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
Opening July, 2014. Curated by Pierce Rafferty. ​  

AMISTAD: A True Story of Freedom  
a new 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 at the 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. The historic Greek revival building, itself, is 180 years old.

Read the new  2014 SUMMER NEWSLETTER

Keep up with what's happening  
Custom House Maritime Museum is on Facebook
​Facebook New London Harbor Light      
Facebook Race Rock Lighthouse

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

Read about the Custom House and New London in the Boston Globe & The New York Times.
Want to know what's up? 
Sign up to receive our weekly email blasts!

Watch what we do

Read our latest Newsletter.

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
Keep up with >> USCG Tall Ship Eagle

What is the World Beach (Sculpture) Project?

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

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)​.

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.

The New London Maritime Society/Custom House Maritime Museum is made possible by generous grants from The Chester Kitchings Family Foundation, 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

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

      New London Maritime Society - Open year round - your local,     
      independent, community museum - telling the stories of New 
      London's waterfront.            
Above, artist J H Torrance Downes, Eva & John Henry, right, brought the original drawing for Connecticut's Preserve The Sound license plate to add to our exhibition.

NLMS visits the Lightship Nantucket in Boston.
August 25: the 175 anniversary of the Amistad coming to New London

July 31: 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!

Find out more about our summer lighthouse tours and events

We have 7 different lighthouse boat tours. Click 
and search 'New London lighthouse' to book your trips, July - October! 
All monies raised go to lighthouse preservation!
Somewhere between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, NLMS held its own award ceremony (above). On Thursday, January 23, 2014, at the Washington Street Coffee House,  Robert Pittaway  (standing at left) bestowed the first Pittaway Lighthouse-Keepers Award on lighthouse advocate Pierce Rafferty.
Last summer, Mr. Rafferty's efforts culminated in the exhibition, Race Rock Light, which opened at the Ferguson Museum in June 2013. The award is named in honor of Mr. Pittaway's late wife, Louise Davis Pittaway, a passionate lighthouse lover, NLMS honorary trustee, and long-time curator of Stonington's Old Lighthouse Museum, who died in 2013. 

Phase I restoration of New London Harbor 'Pequot' Light is well under way!  
Watch HERE!  Read about it in The Day.   Watch on TV.

Our campaign Be Part of Something BIG, raised nearly $118,000 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 abnother $50,000. 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.
We still need to raise an additional $30,000 - to restore the ironwork of the lantern exterior and to build a walk around the seawall. 

As soon as he heard about the restoration effort, Chris Bachant, of the Carpenters Union, reached out to the Maritime Society with the promise of volunteer help. He then contacted friends at Brand, who came forward with their own offer. Brand, Specializing in Specialty Services Solutions, proudly supports the maritime society in the restoration of this historic landmark and will donate full scaffolding for the project; The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has volunteered to erect and dismantle the scaffolding; members of the the Painters Union have volunteered to do the actual painting of the lighthouse.  Last week, Loring & Son Masonry donated removal and testing of one window and taking core samples of the tower -- work valued at $5,000. 
See all our Lighthouse Sponsors at left.
Thank you to everyone contributing to this tremendous effort! 
We'll post process photos of the restoration on facebook
Local diver and historic dive-gear collector, Jay Kane, loans us the magnificent Mark V deep dive suite we have on display in the museum's front hall.

Last summer, he borrowed the suit and took it for a dive off Fort Trumbull, New London. 

Here, at right, are photos of that event.

 You can see the suits employed at New London's TA Scott Company in the early 1900s (photo at top right). The Mark V suit was the standard gear for the Navy from the early 20th century into the 1980s!

 The helmet weighs 60 lbs, each shoe: 20. There is a belt composed of 10 lead weights, with 10 weights with each piece of lead at10 lbs. Altogether, the suit weights 200 lbs+, which is enough to counter the buoyancy of an adult male.

In February, 2014, Jay took the gear to Florida for another dive. 

We are thrilled with the tale and happy to have the suit back at the Custom House!

