today Sunday, July 31, 6-9 PM

​OpenMic meets from 6-9 PM on the last Sunday of the month.
Christina Corcoran writes: I am excited to announce that the very talented Doc Frazier will be co-hosting Open Mic with me at the Museum !

Our monthly open mic welcomes performers of all kinds. Share your music, poetry, prose, stand-up, or just say what is on your mind. Bring your instruments, perform, or just sit back and enjoy!
Photo: June OpenMic.
Due to a last-minute cancellation, we have 10 tickets available for this morning's Ledge Lighthouse tour. You may purchase them at the boat. Tickets are $50 for adults, $35 for youth through age 18; New London children and parents may purchase tickets for $5, a piece!
We lease the water taxi. The boat leaves from the floating dock behind the NL railroad station (far left as you face the water). Please be there at 10 AM.
Weekends through Aug. 13

$5 tickets for NL Youth & Parents to
Visit inside Harbor & Ledge Lights

This summer, the New London Maritime Society (NLMS) wants everyone back visiting inside the three historic beacons just off our shore, which are owned by NLMS. We've declared July & August 2022 Lighthouse Summer and are dedicating our efforts to increased public access and lighthouse preservation.

There will be weekend trips to both Harbor and Ledge lighthouses through July and August. Photo, above: on Sunday's tour. Christina Corcoran

Special for New London residents, only, thanks to a grant from Veolia/New London Water Authority and a donation from Edward Chalé, boat tickets to explore inside Ledge Lighthouse and visits to New London Harbor Light are just $5 for New London school children (age 7 through 18) and their parents. ~ We also have a limited number of fully-sponsored tickets with no fee! Just two more weekends

Sign up today! All tickets must be purchased in advance online; links to tours and other special Lighthouse Summer events are posted on our website:
Saturdays & Sundays at 11 & 11:45

We give tours year-round!
Meet at the lighthouse, then climb 116 steps to the lantern room -- all the while learning the 262-year history of Harbor Light, one of the oldest lights in the country, and the tallest on Long Island Sound. The 1865 4th-order fresnel lens remains in the lantern room. Views at the top are spectacular! Photo: Climbing to the lantern room. Bob Tellier.
Tours take 40 minutes. Everyone uses hand sanitizer and we all wear masks. Book a tour for up-to five people: click to sign up, or email to schedule a tour during the week. Tickets are $35, $30 for NLMS members, $25 youth through age 18.
Come on -- sign up today!
Saturdays & Sundays through August 13

We have boat trips out to Ledge Light the next five weekends! We're bringing groups to visit inside the lighthouse. Trips take about 80 minutes. We're leasing the water taxi. Sunday's tour sold out! Sign up now for remaining Ledge lighthouse tours.

For those who don't qualify for the $5 for New London school children & their families tickets, the price to tour Ledge is $50, $35 for youth to age 18. We have limited sponsored tickets with no fee; call 860-447-2501 to reserve. Sign up today!
Photo: Visitors to LL.
What's Up at the
Custom House
July 31, 2022

Become a member 

The museum is open 1-5 PM, Wed. - Sun.,
and from 10 AM to 5 PM on Wed. & Sat..

It must be Lighthouse Summer! Photo: Saturday's Day.
Connecticut children + one accompanying adult may visit the Custom House for FREE!

The CT Summer at the Museum initiative invites Connecticut children ages 18 and under plus one accompanying Connecticut resident adult to visit participating museums, like us, free of charge through September 5, 2022.

Funding for the initiative is provided by the CT General Assembly, the with the support of Connecticut Humanities and the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA.
We thank our sponsors - ARPA - Bodenwein Foundation - Chelsea Groton Foundation - Community Foundation of Eastern CT - CT Humanities - CT Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts - Eleven+ - Frank Loomis Palmer Fund - Maco Family Fund - Robinson+Cole - State of CT - SVOG U.S. Small Business Administration - Veolia / NL Water Authority.
Tuesday, August 16, 1:30 PM


On August 16, the JIBBOOM CLUB presents former EB engineer Walter Banzhaf, who will present 'The Incredible True Story of the Sinking of the R/V Sea Survivor' -- Wally lived to tell the tale! The talk will be live at the Custom House. Please come and bring a friend! FREE. Sponsored by the Maco Family Fund.
The History of Race Rock Light (2022)
Directed by Marisela La Grave and Pierce Rafferty

This recorded illustrated talk premiered at the Fishers Island Theater on July 26, 2022 for the benefit of the New London Maritime Society’s restoration and preservation plan for Race Rock Light. The film chronicles the remarkable story of how a lighthouse came to be erected in the 1870s on a dangerous submerged ledge amidst some of the most unpredictable and swiftest moving tides on the East Coast. Hosted by the Henry L. Ferguson Museum.
The video was funded by a grant from the Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation.
In 2013, when NLMS applied for the lighthouse, Pierce Rafferty made Race Rock the subject of the Ferguson Museum's annual exhibition. His research yielded amazing stories and astonishing facts. That show is now the movie, The History of Race Rock Light.
After taking ownership of Race Rock from the federal government, NLMS hired architects Walter Sedovic and Jill Gotthelf of Modern Ruins to assess the lighthouse. Read their Race Rock assessment and preservation plan.
Attending the event, from left: NLMS executive director Susan Tamulevich; NLMS president Christina Corcoran and intern Sebastien Jean Michel; Ferguson Museum director, film author & host Pierce Rafferty. In fact, an estimated 300 attended the premiere.
Our great thanks to Ferguson Museum director Pierce Rafferty for creating such a fine film history of the lighthouse and for hosting a smashing start to our Race Rock Preservation campaign. Thanks, too, for the oysters & champagne reception, courtesy Sarah Malinowski.
It was a truly memorable day,
Thanks to Sarah & Steve Malinowski of Fishers Island Oysters, Nate Malinowski and the Lighthouse Works, the FI movie theater, and the FI ferry! Thank you.
Also attending the event, from left: NLMS trustee Ed Uditis and architect Walter Sedovic; Sarah Malinowski; Bob Tellier and architect Jill Gotthelf. Below, NLMS trustee Steve Hameby. Photos: Christina Corcoran
For more information, download the Race Rock Light restoration assessment which outlines the nearly $3M restoration project and details the projected work and why it is both important and necessary. Race Rock Light Restoration Assessment Funds raised at the Theater benefit will go toward 'Landing Integrity and Safety' - the first priority in the restoration assessment report.

