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!
Race Rock Light Curated by Pierce Rafferty.
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.
COMING UP - opening in May
Kids Ahoy - illustrating the maritime influence on children's fashions, toys & entertainment since Queen Victoria's day
US Customs Service - 226 Years of protecting Our Borders
read more newsletters HERE
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, Friday, August 28, at 6:30)
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 ?
NLMS visits the Lightship Nantucket in Boston.
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
Our Lighthouse Sponsors:
The Chester Kitchings Family Foundation
Frank Loomis Palmer Fund
Dept of Eco. Dev. State Dept. of Tourism
H.Carr & Son
Rogovin Moving and Storage
Shennecossett Yacht Club
the Eschenfelder Family
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.
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For all events going on Downtown, visit the
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.
right: New London Whalers mobile $35 in the MUSEUM SHOP.
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. CLOSED July 4!
150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 - 860-447-2501
Sign up NOW for our 2015 Summer Lighthouse Boat Tours.
Jon Buller is back with cartooning classes for kids age 8 and up.
How to be a Cartoonist
Saturdays, July 11 through August 1, 10:45 AM through 12 noon. Fee: $40, materials included. Register HERE!
Below: New London hosts the Amistad on Waterfront Park through October. Visit the ship & our exhibition: Amistad - A True Story of Freedom. Call 860-447-2501 for school visits. photos: Hartford Courant
April 21, 2014: We won Yankee Magazine's 'Best of New England Travel 2014' Editors' Choice for Best Lighthouse Tours
Help us Build a Dock at NL Harbor 'Pequot' Light
We suddenly have an opportunity to apply for a 'Good to Great' grant from the state of Connecticut. This special grant, offered for the first time, will provide historic sites with up-to $125,000 for a transformative change -- in our case, this change would be to restore the historic New London Harbor 'Pequot' Lighthouse dock so that we, visitors, and the US Coast Guard can get to Harbor Light by boat!
The dock is estimated to cost about $175,000. The grant would pay up-to $125,000 but requires a 25% match at the time of the application. If we apply for the full amount, that match would be $31,250. This total would get us pretty close to being able to complete the entire dock project.
This offer also means that every one dollar contributed to this campaign is matched x 4 by the grant to equal $5!
Your $100 plank sponsorship actually brings $500 to the dock project.
The grant was announced on June 11, and there are now just 19 days in which to apply. The matching funds must be in-hand at the time of the application: July 11, 2015.
New London Harbor 'Pequot' Light is the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Long Island Sound. According to the US Coast Guard, from the lantern at Pequot Light, one can see more lighthouse than from any other place on earth! Don't you want to see that?!
Contribute HERE to our crowd-funding campaign.
Purchase an inscribed plank for $100. We'll only have 250.
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.
Help! Both of our Pequot Avenue neighbors won't let us get into New London Harbor 'Pequot' Light! Watch on TV We only have until July 10 to raise $36,250 for a matching grant. With one week to go, we've raised 10% online and another $8,000 off-line -- we are 1/3 of the way there! Please Help! Please donate today HERE.