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. ​  

Alton Beaudoin & Mystic Knotwork 
A Family of Knotters  -  through March 2015

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.

Read the new 2015 WINTER NEWSLETTER

Keep up with what's happening: read the weekly e-blast 
Custom House Maritime Museum is on Facebook
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Learn about our Book of the Month

In the NEWS
Photo Ledge Light by Sean Elliot
The Day 3.27.15

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

Nighttime photos of Harbor & Ledge Light by Tim Cook
The Day 1.22.15

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

Maritime Society apt owner of New London lighthouses  -  editorial   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

Restoring the Lighthouse - video feature
The Day  7.23.14

Every Thursday, from 5 to 6 o'clock PM we're on TV. Watch New London Maritime Society Custom House Maritime Matterson New London Metrocast cable TV, channel 25, with host Dr. George Sprecace. ​


In 2013, the US Postal Service made a youtube 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

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, the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, the Community Foundation of Eastern CTVeolia / New London Water Authority,  &  and by the work of dedicated volunteers, members & friends. 
CalendarBlogLibraryLighthouse StewardshipAmistadAbout Get InvolvedRentalEducation

     New London Maritime Society - open year-round   
     your local, independent, community museum,       
     telling the stories of New London's waterfront.

      OPEN  Tuesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 PM, Admission $5.      
      150  Bank Street, New London, CT 06320  -  860-447-2501


NLMS visits the Lightship Nantucket in Boston.
REVISED FIGURES: Phase I restoration of New London Harbor 'Pequot' Light - including additional seawall masonry, is almost complete!  We still need $18,000.         Donate today!

Watch HERE!  Read about it in The Day.   Watch on TV.

Our campaign Be Part of Something BIG, raised nearly $2000,000 in donations and lighthouse program revenues, and an estimated $300,000+ in in-kind donations. Spring's appeal in honor of NLMS past president Ben Martin has raised another $60,000. Donations still may be sent to Ben Martin Lighthouse Fund, Custom House Maritime Museum, 150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320, or use donation button at right. Ben was instrumental in developing our lighthouse programs--for both preservation & recreation--and we appreciate his leadership and vision.
Thank you to everyone contributing to this tremendous effort! 
We'll post process photos of the restoration on facebook

Visit the MUSEUM SHOP  for terrific gifts for all ages.
We have sailing ship kites, deep-sea dive children’s lunch sets, nautical clocks, elegant scarves, submarine toys, rubber stamps, rubber duckies, cookie cutters,  -time gifts, maritime books, and sea creature ornaments. We have Lighthouse Keepers caps, Moby Dick- the card game, balloon-powered toy boats, whales of every sort, books for the very young and the very sophisticated.

The MUSEUM SHOP is open from 1 to 5 PM Thursday through Sunday!  150 Bank Street, New London.  860-447-2501.
Above: our new gull stuffed toys! Just $12.
We participate in the BlueStar Museums
program, providing free admission to active-duty members of the armed services and their families all year
On behalf of the SYC, Diana (Mimi) Tyler presents director Susan Tamulevich with a check from the Shennecossett Yacht Club Lighthouse Regatta, held on August 2, 2014. And the good news is: they're going to do it again in 2015!
November 10, 1909 - NL Ledge Lighthouse was completed 105 years ago.

November 7, 1761: the day 253 years ago New London Harbor Light was first lit.

October 26, 2014: The 2014 Boat - Lighthouse Tour Season is now over - We had a TERRIFIC SUMMER and will do more of the same in 2015 

August 25, 1839: 175 years ago,  La Amistad came to New London

July 31, 1789: 225 years ago, congress established the US Customs Service!

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

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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.    

from the office of Congressman Joe Courtney: Honoring Connecticut’s,Role in Abolishing Slavery 150 Years Later, Resource Guide to accompany the 2012 movie Lincoln,  
Alton Beaudoin & Mystic Knotwork
A Family of Knotters
This fall, we present the extravagant rope work of two generations
of local maritime knotters: the Beaudoins of Mystic. 
Alton Beaudoin could tie 400 knots from memory. He learned his fancy rope work as a seaman in the 1930-40s, including eight years spent aboard the square-rigged Joseph Conrad, when it was a training ship for merchant seamen. Decades later, having retired as an Inside Machinist at Electric Boat, he indulged his hobby creating such wonders as the elegant sennit frame shown above (& now at the Custom House) out of approximately 100 miles of white twine.
He passed his knotting skills to his family. Today, a grandson,
Mat Beaudoin (above), carries on the tradition at Mystic Knotwork in
Stonington’s Velvet Mill. We have Matt’s work on display, too
and Mystic Knotwork’s napkin rings,and doormats are for sale in the MUSEUM SHOP

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.
​Bob Walser - Songs of Sea and Shore  
Concert of Seagoing Musical Traditions
at the Custom House May 13, 2015, 7 PM

One of the world's leading experts on seagoing
musical traditions, Bob Walser, presents a concert of shanties and sailors' songs, pub songs, ballads, and songs with great choruses that invite everyone to participate: Songs of Sea and Shore, on Wednesday, May 13 at 7 PM, at the Custom House Maritime Museum. Tickets are $25, $20 for New London Maritime Society members. In addition to the concert, wine, coffee and dessert will be served. Go to and enter 'Bob Walser' to reserve your seats, or call 1-800-838-3006.  

Matt Beaudoin Artist Talks - The Life of a Knotter
this Sunday, March 29, at 2  & 4 PM 
Matt Beaudoin,of Mystic Knotwork, will give two artist talks about maritime knots and his grandfather's passion for knotting - at the Custom House. Free. 
This talk is in conjunction with an exhibition of the extravagant rope work of two generations of local maritime knotters: Alton Beaudoin & Mystic Knotwork: A Family of Knotters. Call 860-447-2501 to reserve a place.
Find out more about the new Harbor Light Segway tours here: