This week we brought the first two (of twelve)  New London third grade classes to visit the
Hempsted Houses and Shaw Mansion. 
This first session, classes alternate between the Hempsted Houses and Shaw Mansion. Above, Program director Jody Barthel leads students on an historic walking tour between sites.  
Above, upper right, students climb the stair at the Shaw Mansion . Below, a student at Hempsted Houses learns about collecting water in the days before indoor plumbing.  
Over the course of the school year, the New London Maritime Society brings all 300 of the City's third grade students to visit up-to six different local historic sites. Our Third Grade Local-History Program, now in its 5th year, is directed by educator Jody Barthel. In past years, students have visited New London Harbor Light, aboard the Amistad, the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, the USCG Museum, the NL Union Railroad station and waterfront, the Custom House Maritime Museum, aboard Cross Sound ferry, and at both Fort Trumbull fort & museum. Venues change each year, depending upon availability. We rely upon partners at each venue to provide admission for the students as well as site educators for six half-day visits. The program was inspired by Elizabeth Enders, who visited many of these same sites when she was in public school in NL and wants other children to have a similar experience. (We hope to include the Olde Towne Mill this spring.)
The third grade social studies program created by the New London Maritime Society matches perfectly with the Connecticut social studies frameworks.  The frameworks suggest that third graders should be deeply engaged in the study of their own community; this is exactly what this program does.  In addition, the frameworks completely support the field trips involved in the New London program.  The work done by the New London Maritime Society with students should be commended. 
    --Stephen Armstrong, Social Studies Consultant, CT Dept. of Education
What's Up at the Custom House  - October 14, 2018
New London Maritime Society - Local  Friendly  Authentic
Telling the stories of New London's waterfront & preserving four historic maritime sites
New London Maritime Society thanks our Friends & Sponsors
 John Steffian, Jr., The Maco Family Fund, Matt Lynch Water Transit
Frank Loomis Palmer Fund,   Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut  
Veolia Water,   Bodenwien Foundation, The Atlantic Paranormal Society,  & CDBG
Tuesday, October 16
Jibbboom Club #1
Doors open at 1, FREE
The History of American Coastal Fortifications  
with Norman Brouwer
 Fort Turmbull, ca 1833, as seen from the NL waterfront. NLMS collection.
Norman Brouwer of Guilford, former historian and librarian at the South Street Seaport  Museum in New York, will describe the development of coastal forts and other defenses from colonial times to WWII using historical images and slides he has taken of surviving examples from Maine to New York.  
Sponsored by the Maco Family Fund.    
Coffee, friends, and a speaker's program -- please come & bring a friend! 
October 28, Sunday, 4 PM
Book Talk
The Artful Dodger: The 20-Year Pursuit of World War I Draft Dodger Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, with Dirk Langeveld.
Join author, journalist, and NLMS docent Dirk Langeveld for a discussion of his new book, The Artful Dodger.
Shortly after he was convicted of dodging the draft in World War I, Grover Cleveland Bergdoll asked the U.S. Army to temporarily release him from prison. He had buried a valuable cache of gold during the war, he claimed, and he wanted to recover it before someone else did. Bergdoll's subsequent escape would mark the start of a 20-year standoff with the American government. Although the case is largely forgotten today, Grover Cleveland Bergdoll was a household name for much of the early 20th century. He was the son of a wealthy German-American brewing family, an amateur race car driver, and a skilled aviator who trained with the Wright Brothers. After his draft evasion, he was captured at his stately mansion as his gun-toting mother tried to fend off the police. Bergdoll's escape overseas would prove to be a thorny issue in international politics. It resulted in a contentious investigation in Congress, where one witness was nearly shot by a representative. He was regularly pilloried by veterans' groups, and American servicemen twice tried to kidnap him. As Bergdoll's exile dragged on, he was left with a harsh choice: return to the country where he was a wanted man, or stay in Europe to face the perils of the Nazi dictatorship.  
Ticket with museum admission, Free for NLMS members.  
Dirk Langeveld is a marketing editor at The Day in New London, Connecticut. In this role, he has contributed to several pictorial books on local history, including "Service Above Self: The 225-Year History of the U.S. Coast Guard," "First and Finest: The 100-Year History of Naval Submarine Base New London," and "When Disaster Strikes: Shipwrecks, Storms and Other Calamities in Southeastern Connecticut." He is also the author of The Downfall Dictionary, a blog on political scandal in U.S. history. Langeveld lives in New London with his wife, Alison, and daughter, Justine.  
October 31, 2018m 2 PM
on Halloween take a  
Spirit Walk, with Roger Ryley
Looking for something a bit out of the ordinary? Might spirits still prowl the olde lost paths of Nameaug Village, c. 1649? Are echoes of John Winthrop, Jr.'s alchemies yet heard on Hempstead Street? Do the dead rest easy in "Ye Ancient Burying Ground" nearby?
On Wednesday, October 31st, at 2 PM (carpool from the Custom House), dowser Roger Ryley will lead his third walking tour, this time around our Post Hill Historic District.
Be not afraid! We will end our investigations before darkness cloaks our steps in witchy shadows!  $8.00 donation, $5 for NLMS members and youth ages 7 to 16.
Overwhelmed by climate change? Here's what you can do
Some practical steps you can take to help avoid climate breakdown -- from The Guardian 
Matthew Taylor and Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 
The challenge of avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown requires "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society", according to a new IPCC report.
Experts say that although the challenges are huge there is still time to create a thriving, sustainable future. The main focus is on the decisions facing governments around the world but the IPCC acknowledges the role individuals can play.
Here are some of the things people can do.
Collective action
Although individual choices and actions are important, experts say people need to unite if the scale of this challenge is to be met, making the political space for politicians and big businesses to make the necessary changes.
Bill McKibben, a leading climate campaigner and founder of, argues that the most important thing people can do is come together to form movements - or join existing groups - that can "push for changes big enough to matter", from city-wide renewable energy programes to large-scale divestment from fossil fuels.
Eat less meat - particularly beef
According to a report earlier this year, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.
Insulate homes
Relatively simple measures such as insulating lofts and draft-proofing doors and windows on a large scale would see a big drop in energy consumption.
Switch to renewable energy wherever possible. In the UK, consider installing solar panels before April, when government incentives will end and the costs will increase for most people.
Walk or cycle where possible and if not - and it is available and affordable - use public transport. If you need to go by car, consider an electric one.
Reduce, recycle, reuse
Buy fewer things and consume less. Recycle wherever possible and - even better - reuse things. Demand a low carbon option in everything you consume, from clothes to food to energy.  
Many experts - including the IPCC - say there is still a chance to create a sustainable, cleaner and more equal global system. Individuals can hold politicians to account by supporting political parties that put the environment at the heart of their economic and industrial policies.
However the IPCC is clear that the real challenge from its report is to politicians, political systems and corporations rather than individuals.
Jim Skea, a co-chair of the IPCC working group on mitigation said the report had presented governments "with pretty hard choices".
"We have pointed out the enormous benefits of keeping to 1.5C, and also the unprecedented shift in energy systems and transport that would be needed to achieve that," Skea said. "We show it can be done within laws of physics and chemistry. Then the final tickbox is political will. We cannot answer that. Only our audience can - and that is the governments that receive it."
November 3, 10 & 17 
Stitch Your Own Woolie Workshop

November 3, 10, 17, 11 AM - 1 PM 
Come learn how to make your own 'woolie' embroidered picture in the style of Victorian sailors!  

This three-session workshop, taught by Christina Corcoran, will introduce the various tools and techniques used in the handcraft of embroidered maritime pictures (currently on view at the Custom House museum.)  

Each participant will complete their very own embroidered creation. The cost is $55 per person, $50 for NLMS members, $40 for youth (teens), and includes all necessary supplies for the workshop. Classes meet on three Saturdays, November 3, 10, 17, from 11 AM to 1 PM.
No experience necessary!  
Register at   or call 850-447-2501.
