In 2021, at age thirty-eight, New London Maritime Society’s vision has grown. Three+ decades ago, the founders, The Day, and the people of this city created a new institution designed to preserve New London’s 1833 U.S. custom house within an organization dedicated to preserving the history of maritime New London.
Recently, for the first time in two hundred+ years, and for one time only, the federal government began divesting itself of its—our—historic lighthouses. Because preserving the region’s maritime history is our mission, we rose to the challenge; if not us, who would step forward to preserve these sites for future generations?
Eleven years ago, the New London Maritime Society adopted the city’s Harbor Lighthouse, and, in July 2013, ago took ownership of a second lighthouse: Race Rock. In 2015, in partnership with the Ledge Light Foundation, we were awarded a third property: New London Ledge Light.
But there’s a greater plan at work, too, one that’s organized geographically (not following political boundaries), for preserving the true essence of maritime New London. The idea is to look out across the waters of Long Island Sound and partner with groups along the shoreline: historians, conservationists, boaters, commercial fishermen, residents, with the hope of creating a larger mutually-supportive entity. The Maritime Society’s goal now is to preserve not just the stories but the whole of our maritime resources within the framework of a national maritime heritage park.
2017 Lighthouse Events
the LIS Lighthouse Conference is April 24-25
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'Pequot' New London Harbor Light Race Rock Light Station
New London's Harbor Light was the featured lighthouse for Connecticut in the 2013 United States Postal Service's New England Coastal Lighthouses series. The stamp was issued on Saturday, July 13, 2013. USPS made a great film.
That's us, far right, above! See photos of ceremony, below.
On Thursday, June 27, the GSA conveyed ownership of Race Rock Light from the US federal government to the New London Maritime
Society. NLMS thanks the GSA/NPS for their confidence in us; we also thank the people who helped with the Race Rock application
by writing letters of support, and the many members, volunteers, & donors who help us, everyday, to maintain our vision.
Yes, we wielded swords (the better to cut the lighthouse cakes!) & the Gala was gorgeous (above)!
Thanks to everyone who attended, to Dave Sugrue, who provided the splendid venue at Ocean Beach Park & to the gracious Port 'N
Starboard staff; to Tom Callinan, who sang his ballad to NL Harbor Light; to the smooth Venlo Odom trio featuring Lorain Ohio
Simister; & to super-great volunteer Rachel Perry, who arranged for all the lighthouse cakes.
Saturday, July 13, we just had one event (above) -- but it was spectacular!
We had a USCG Honor Guard, the New London Community Orchestra String Ensemble performed the National Anthem, Tom Callinan
performed a new song about the lighthouse, our speakers included Senator Anderea Stillman, Mayor Darryl Justin FInizio, Rear Admiral
Sandra Stotz, Rick Uluski and Joseph Mazzola of the USPS, and Quincy Vagell of WTNH-TV Storm Team. Philatelist Alan Bentz created
three first-day cachets. They all sold out, but we're still taking orders. The place was packed! NLMS Trustees then handed out our
newsletter & sold BIG buttons during SailFest.
Thank you all for your enthusiastic support of our Lighthouse Saturdays.
Our 2014 Lighthouse Sponsors
The Chester Kitchings Family Foundation
Frank Loomis Palmer Fund
Veolia Water / New London Water Authority
Loring & Son Masonry
Surveyor Jim Bernardo
Hefel Masonry LLC
Captain Scott's Lobster Dock
Ocean Beach Park
The Big House B&B
CTrides/Shore Line East
New England Regional Council of Carpenters
Fishers Island Ferry
Cross Sound Ferry
A. W. Marina
Manafort Bros., Inc
BRAND Energy & Infrastructure Services
Dept of Eco. Dev. State Dept. of Tourism
Kenseal Building Products
H.Carr & Son
Chelsea Groton Bank
Associated Lightning Rod Company
Rogovin Moving and Storage
Shennecossett Yacht Club
IUPAT - The International Union Of Painters And Allied Trades Home, Local 1122
Central and Eastern Connecticut Carpenters Local 24
& the Eschenfelder Family.
I'm Part of Something BIG Lighthouse Pin Sponsors
Purchase an I'm Part of Something BIG pin at the Custom House Museum Shop for $10, beginning July 1, allowed Pin wearers to partake of the following discounts at businesses in downtown New London on weekends, July through October, 2014.
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
Learn about > Maritime New London
August 6, 2015 Congratulations to US! Today, New London Maritime Society took ownership of a 3rd lighthouse: New London Ledge Light.
In July, 2013, we took ownership of Race Rock Light.
New London Maritime Society is dedicated to preserving Harbor, Race Rock, and Ledge Lights
Our commitment to the preservation and protection of these beloved landmarks ensures the future enjoyment of these lights for our community and visitors alike.
In 2014, you restored Harbor Light
In 2015, we took ownership of Ledge Light, Race Rock was on National Geographic TV, and Harbor Light was shut down (see news articles).
We continued our boat tours -- to area lighthouses, at sunset, during the full moon, and instituted a new USCG boat tour.