Donate to the Race Rock Preservation Fund NLMS is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible. If mailing a check, send to: New London Maritime Society, 150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320.

The New London Maritime Society is dedicated to lighthouse preservation. In addition to Race Rock (1878), the Maritime Society also owns New London Harbor Lighthouse (1760, rebuilt 1801) and New London Ledge Light (1909)—all active aids to navigation. Together these are the three historic beacons leading from the ocean to New London harbor.

Below, the New London contingent returns home on the Fishers Island ferry.

Have fun, find gifts, & support the NL Maritime Society. Our gifts have an extra feel good factor: when you shop with us, your purchases support the museum exhibitions & educational programs. The Shop is open Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 PM, and fr0m 10 AM to 5 PM each Wednesday & Saturday.

Photo: Maritime melamine children's dinner set. It's in the Shop!
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Now that Plum island no longer is for sale to the highest bidder, by law it will be offered first to another federal agency when declared excess as part of the animal disease laboratory’s move to the new facility in Manhattan, Kansas. Save the Sound wants to make sure the right agency steps up, now, to preserve this ecological gem with its rich history and deep cultural significance.
That’s why they have been talking with the White House and the Department of Interior. The PPIC sees that under a federal protection option, there is little likelihood of future, large-scale commercial research using remediated/revamped laboratory buildings. Save the Sound does, however, still see great potential for
  • Ecological conservation: management and stewardship; field studies/research; ecosystem restoration
  • Cultural heritage and historical preservation: preserving and telling the stories of Plum Island’s uses throughout the ages
  • Education and managed, equitable public access: offering internships/volunteer opportunities; providing interpretive signs/activities; and creating a visitor center at the Orient Point ferry site. Visitorship managed for ecosystem sensitivity.
Save the Sound has received guidance from experts who’ve helped transform federal properties into conservation lands with great success. They now are asking the President of the United States to proclaim Plum Island a National Monument for the purpose of ecological conservation, historical preservation, and the discovery and celebration of our shared cultural heritage. A national monument would involve ownership by an agency in the Department of Interior, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Park Service.
And there’s more great news! A potential donor has come forward ready to support the above goals through a public–philanthropic partnership! Now is the time to ask our President to use his executive and administrative powers to create a national monument or any other measure to ensure comparable, permanent protection for Plum Island. Write the President now
Sparkling Wine Toast at Lighthouse Inn
Dear patient Lighthouse Inn event ticket holders,
It looks like we'll soon have a date for our Lighthouse Inn event -- sometime after the middle of August. As you remember, there was a fire at the Inn earlier this year. As a result, our event was delayed and the Inn's dining rooms never opened

The good news today is that the Lighthouse Inn is looking to open the main dining room some time in the middle of August. They have invited us to be the first event in the main dining room! The Wine Tasting has transformed into a Sparkling Wine & Cake Toast to the Renovated Inn on the first night the main dining room opens -- final date still to be determined.
We'll let you know if additional tickets become available. Watch the Custom House facebook page!

Today we say good bye to intern Sebastien Jean Michel. Sebastien has been a quietly compelling presence and a great help this summer both at the museum and on our lighthouse tours. We wish Seb well when he goes back to UCONN as a sophmore.
Thanks to volunteer Tim Jackson, we've got a better functioning literature rack for the front lobby, above.

There's a lot of maintenance & reorganization going on at the museum this summer. We'll be done soon.
We're on facebook!

We finally had our air conditioner fixed Friday and it flipped the circuit breaker at the museum! Consequently, the HarborCam stalled for much of Saturday.
Sorry - we missed streaming the curruch regatta.

  • View Online Exhibitions of New London Maritime History from the Custom House Maritime Museum's Frank L. McGuire Library.

  • Facebook the Custom House SHOP for gifts with an extra feel good factor -- when you shop with us your purchases support our exhibitions, & educational programs.

Photo: New kites in the Shop: beetles, crab, praying mantis, & watermelon.

  • Facebook Race Rock Lighthouse T.A. Scott built this lighthouse in the middle of the Race. Find links to the film, architects' report, clippings.

  • We're on Instagram! nlmaritime

Photo, below: Visiting Lighthouse Works with Nate Malinowski on Fishers Island.
Have a Sparkling Day!

The Custom House Maritime Museum is open Wed.-Sun., 1-5 PM, Sat. from 10 AM- 5PM.
150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 | 860-447-2501
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