The quilt, above, was embroidered by Christina with the three beacons leading into the historic port of New London. We will be raffling this quilt as a find-raiser for NLMS. See it on display in the MUSEUM SHOP.

New London Maritime Society appreciates the support of our
Lighthouse Logos League businesses  
Please click on the logos to learn more.
Our Lighthouse Logo League is a way for local businesses to reach the 1,100+ shoreline readers per week who reliably read this blast, while supporting NLMS.   Want to join? Email Susan at
We all should work together and   SHOP LOCAL! 
Now on view at the Custom House
Bully for Woolies: Victorian Sailors Stitchery
The Charles B. Moss Sr. & Paula Moss Collection 
'Victorian Woolies: Sailors Stitchery and Other Pastimes', now on view at the Custom House Maritime Museum, celebrates a recent gift of 22 'woolies', or Victorian sailor embroideries,  from Charles B. Moss, Jr.
Above, detail from a woolie from The Charles B. Moss Sr. & Paula Moss Collection, New London Maritime Society. 
The Art of the Tugboat   
This exhibition celebrates a donation of tugboat models and paintings to NLMS from collector Steve Martin. Artists also contributing to the exhibition include Reynolds Beal, Tim Cook, Steve Cryan, Paul Farrell, Hardie Gramatky, Dana Jensen, Marek Sarba, and Sean Elliot.  
There is a related exhibition of archival materials, news clippings and tugboat books in the museum's Frank L. McGuire Maritime research Library.  Above, photo from The Day, Patricia Ann in the Parade of Sail, 2016, Sean Elliot.
L ocal. Friendly.  Authentic.
We are your community maritime museum.
Thirty-five years ago, New London  preservationists established the New London Maritime Society to create a home for local maritime history at the Custom House. NLMS now operates the Custom House Maritime Museum & Library, educates New London's 300 third graders with a year-long local history program, and preserves the three major  lighthouses leading into this historic port.  
In 2018, New London's US Custom House turns 185 years old. We are working to establish an endowment so that we can continue telling the stories of our waterfront for generations to come.   
We need & appreciate every gift; but in honor of the custom house's 185th birthday, the first 100 people to donate $185 or more to our Endowment Fund will receive this denim bag as a symbol of New London Maritime Society and its role in the community.  
 Please DONATE.  
Are you a member of Charter Oak? Through Wednesday, November 21, 2018,  Charter Oak will double your gift. 
Questions about donating? Why not g ive Susan a call: 860-447-2501, or 203-444-2884 
New London Maritime Society, 150 Bank Street, New London, CT  06320   
Make HISTORY! Rent the Custom House   
The Custom House Maritime Museum is a unique setting for a party, conference, wedding, or retreat.  Call 860-447-2501 or email to find out more.  
Sunday, November 11 
Connecticut Architecture
Stories of 100 Places
This fall, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation will unveil
Connecticut Architecture: Stories of 100 Places , the first comprehensive illustrated book about the state's rich and diverse architectural heritage. We'll have the book in our MUSEUM SHOP very soon, and we'll host Christopher Wigren at the Custom House on Sunday, November 11, at 2 PM.   
Written by Christopher Wigren, the Trust's deputy director, the book introduces readers to 100 places across Connecticut, ranging from Colonial churches and Modernist houses to 19th-century factories, tobacco sheds, town greens, and corporate headquarters. (Harbor and Ledge Lighthouses are on pages 157-158, and the Custom House on 255-256.) The text draws on architectural survey and National and State Register programs administered by the SHPO to emphasize the importance of the built environment for our sense of place.  Space is limited.  Q&A will follow the talk. Book signing and purchase will be available. $12, $6 NLMS members and youth to age 18. Register at  or call 850-447-2501.   
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Eastern CT Ballet Spooktacular   at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook,  
Sunday October 14,at 1& 4pm.
Box Office: 877-503-1286 
Studio 33 Art & Frame Gallery presents The New London Postcard Project Exhibit
on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at 5:00 to 7:00 PM.
