Glenna Moalli
Brian Murphy
Jean and Dick Murphy
Barbara Nagy
Gail Narita
Barbara Neff
New England Science and Sailing (NESS)
Penny Newbury
Mark Novitch
Kathleen O'Bierne
Anne Ogden
Margaret Palmer
Michael Passero
Dana Peters
Peggy Peters
Alma Peterson
Robert Pittaway
Melissa and Michael Plumley
Charles Primus
Ruth Reluga
Irene Rissi
Katherine Procopio
Brian Rogers
Carol and Aaron Rogovin
Linda Roselund
Daneen and Greg Roth
Tim Ryan
Nan Scheiber
Rob Scofield
Sarah Shrewsbury
Jean and Steve Sigel
David and Leslie Spinelli
Harry Smith
George Sprecace
Sarah Steffian
Greg Stone
Studio 33
Barbara Tamulevich
Susan Tamulevich
Teresa Ton
Gail and Bill Tubbs
Frederica Valois
Rick Waterhouse
Mr. Mrs. William Blunt White
Hannah Will
JH Zunda

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!

Volunteer  at the Custom House!

Visit our sister Custom House in Newburyport, MA.

New London Tides          New London Weather 

Seafood WATCH - What seafood to buy now.

Click right to see > Community / History Links

For all events going on Downtown, visit the 
District Community Calendar.    

Remember: The Custom House is available for 
private rentals.  NB: Per the fire marshal, our maximum occupancy is 49 people indoors  and 100 people outdoors.

New London has one of the finest natural deep-water ports on the east coast. From colonial times, it was the main customs port in Connecticut. New London also has the oldest lighthouse, Harbor Light, established in 1760 under King George II. When President George Washington created the US Customs Service 226 years ago, in 1789, New London was designated the state’s sole port of entry. Over the next 100 years, the U.S. Customs Service was the primary source of funds for the entire US government, and paid for the nation's early growth and infrastructure. In New London, customs oversaw the West Indies trade and the heyday of whaling when, for several decades in the 19th century, New London was the 2nd major whaling port in the world.

The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by an act of Congress in 1790 and served as an armed enforcement service for US Customs. It was the revenue cutter Washington  that intercepted La Amistad off of Montauk, Long Island, in August 1839, and brought the ship to officials at the then-new US Customs building at New London. (La Amistad remained in New London in the care of the US Customs Service until the end of the Supreme Court trial, March 1841, at which point customs officials auctioned off the ship & contents, and La Amistad  rechristened the Ion, sailed off to the south.) On 28 January 1915, the service was merged by an act of Congress with the United States Life-Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard. Which is to say: the USCG sprang directly from US Customs.

From earliest days, the customs service also managed everything to do with aids to navigation including lighthouses. The customs official contracted to build the lighthouses & lightships, hired the lighthouse keepers, erected spindles and beacons, and purchased lantern oil & other supplies -- all of which is carefully detailed in quarterly reports back to Washington, DC - and we have many of these letters in our collections. These duties were later taken on by the United States Lighthouse Board in 1852. The US Lighthouse Service took over in 1910, which then merged with the USCG in 1939.

As we all know, the USCG maintains many lighthouses and still maintains the lights in every active US lighthouse, including the three owned by New London Maritime Society: Harbor ‘Pequot’ Light, Race Rock, and New London Ledge Lighthouse. The Maritime Society preserves the structures and provides access to the public -- our two charges from the National Park Service.

Why we're excited about USCG Summer 
--and a description of the Custom House's authentic ties to the USCG, the Amistad and to Lighthouses.
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 

  Sign up NOW for our 2015 Summer Lighthouse Boat Tours.
  Go to and search "New London lighthouse".
Kids Ahoy opens soon

April 21, 2014: We won Yankee Magazine's 'Best of New England Travel 2014' Editors' Choice for Best Lighthouse Tours
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.

7.10.15 We met the match for a dock at Harbor Light.
Thank you, all! Now we just have to receive the grant...
We'll keep you posted. 
Meanwhile, you may still Pledge a Plank for Pequot Light.  Planks cost $100 each.
Call 860-447-8700 to find out more about it.

Find out about our partnership this summer with the Florence Griswold and CT River museums.
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.

Sea  to Table  is a series of Talks & Tastings featuring local seafood growers, paired with Cooking Classes with Dinner presented by chefs Amelia Lord and Elisa Giommi, left. Participants may sign up for just the Talk or for both the Talk and the Cooking Class presentations. Sarah Malimowski of Fishers Island Oysters will be our Talk guest to discuss her family oyster farm.
Learn more & sign up HERE:
Fishers Island Oysters are on the menu October 24
                  Harbor Lighthouse is CLOSED
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, when he reentered the US from the Moon and made his US Customs declaration for 'MOON ROCK AND MOON DUST SAMPLES'.  
Saturday, October 17, 2 PM,
Some of the most-evocative items at the Custom House are the deep-sea dive helmets and gear on display in the museum lobby, on loan from professional diver Jay Kane, and Ed Uditis.
On Saturday,October 17, at 2 PM,collector, dive instructor, and trustee of the Historical Diving Society, Ed Uditis,will present a talk about the history of diving paraphernalia. Free for NLMS members, $6 all others. For reservations: call 860-447-2501.