In 2016, we held a first Long Island Sound Lighthouse Symposium and added boat tours on the Popeye to Race Rock and Noank's islands.
In July, 2015 we took ownership of Ledge Light.
In October, 2010, we took ownership of New London Harbor 'Pequot' Light.
onshore in New London - also known as Pequot Light, NLMS adopted this lighthouse in 2010
off Fishers Island, NY - NLMS adopted Race Rock in 2013
November 22, 2022
Photo: Hallsi Rose
New London, CT-- The New London Maritime Society (NLMS) received two significant donations in support of their lighthouse preservation efforts: $100,000 from the Ludwick Family Foundation, and $10,000 from donor Louise Novitch. 'It's a cap on what has been a spectacular Year of the Lighthouse,' said NLMS executive director Susan Tamulevich, 'and very much appreciated!' Louise Novitch, who with her late husband Mark has been a long-time supporter of New London Harbor Light, gave $10,000 to complete landscaping at the lighthouse property. Last spring, the Ludwick Family Foundation invited the Maritime Society to apply for funds to preserve Race Rock Lighthouse; in late October NLMS learned they would receive $100,000.
Last week, NLMS launched a Go Fund Me campaign to commission a Preservation Plan for New London Ledge Lighthouse. Launching this campaign for Ledge is the last project of NLMS's 2022 Year of the Lighthouse, a year dedicated to relaunching preservation efforts at the three historic beacons NLMS owns following a two-year disruption due to COVID. 'We will never give up protecting our lighthouses through historic preservation, education, public access. It's not for us, it's for the next generation,' said NLMS president Christina Corcoran, adding 'Would you like to help us?'
New London Maritime Society owns three lighthouses: New London Harbor (Pequot) Lighthouse (1760), Race Rock Light (1878), and New London Ledge Light (1909) —all active aids to navigation. Together these three historic beacons lead ships from the Atlantic Ocean to New London Harbor. NLMS teaches about the lighthouses every day at the Custom House Maritime Museum and in our in-school programs.
# # #
2022 the Year of the Lighthouse
The Year of the Lighthouse has been a success, with tours to Race, Ledge, Harbor & Little Gull - a film premiere - a puppet play - we even washed the lighthouse!
Here are some staggering statistics:
~ New London Harbor Light: We completed landscaping at Harbor Light this summer with a $60,000 state Good-to-Great grant; 101 people toured the lighthouse - 32 were NL students + family funded by Veolia/NL Water Authority $5 tickets. A bench was donated in memory of Marie Elena Noawk. We washed Harbor Light in September, with a Go-Fund-Me campaign. A $10,000 donation from Louise Novitch will allow NLMS to finish the entrance gate.
~ Race Rock: Architecture firm Modern Ruins released their final building assessment/preservation plan in June; July had a film premiere of The History of Race Rock, with 300 attending on Fishers Island - we've raised $15,000 in donations so far. Eighteen visitors toured inside Race Rock Lighthouse. NLMS received $100,000 for preservation repairs from the Ludwick Family Foundation.
~ New London Ledge Light: Ledge Light Foundation, which has overseen repairs since 1987, received $100,000 from the state Port Authority. NLMS brought 256 people to visit inside the lighthouse - among these 51 were NL students + family with $5 tickets funded by Veolia/NL Water Authority. Cracks appeared which may indicate structural decay; in November, NL Maritime Society launched a Go-Fund-Me campaign to raise $10,000 for an architectural assessment/restoration plan from Modern Ruins for Ledge Lighthouse.
~ With the Little Gull Foundation, NLMS brought the first public tours -- 54 people -- to visit Little Gull Island and Lighthouse.
~ NLMS and 100 friends toasted Inn owner Alwyn Christie and former City Development Director Ned Hammond at a fundraiser at NL’s Lighthouse Inn in September.
~ NLMS brought Arm-of-the-Sea Theater’s lighthouse puppet play Keep That Lamp Trimmed N’ Burning to Hygienic Park for a free family performance in September as part of the CT Maritime Heritage Festival, with a grant from the NL Cultural District.
# # #
New London Maritime Society receives
two major grants for its Lighthouses
Race Rock Lighthouse receives $100,000
from the Ludwick Family Foundation,
Louise Novitch donates $10,000 to Harbor Light
Top row, above from left: Press coverage in the Day, Go-Fund-Me Wash Harbor Lighthouse, lighthouse cake at Lighthouse Inn fundraiser, Arm-of-the-Sea puppet play, NL families visit the lighthouses sponsored by Veolia/NL Water Authority. Photos, above: landscaping at Harbor Lighthouse, CT state Good to Great grant, November 2021 through November 2022.
Top row, above from left: First visits to Little Gull Lighthouse, inside the Little Gull lantern room, NL families visit Ledge lighthouse sponsored by Veolia/NL Water Authority, at the Ledge lantern room, Modern Ruins architects at Ledge Light. Photos, above: in the Race Rock lantern room, landing at Race, the Race Rock fundraiser on Fishers Island, family visiting inside Harbor Lighthouse.