We will celebrate New London with a free Autumn Cider and Donut Social. The project is a community art fundraiser with proceeds from the sale of postcards to benefit New London Maritime Society and New London Landmarks. Approximately one hundred 4 x 6 inch handcrafted postcards created by local artists, many depicting New London subject matter, are  avai lable for Buy It Now sale and Silent bid. There's still time to pick up a free blank handcrafted rag mat card and create an art work to participate in this community project. Ready-made postcard sized frames with glass and backing are available on sale at 30% off. Thank you to all the artists who have participated in supporting these two New London non-profits that are committed to preserving the history of New London. 140 Bank St., Downtown New London, CT. M-F 9:00 to 5:00, Sat.10:00 to 3:00. 860-442-6355.  Above, Sarah Munroe of Studio 33.
Registering to vote in Connecticut is usually as easy as a few clicks.  Register online HERE 
ook New London Maritime   Society to learn about issues related to our mission of preservation & conservation
. We also post community and conservation / preservation news.    
Custom House Maritime Museum   is on Facebook. 'Like' us to keep up with our events, as
well as with news of interest about museums.   
Left, we are thrilled with the new neighbors on our block. Directly across Bank Street from the Custom House are the Fresh Men salon and Right Path organic cafe where Rob Bernardo, above center, is the chef. Here, below, is the view from inside the Right Path restaurant. Honestly - we never believed that building could be redone -- and it's beautiful! 
The Custom House MUSEUM SHOP  offers all kinds of unique gifts.
Everyone is welcome in the shop, you don't need a  museum ticket to come in. MUSEUM SHOP gifts have an extra feel good factor: when you shop with us, all your purchases go towards supporting the museum, exhibitions, & educational programs.  
Above, this week we have three new books from the Wesleyan Press in the SHOP on Prudence Crandall, Birding in Connecticut, and Benedict Arnold.
Left, Smeagill the Seagull, a True Srory is in the MUSEUM SHOP. On November 25, at 2 PM, we welcome Clinton residents illustrator Valerie Elaine Pettis and author Mark Seth Lender to the Custom House for a reading of the book.  
Smeagull is the story of a wild herring gull who has taken it upon himself to befriend Mark and Valerie and knocks on their door, daily, to be fed (sustainable fish scraps from a local market). The concept is to introduce children to Nature not through the exotic, but through the readily apparent and commonplace, the 'seagull' Gulls are wild and highly intelligent animals that make eye contact, are voluble, and can seen (in one species of gull or another) on any day in nearly every human-inhabited place on earth. Mark Seth Lender is a producer for wildlife content, and the Explorer in Residence at Living on Earth ( which is nationally broadcast on Public Radio to an audience of 1,400,000 listeners on 270 stations (80% of the NPR market).  
Faceboo New London Ledge Light  reports the latest n ews about the lighthouse at the center of our harbor.  This is where we post the latest info about our fun-sized lighthouse tours. Tours inside Ledge Light continue Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
Facebook the  Ledge Light Foundation to follow ongoing restoration efforts.
Facebook New Lon don Harbor Light   reports the latest on NL Harbor 'Pequot' Light and about American lighthouse preservation.  
We are pleased to have finally  re-established the right for public access to New London Harbor Light, a beloved local historic landmark!   
Thank you to John Casey and Robinson & Cole.
Facebook Race Rock Lighthouse posts news concerning Race Rock Light and international lighthouse tou rism and preservation efforts.  Right. Race Rock Lighthouse. 
Facebook Lighthouse Inn, New London, Connecticut to keep up with the Inn's restoration.  Slow & steady... 
Facebook Sentinels on the Sound  posts special events, boat tours, and dates to watch.
Facebook  Lighthouses of Long Island Sound Gateway
to learn news of other area  lighthouses.     
Last week, a new statue of Alecander Hamilton was unveiled at New London's USCG Academy. Read about it in The Day: Academy honors ˜father of Coast Guard October 12, 2018.  
Below, detail from a 1794 letter from Alexander Hamilton the New London Collector, NLMS McGuire Library collection .
  Have a Sparkling Day!
Your membership provides annual operating funds for our Museum & Lighthouses.
Thank you for your support of New London Maritime Society!
New London Maritime Society | 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