New Exhibition from the McGuire Library

The experiences of a merchant seaman in World War II is the subject of the 16th exhibition in our growing series of online exhibitions from NLMS's Frank L. McGuire Library. From Sheepshead Bay to Shanghai: The Training and Travels of a Merchant Seaman displays personal papers, photos, clippings and artifacts kept by Herman R. Pedersen, who served aboard supply ships in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1946. The collection was given to the Library by Society member and former trustee Rob Groves, who obtained it from a family member after Herman’s death. The new show is a companion to our earlier one about the Maritime Officers Training School at Fort Trumbull in operation from 1939 to 1946. That show was also based on some of our unique archival materials, and we are pleased that we can now tell the story in image and text of one of the tens of thousands of merchant seamen who logistically supported our armed forces during the war in the Pacific.

Brian Rogers
Online Exhibitions Librarian

Saturday & Sunday mornings, or by appointment

Visit inside New London Harbor Pequot Lighthouse
Registration is now online.
Take the tour. The views from the top are spectacular! We meet at the lighthouse, then climb 116 steps to the lantern room -- all the while learning about the 260-year history of Harbor Light, the oldest and the tallest lighthouse on Long Island Sound. A fourth-order Fresnel lens, installed in 1857, remains in the lantern today. Above top: Saturday guests, photo Christina Corcoran; above: visitors from Colorado view the lighthouse exhibition at the Custom House.
The visit takes around 45 minutes. Everyone must be vaccinated. We all use hand sanitizer and wear masks. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for NLMS members, & $25 for youth 7-to-18 years old.

Dates available online through November.
Custom lighthouse tours may be scheduled any time, call 203-444-2884.
What's Up at the Custom House
September 19, 2021

Become a member - sign up online!

If you are a Charter Oak Federal Credit Union member and planning to donate this year- NOW- is the time to double your donation ! Learn more. Match forms are available at the museum.

Above: The grounds are cleared at the lighthouse -- ready for fence installation and hardscaping -- to come later this fall. Planting will take place next spring. Below: Harbor Lighthouse ca. 1900.
The Custom House Maritime Museum & SHOP
OPEN Wednesday - Sunday, 1 - 5 PM
Saturday mornings 10 AM - 5 PM.
Museum visits are FREE for NL students & their families!
All of our docents are fully vaccinated! Everyone wears masks.
Above, a ship model donated to the museum this week by Ralph Belfiglio (see below).
We thank our Supporters & Sponsors
Anonymous, Christina Corcoran, Nick Korstad, The Maco 
Family Fund, Dominion Foundation, DOCKO, the State of Connecticut, CtHumanties, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Chelsea Groton Bank, the City of New London , IMLS, PPP, SVOG, & CDBG.
This month, Open Mic coincides with NL's rescheduled Eat in the Street!
By donation.
Sunday, September 26, 7-9 PM
'Eat in the Street' then come to the Custom House for OPEN MIC

Open Mic, meets from 7-9 PM on the 4th Sunday of the month: Sunday, September 26. 
Bring your bongos.
Perform, or just enjoy.

We're holding it indoors.
Everyone wears masks!
Wednesday, October 6
November 3, & December 1
6:30 and 8 PM seatings
This fall singer Lisa Marien and guitarist Bill 'Fox' Mills return to the Custom House for a series of three additional Soirees taking place on the first Wednesdays of the month. Sign up today.
Lisa sings songs made popular by the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Ftzgerald, and Tony Bennett. The Soirees are loosely themed: October 6: Falling - standards about falling in and out of love, and other autumn related fare. November 3: Thankful - songs reflecting on gratefulness and appreciation. December 1: Seasons of Love including holiday selections. Two seatings each night - at 6:30 and 8 PM. Sign up at


A favorite Custom House exhibition is the display about local fisherman/painter/author & general live wire, Ellery Thompson, (1899-1986).
Popular with visitors, we'd nearly sold out of Ellery's autobiography Draggerman's Haul. Luckily Flat Hammock Press just brought us a boxload. Stephen Jones, who wrote the introduction to the Flat Hammock edition, paused to sign them all!
NEW DATE: Friday, October 15
SOLD OUT until further notice

New London Maritime Society Fundraiser -- Wine Tasting & Silent Auction -- at NL's historic LIGHTHOUSE INN

The annual New London Maritime Society fundraiser, a Labor Day Weekend Wine Tasting & Silent Auction, will be held at New London's newly renovated Lighthouse Inn, a beloved local landmark. This will be the first event to take place at the Inn since the business closed in 2008.

NB: this event will be held October 15, assuming all City approvals can be obtained.
All attendees must show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or of a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 48 hours.
We are SOLD OUT, but may reopen sales depending upon COVID & the ultimate fire occupancy number. Email to be on the wait list. Above, window from Lighthouse Inn.
September's Jibboom Club #1 featured CT Port Authority director John Henshaw. Our JIbboom set-up crew, top above, sponsor Joe Maco and director John Henshaw left.
  • Keep an eye on the harbor 24/7 with the New London HarborCam. We've had 2.1 million+ views since July, 2019! Image from Sunday 9.11.21 at 1:01 PM - the CT Maritime Heritage Fest.

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

  • We're on Instagram! nlmaritime
Above, Visitors last week from New Jersey.
Astor Place creative director Ralph Belfiglio donated a collection of 20 ship models which had belonged to his uncle Status Nicolas, whom everyone called Strati. Wrote Ralph, Strati was a Greek-American who was strongly connected to both his American and Greek heritage. He served in the army in the Korean War and spent many years as a public school teacher. His family was involved in the Greek shipping industry and was always interested in the maritime world. He was a history buff and a collector and built his model ship collection over time. They were prominently and proudly displayed in his home. Below: Ralph, Lauren Logan, and Pat Regan deliver the ships.

Have a Sparkling Day!

150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 | 860-447-2501

The Custom House Maritime Museum is open Wed.-Sun., 1-5 PM | 860-447-25014