Barry's Ice Cream and Candy - 10% off the purchase of Ice Cream or Candy
Bean & Leaf - 10% off Purchase
Carribean Cuisine In-n-Out - 10% off Purchase
Chaplins - 10% off Purchase
Copperwood Grill - 25% off Total Purchase of dinner or drinks
Custom House Museum Shop - 10% off purchases (not to be combined with other discounts) 
Daddy Jacks - 10% off Purchase
Dickson's Tavern - 3 Headed Pirate Pants cocktail for $5
Flavours of Life - Free small soapstone heart hand carved in Kenya with a $25 purchase
Mangetout - Free cookie or bar with lunch purchase
Muddy Waters - Free small coffee with lunch purchase
Nearly You Wigs - 20% off Purchase
Northern Light Jewelry - 50% off Whale Tail Jewelry
Steaming Kettle - 10% off Purchase
Studio 33 - free lighthouse car magnet with a purchase of $20
Sweeties Bakery - 10% off Purchase
with more offers to come

                                                      With the great interest in 
                                                      Plum Island shown in our tour 
                                                      registrations and recent 
                                                      announcements in the news, 
                                                      we are bringing you more 
                                                      information about this 
                                                      important ecological site on 
                                                      Long Island Sound

Just added: New book about Plum Island
A World Unto Itself: The Remarkable History of Plum Island New York
Book signing Sunday, August 24, at 2 PM

Ruth Ann Bramson, Ph.D. is a retired university professor who splits her time between Boston, Massachusetts and East Marion, New York. Regularly passing Plum Island by ferry, she developed a curiosity about the island and began researching and lecturing about its history. She is the author, along with Geoffrey Fleming and Amy Folk, of the new book, A World Unto Itself: The Remarkable History of Plum Island New York, to be published next month by the Southold Historical Society.

Few islands are as little known or as misunderstood as Plum Island, New York. Over time, the unfamiliarity with Plum Island has given rise to legends and tall tales. But, the facts are even more fascinating than the folklore. Now, for the first time, the history of Plum Island has been collected and made available to readers. This book is intended to let Plum Island tell its own story and reveal the many previously undocumented realities and personalities that have combined to define it--and the forces now at work toward directing its future. Meet Ruth Ann as she launches her new book.

Tickets are $12, $10 NLMS members. Reserve your tickets at, search 'Plum Island'. Space at the Custom House Maritime Museum is limited, so make your reservations today.

    Learn about >  Maritime New London
I'm Part of Something BIG Lighthouse Pin are now for sale at the Custom House. 
Purchase an I'm Part of Something BIG pin at the Custom House Museum Shop for $10, beginning July 1. Pin wearers may partake of the following discounts at businesses in downtown New London on weekends, July through October, 2014.
Here's our first group to tour Plum Island, just about to board the boat Friday morning, July 25, in Old Saybrook. 
All 2014 Plum Island tours are Sold Out, but we have a book talk at the Custom House on the history of that mysterious spot on Sunday, August 24 at 2 PM.
Visit the MUSEUM SHOP today for deep-sea diving & other nautical note cards, scarves, tea towels and rubber stamps, cookie cutters, special ribbons, new & vintage maritime books, toys, old-time gifts, and ornaments. We have Lighthouse Keepers caps, Old Town Mill corn meal for Johnny Cakes, balloon-powered toy boats, Mark Shasha books & prints; USCG video about the Eagle; whale bottle openers , cards, & coffee mug; and terrific photography. We're open from 1 to 5 PM Tuesday through Sunday!​ 
New Postcards above.
Join us Monday, August 25 at 6 PM, on New London's Amistad Pier to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Amistad's first coming to New London in 1839. 

On that day, New London grocer and abolitionist Dwight P. Janes sent word to fellow abolitionists from New York to Boston that the Amistad captives should be set free, thereby setting into motion the events leading to the first US Supreme Court ruling on civil rights!

We have two three-hour Amistad-Lighthouse sails planned, on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday August 24, from 1 to 4 PM. Board the ship and show your support for the Amistad! Tickets are $75 and include the 3-hour sail with music and hors d'oeuvres. Watch here for details.

These events are presented by New London Maritime Society in partnership with Amistad America & Connecticut Landmarks.
The Custom House Maritime Museum participates in the Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission to active duty military personnel and their immediate families all year. 

​Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle  
& discussion with Lonnie Braxton 
Thursday July 31 at 6:30 PM 
at Public Library of New London
Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America's civil rights history. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites. New London Maritime Society's program at Public Library of New London is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the Civil Rights Movement. All events are free and open to the public.
Freedom Riders  - Thursday, September 25
The Loving Story - Thursday, October 30