Above, lighthouse keeper Ida Wells of Newport rescues two sailors

Women lighthouse keepers
with Mary Rasa, a zoom presentation
today Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 2 PM

In the days before the establishment of the U.S. Coast Guard, families lived and worked at lighthouses. The keeper’s family helped to tend the light and some wives and daughters eventually became the official keepers. In this program, historian Mary Rasa explores the US Lighthouse Service and takes a look at five remarkable women lamplighters.

Mary Rasa is a historian who worked as a museum curator and park ranger for the National Park Service for 16 years. She holds a BA in Historic Preservation and a Masters in Library Science. Women Lighthouse Keepers is the first of a series of talks Mary will give on the three organizations that merged in 1915 to create the United States Coast Guard.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar. today Sunday March 28, 2021 02:00 PM
No need to preregister.
Click the link to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86937899309
Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16465588656,,86937899309# or +13126266799,,86937899309#
Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
       US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 
Webinar ID: 869 3789 9309
Co-sponsored by the Henry L. Ferguson Museum, Friends of Nobska, Noank Historical Society, & New London Maritime Society.

What's Up at the Custom House - March 28, 2021
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 
Anonymous, The Maco Family Fund, DOCKO, the State of Connecticut, CtHumanties, USLHS, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Chelsea Groton Bank PPP, the City of New London , IMLS, & CDBG.
Visit inside New London Harbor Lighthouse.
Visit inside New London Harbor Lighthouse. Come on - take the tour! Each visit is set up individually to accommodate your schedule.

photo: You could be here! 2019 drone image by Matt Wunch
Once the tour is scheduled, 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, one of the oldest lighthouses in the country and the tallest on Long Island Sound. The views at the top are spectacular!
The visit takes around 45 minutes. Everyone uses hand sanitizer and we all wear masks.
Tours for one Covid pod of up-to four people may be arranged by emailing nlmaritimedirector@gmail.com. Suggested donations are $35 for adults, $30 for NLMS members, & $25 for youth 7-to-18 years old.
NB: please do not enter the lighthouse property unless you are with a museum representative!
Let us know how many lighthouses you can see flash at night!
It's a contest & there's a prize!
How many lighthouses can you see on a clear night - or morning - on the NL HarborCam? Send your list of lighthouses to nlmaritimedirector@gmail.com.
Sunday, April 18, 3 PM

Connecticut Early Music Society
& New London Maritime Society
Join us on Sunday, April 18th at 3:00 PM for a virtual benefit showcasing the 1814 Thos. Butcher square piano recently donated to the museum. Artistic Director Ian Watson has planned a program of works that are contemporaneous with the instrument and that reflect the venue in which they’ll be performed: the marvelous Custom House Maritime Museum in New London. Many of these pieces will be well known to fans of Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin series. The final duet features in the movie Master and Commander, starring Russell Crowe.

Keep Up with What's Up
Sign up to receive this weekly email newsletter.
20th Anniversary Reid MacCluggage Black Maritime History Scholarship Winner ~ Arielle Frommer
This year's MacCluggage Scholarship entries were judged by Reid MacCluggage, whose generous gift established the competition twenty years ago. Here is what he wrote about Arielle's winning entry:
Arielle Frommer’s excellent Ballad of the Dragon Tree: A Tale of Cape Verdean Glory is the winner of this year’s Maritime History Scholarship Competition.
I selected Ms. Frommer’s ballad for its creative use of historical fact, colorful writing, and lively story-telling. The story, the poetry, the rhythm and beat all creatively celebrate the people of Cape Verde, their “robust sailors . . . (and) captains and whalers,” and the spiky native Dragon tree.
My wife Linda and I were singing it around the condo. I hope that it will be performed at the Custom House once the pandemic has ended.
The ballad is in the form of a forecastle shanty. Forecastles are shanties that were sung during times of lull in a sailor’s work day. The story captures the historical arc of Cape Verde from colonization by the Portuguese, through the dark history of the slave trade, to what the islands are today – a prosperous port of call and independent representative democracy.
“I was inspired by the perseverance and bravery of the people of Cape Verde,” Ms. Frommer wrote. “I titled this poem Ballad of the Dragon Tree: A Tale of Cape Verdean Glory as a reference to the island’s native tree, which is also a national symbol of Cape Verdean resilience.”
Ms. Frommer is a senior at the Marine Science Magnet High School. She lives in New London.

You should recognize Arielle Frommer -- she performed at our 2020 Holiday Concert and the year before that at the Custom House on Make Music Day!

Congratulations, Arielle!

Hooray -- our Third-grade Local History & Landmarks classes started on Wednesday! David Lyons' Harbor School class went first! (And it's a whole new world on zoom...)

In the photo, educator Christina Corcoran shows some of the different types of boats seen in NL harbor, in this case Irish currahs!

Roxanne Duperry-Senko, above with husband, brought us four ship models from her late father, Frederick E. Hill, who for 37 years ran the machine yard at Electric Boat. Thank you, Roxanne. We are happy to be a place to which people feel they can bring their treasures. We have a video of Roxanne talking about her father on the New London Maritime Society facebook page.

It's not everyday we see NLMS trustee John Desjardins at the Custom House. He came by to bring us fresh eggs!

  • Facebook Custom House Maritime Museum to read about our events, museum matters, & exhibitions throughout the world. See a video of our new Kids Ahoy toy from 1890.

  • 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.

below: Christina Corcoran speaks to third graders on zoom from the lighthouse lantern.
Have A Sparkling Day!

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

The Custom House Maritime Museum is closed until further notice | 203-444-2884