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11.29.11 Rob Pittaway built the rack today (below) that allowed us to hang up our new holiday ornaments & generally spruce up the museum shop. Favorites are the sailor & the mermaid (near left)!
11.30.11 The end of November -- and the holidays are in sight! Today's guests on Maritime Matters (George Sprecace's weekly program on Metrocast TV) were Tom Callinan our featured performer at this Saturday's Winter Celebration, and (local) Marine Corps League Detachment #1334 Commandant Justin Eldridge. Justin and Tom talked about Toys For Tots, a Marine initiative, and the local drive. Tom will give a concert in Niantic on Sunday to benefit the group.
12.1.11 Barbara Neff (below, far left) has brought together another great bunch of downtown NL organizations for a festive and meaningful event--the Festival of Trees, which takes place Saturday, December 3, at 6 pm. You may come and bid on fully-decorated trees. Ours has the red-white-&-blue NL maritime theme, but others feature peacock feathers (below), the seashore, and Monica (of Monica's) made a pink tree in support of breast cancer research. It all takes place at the New London Elks, 81 Washington Street. The Festivals of Trees is an event held for the past eight years by the Downtown New London Association (DNLA) to help raise money for New London Community Meal Center for needy families during the holiday season.
12.1.11 And tonight, the sound of bagpipes filled New London as the Fire Department's pipers held an impromptu parade down Bank Street (below left).
12.2.11 This afternoon, Archie Chester took visitors to see the Archie Chester Reading Room on the museum's lower level. The AC Reading Room is a part of our general library, but containing maritime fiction, how-to books and periodicals.
12.2.11 Thanks to Louise Pittaway (above), & Mary DiCecco we have these charming lighthouse/clam shell ornaments (below) in the museum shop. If you make the gift of a donation to the New London Harbor Lighthouse Fund, you'll recieve one of these ornaments and a gift card, & the gift can be made in honor of whosoever you choose!
To see what happened last month at the Custom House, click HERE.
12.3.11 There was a Parade (see Santa above), then the skating rink opened. The Festival of Trees (see Barbara Neff below) was held and, finally, our Winter Celebration ended a fun-filled Saturday!
12.3.11 Tom played a penny whistle, and a young man in the audience stood up and danced an Irish jig! NB: the dreamy background lighthouses were made last summer by trustee Rob Groves and they spent the summer in NL storefronts.
12.8.11 Jibboomers + Mary Anderson
take a field trip to Muddy Waters.

12.4.11 If you didn't attend Make We 
Joy today at Harkness Chapel on the
Connecticut College campus, you  
missed it for another year! This annual
New London revels celebration marked
its 30th year on Sunday with songs,
dancing, bad jokes and good cheer.
Watch for Make We Joy in 2012: it
takes place the 1st Sun. in December.
12.9.11 Good news & bad news: Today Ruby Glass visited the lighthouse and repaired several broken and/or cracked panes of glass in the windows along the stairway. That's the good news!

The unfortunate news is that there was water dripping into the Custom House museum's lower level in the window bay, following the rain & wind storm of Wendesday night! We have never had this problem before--or, to clarify--we have never had this problem to this extent. The driving rain was an unusual circumstance. We will have to investigate the source of the leak...
12.8.11 We took a break to go visit Mitchelle College and the New London Kiwanis group (left) at noontime, with the goal of helping artist/marine biologist Anne Kubitsky raise the funding necessary to assemble her Look for the Good Project exhinbition.

In fact, Anne is doing very well on her own. Word has grown to the point where Anne is receiving close to 100 postcards every day. She also is nearing her Kickstarter goal of pledges of $2,500. But to add a little extra push, Anne addressed the Kiwanis, and, on-the-spot, received personal contributions of $90!

Anne was on the Maritime Matters TV program with George Sprecace on Wednesday. On Friday her interview with WNPR radio host Faith Middleton will be broadcast, and on Saturday, a feature article about Anne & her project appears in the New London Day. Read her article HERE.

Meanwhile, because the exhibition has grown so quickly, we will partner with Nadesha Mijoba at Provenance Center to add additional space for Anne's show.

12.13.11 Today Harbor School's art teacher invited the Custom House and Todd Gipstein to speak to students about Ledge Light. Following in the footsteps of Jennings School, which last year made a model of NL Harbor Light, this year Harbor School will construct a model of Ledge.
12.19.11 Our Fishers Island Lighthouse Kids, David & Ian, took the ferry to New London and the Custom House this morning, after which they met up with Harbor School students at the Fort Trumbull Museum. Alice Sherif gave students a tour.

After learning about the history of the Fort, SEMI instructor Jody Barthel walked Harbor School back to their classroom.
12.19.11 One of the distinctive things about students from the Fishers Island School is how attuned they are to boats and the waters of the Sound. It only makes sense! Following their visit to Fort Trumbull this morning, David & Ian got to go up into New London Harbor Light. The students picked out the Fishers Island ferry, making a wide swing to adjust for the rough seas today as it headed back to the island. They also knew every US Coast Guard vessel, the guns carried & the size of their ammunition! When he got to the top-into the lighthouse lantern, David felt he was 'on top of the world!'

The excursion was topped off downtown--with a leisurly lunch at Captains Pizza!

12.20.11 Lots happening today. Artist Michael Peery came by with his portrait of the museum's founder Lucille Showalter--it's 90% there & looking splendid. After work the core volunteers had a holiday feast across the street at Chaplin's. It was also a farewell dinner for our terrific Brandy Baltimore, our Sunday docent for two years. 
21.22.10 Solstice morning off the Custom House pier.
12.20.11 Happy Holidays to you all from the crew at the Custom House Maritime Museum.
12.22.11 Solstice morning on the Custom House Pier. Then, it was on to Jennings School...
12.22.11 Jennings 5th grade Lighthouse Kids learn knots, with the help of Rachel Perry, our new volunteer & a student at UCONN.
12.22.11 New London's courthouse, above, the oldest in the state, is being restored by the state. Left, our newest & very capable volunteer, Rachel, gets direction from senior volunteer Rob Pittaway.
12.22.11 Quite a wonderful day at the Custom House--a great end to a remarkable year.

Met with Jennings 5th-grade Lighthouse Kids & the super Jody Barthel in the morning. Using templates from Carolyn Leuze's NL Community Boating, we taught four knots: the square, figure eight, half hitch & bowline. Students took home Candace Sanford's book about the Stonington's Captain Nathaniel Palmer, from Flat Hammock Press.

Back at the museum (left), Rachel helped Anne Kubitsky with plans for the next show, whic opens January 28, 2012.

And look who came to visit (top left): Izzy, Ivan, & the cousin from Canada, Louis. Vinnie, Jen, Bill & Russ were in, too!

Hello to our good friends at home: Ruth, Carolyn, Archie & Bob. 

Happy Holidays, everyone!