OPEN The Custom House is open year-round!
The Custom House Maritime Museum is located in downtown New London, a short walking distance from the City's railroad, bus & ferry transportation hub.
Telling the stories of New London's waterfront, the Custom House offers lighthouse tours and boat trips, an annual chowda'fest, artifacts relating to local lighthouses, US Customs and the Amistad, along with changing exhibitions and a great Museum Shop.
ADDRESS 150 Bank Street, New London, Connecticut 06320.
HOURS: April through December,
we're open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday),
from 1—5 PM, & by appointment call: 860-447-2501.
We close Dec. 23 through Jan. 5.
January through March, we're open Thursday,
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, from 1—5 PM,
or by appointment. call: 860-447-2501.
PHONE: 860-447-2501, FAX: 860-447-8086
ADMISSION: The Custom House Maritime Museum is always FREE for current members, individuals with current military or USCG cadet ID and children under age 14 (with adult), admission is a $5 suggested donation for all others. Admission is by donation on Sunday.
TOURS: Groups may schedule tours by calling 860-447-2501.
Group tour admission is $5 per visitor.
Tour the Robert Mills US Custom House from attic to sub-basement!
Custom House Architectural tours can be arranged by appointment at $8 per visitor.
VOLUNTEER - to find out more click >> HERE.
SHOP: Our Museum Shop has books & gifts with New London maritime themes.
The Custom House Maritime Museum/New London Maritime Society (NLMS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization and 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.
The New London Maritime Society (NLMS) was established in 1983 by an impassioned group of citizens/volunteers who worked to preserve New London's U.S. Custom House.
They succeeded! Housed in the 179-year-old Robert Mills building at 150 Bank Street, today we are a nonprofit historic site—the nation’s oldest continuously-operating U.S. Custom House, scene to much of the City’s maritime history—and an educational organization. As of October 2010, we took on stewardship of New London Harbor Light—an area icon. Established 250 years ago and still an active aid to navigation, it is the first lighthouse built on Long Island Sound. Through museum exhibitions and educational programs, the museum actively promotes, protects and interprets the maritime history and current life of the port of New London and the surrounding region.
To paraphrase our City Council, who wrote in 1832 about their proposed new custom house: we are a true ‘gem on the waterfront’.
The Custom House Maritime Museum has developed into a community museum, which is a very special kind of place. We work to illustrate the maritime connections among us by presenting the stories of our neighbors, and we do this in several ways: the museum has become something of a social center, where people of all walks of life meet to talk, tell stories, hold meetings, and play cribbage; we present “Jibboom Roundtables” –panel discussions featuring individuals who share a common maritime interest or experience (recent roundtable topics have included tugboat workers, design of New London’s Parade, oyster farming in Long Island Sound). We develop 'cabinet' exhibitions drawn from our members’ personal experiences: the ‘Two Lives of the Grandma Sue’—the story of one of one member’s 80-year-old grandfather, who fulfilled a lifelong dream to build & sail a boat to Florida, is one example. We also bring attention to the people and events which have made our region great. A recent exhibition on Rod Johnstone, designer of the J/Boats, is such a show. To get the word out, we produce quarterly newsletters and a program on local cable television: Custom House Maritime Matters.
Please stop by and see for yourself.
The mission of
the New London Maritime Society's (NLMS) Custom House Maritime Museum
is to protect and preserve New London's U.S. Custom House and three area lighthouses, and to promote, preserve, and interpret the
rich maritime life & history of the port of New London and the
surrounding region through museum exhibitions, educational programs, and preservation initiatives.