What does the groundhog say?
At the Custom House, it's looking like an early spring.
Our hellebores are full of buds and it may hit 50 on Monday.

Sue Davis delivered her magnificent yearly NLMS scrapbooks last week: three stout volumes. Whereas five years ago they started out as records of NLMS activities, they've grown to include all the New London shipping news. Above, librarian Laurie Deredita takes a look.

Read our new WINTER 2020 newsletter.

Custom House Maritime Museum
150 Bank Street, New London, CT, 06320 
Saturday, February 15th

NLMS will be at the NESS WHALE FAIR
Saturday, February 15th from 11 am-3 pm in the New London library community room.
NESS will have a blubber experiment, migration hopscotch, crafts, and other scientific fun about whales. NLMS will present artifacts, pictures, historic materials, and a talk by historian Sandi Walker Brewster. FREE
on view through March 2020
Matthew Male - My View from Great Gull Island - Photos from the edge of the Sound
Sunday, February 16

Photographer Matthew Male will speak about his experiences as a birder and on Great Gull Island in a talk at the Custom House on Sunday, February 16, at 2 PM.
NLMS members FREE .
All others: Matthew's talk is included in $7 museum admission.
Thursday, February 22

Join us at the Custom House for open mic two Thursdays a month starting on February 20th from 5 to 8pm ! Whether you are an aspiring musician or just want to enjoy the music and perhaps sing along this is your chance to spend some time with like-minded people. 
Bring your instrument or just yourself starting February 20th! Refreshments will be available. Donations are welcome and appreciated.
Attention: High School Juniors & Seniors
 NLMS - Reid MacCluggage
 Black Maritime History Award
Write an essay, short story, poem, play, movie script or Novella about the African-American experience in the maritime world for the chance to win a $1000
New London Maritime Society scholarship!
The NLMS - Reid MacCluggage Black Maritime History Award was established to foster an awareness of the experience of African-Americans in the context of maritime history. It honors the commitment of Reid 
MacCluggage, the editor and publisher of The Day newspaper from 1984-2001, to the development of multicultural awareness and excellent writing skills in students.
Due date: Saturday, February 29, 2020
Eligibility : You must be a JUNIOR or SENIOR in good standing at one of the following high schools to qualify: East Lyme, Grasso Tech., Fisher's Island, Fitch, Griswold, Ledyard, Lyme-Old Lyme, Montville, New London, NFA, Norwich Regional Tech., SE CT Maritime High School, St. Bernard's, Stonington, Williams School, Waterford, Wheeler. Find out MORE .
What's Up at the Custom House - February 2, 2020
New London Maritime Society - local  friendly  a uthentic
Telling the stories of New London's waterfront
& preserving four historic maritime sites
Remembering the Thames Anti-Sub Net
Bill Tuttle, special to NLMS

Clark van der Lyke remembers when the mouth of the Thames River was, in a sense, a gated community.
It was during World War II, when New London and Groton were protected by an iron curtain of interlocked steel hoops stretched across the mouth of the Thames. The anti-submarine net was deployed to foil Axis marauders from attacking submarines from the Electric Boat shipyard and the Navy base upstream.
The net was by a barrier of large, interlocked steel rings twice the size of Hula Hoops.
Van der Lyke, who served as New London City Clerk, is the author of the book, New London Goes to War. He has clear memories of the net.
It was, in effect, a wire fence securely attached to the sea bottom and equipped with a closely guarded gate. It was suspended from buoys floating on the surface, which in turn were secured at intervals by chains running to heavy anchors.
Net and boom gates were simply movable sections of the barrier, rigged that they may be opened to permit the passage of friendly craft.
The Thames net extended from Quinnipeag Rocks, a small island off New London, to the rocks at Eastern Point Beach in Groton.
 “The rings are still on the rocks at Eastern Point Beach in Groton” van der Lyke said. “I never found the rings on New London side, but they should be near the lighthouse. I bet they are still there.”
He was right.
Linda Mariani, who lives on the New London banks of the Thames, owns the island and has seen what is left of the net hardware. “The metal I saw is on the Groton side of our island,” she said.
During World War II, a tugboat was stationed at the closure to open and shut the nets.
Van der Lyke has wartime memories of slipping out through the net to fish.
“My father and I always liked to fish outside the nets and they would open the nets for our 15 foot rowboat. I have seen a photo of the actual net when it was hauled up for scrap after the war, but I don't have a copy,” he recalled.
“We just waved at them and they opened up a little bit so we could squeeze thru. You had to be back in an hour before sunset and we took great care to abide by that.”

photo, below, from Clark van der Lyke's New London Goes to War
Climb to the lantern of NL Harbor Pequot Light.
Visit Pequot Light, LIS's oldest & tallest lighthouse, year-round by appointment.

Email us for a custom tour. Suggested donation is $30, $20 NLMS members, and $15 for youth ages 8-18. Children must be age 7 or older.
New London Maritime Society thanks our Friends & Sponsors 
John Steffian, Jr., The Maco Family Fund, DOCKO, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Veolia Water, City of New London & CDBG

Want to know who's in the Harbor?

Come into the Custom House, click on the PortVision ship icon, and see!
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Great to see former NL City Planner Harry Smith and past NL Landmarks executive director Constance Kristofik at the Custom House on Saturday.
At left, head docent Bill LaRoue shows a young visitor around the museum.

Clark van der Lyke's book, New London Goes to War, is available in the MUSEUM SHOP.

We want to thank our wonderful volunteers for all they do for us.
Sue Davis creates the NLMS notebooks, Laurie Deredita volunteers as our librarian, Bill Tuttle wrote the article about the submarine net, Harry Smith set up PortVision and fixed the library printer on Saturday, head docent Bill LaRoue is our institutional memory & gives tours every day, trustees Christina Corcoran and Kathy Walburn organize & will run the open mic events. Bll LaRoue and Henry Savin are our Wednesday docent crew.

Thank you, thank you all!
Sunday, March 15

JIBBOOM CLUB #1 is going to march again in
New London's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Come on, join in.

The Parade takes place Sunday, March 15, at 1 PM.

We can use help getting the float back together. Please let Susan know if you'd like to help.

Here's a photo of the original Jibboomers. For many years, Jibboom Club No. 1 of New London began the business portion of its annual meeting with a parade around the downtown, beginning at its Bank Street clubhouse. The float was a whaleboat carrying King Neptune. At some point along the route, they'd spy a whale coming out from a side street and capture it! Founded in 1891, the club included men who had been on at least one whaling voyage. It disbanded in 1959. NLMS started Jibboom up again about 12 years ago. You're all invited to our friendly monthly gatherings. They're held the third Tuesday of the month and have a speaker, coffee and refreshments. Sponsored by the Maco Family Fund - it's FREE!
Tuesday, March 17

JIBBOOM CLUB #1 meetings start up again on March 17, at 2 PM , with a lecture by James Gallagher. It's St. Patrick's Day and Jim will give a talk on the New London visit(s) of Commodore John Barry, 'Father of the American Navy' in the 1790's.
  • Keep watch on New London's waterfront 24/7 with our NL HarborCam. We've had 445,500 views since mid-July!

  • 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're on Instagram! nlmaritime
Below, we hosted the Lucrecia Shaw chapter of the DAR on Saturday, when they presented Norwich's 'Rows' City Knitters with a Community Service Award. Here are the knitters with DAR leaders and Senator Catherine Osten on Saturday .
150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 | 860-447-2501
The Custom House Maritime Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 PM, or by appointment | 860-447-2501