Indefatigable volunteer/trustee Steve Hambey is slashing the shrubs into shape.

Last month, he spread a fresh surface of crushed clam shell in the museum yard.

He then assembled a pair of new benches. This week he's attacking the greenery.

What's Up at the Custom House?

July 7, 2024

The Custom House is open Thurs.-- Fri. 1 to 5 PM,

Sat. 10 AM to 5 PM,

& Sun. 1 to 5 PM.

We can arrange Harbor Lighthouse tours on weekdays as well as weekends.

For weekday tours email us. For weekend tours you may schedule online.

New London resident tickets are just $5, each!

Photo: What a difference the clipped hedge makes. Now on to the bittersweet vine...

this Thursday through Sunday: Thurs.-- Fri. 1 to 5 PM, Sat. 10 AM to 5 PM , Sun. 1 to 5

SALE in the Custom House Museum GIFT SHOP

10% off, 20% discount for NLMS members!*

*this offer excludes fundraiser items such as lighthouse t-shirts & NLMS mugs.

The museum gift shop, only, will be open on Saturday, July 13.

Saturday, July 13,2024, app. 9 PM

Sailfest Fireworks

Watch the Sailfest fireworks live on the NL HarborCam!

Fireworks start at approx. 9 PM. We can't broadcast the booms, but the show will be choreographed to music, so listen in on K-Hits 100.9 FM.

Tuesday, July 16, 1:30 PM


On July 16 we'll have Capt. Stuart Reininger speaking of the "Voyage of Berta" --that is the Berta of Ibiza, the first (and the last) commercial sailing ship to depart New York Harbor in forty years, in 1980. It was a planned three week trip to Port of Spain Trinidad, which ultimately took fifty nine days. Photo: Captain Stuart Reininger.

The captain writes: Our crew of modern sailors (I was the mate) were thrust into the role of Nineteenth Century mariners by engine failure and we actually had to sail the thing; thus causing the delay-- to say nothing of the discomfort of many of the inhabitants of the islands as our cargo was two hundred tons of Vaseline products.

Jibboom is not a club, but a friendly gathering with a speaker, treats, and good fellowship. The event is FREE and open to all - please come and bring a friend. Sponsored by the Maco Family Fund.

Coming up:

  • Patrick Lynch has rescheduled to be here on Tuesday, August 20, to discuss the two estuaries: the Thames and CT River.
  • NLMS' own Steve Hambey is our September 17th speaker talking about the ill-fated ship Essex.
  • Claudia Kenyon hosts a Jibboom Open Mic, with stories from six JIBBOOMers on Oct. 15.

Sunday, July 28, 6-9 PM

Open Mic at the Museum

Open Mic meets on the last Sunday of the month at the beautiful Custom House Maritime Museum. 

Co-hosted by Kenny "Doc" Frazier and Christina Corcoran, our monthly open mic welcomes music, poetry, prose, stand-up or just say what is on your mind. Open to all ages and abilities for fun and camaraderie!  Admission by donation.

Sponsored by Kozmik Music Service.

By appointment year-round

a popular destination for more than a century.

Visit Inside NL Harbor Pequot Light

Long Island Sound's oldest and tallest lighthouse.

Photo, above: docent Ford Garrett and visitors examine the geodetic marker on the ledge at Harbor Light on Saturday. Christina Corcoran

Climb 116 steps up into the lighthouse lantern. We offer tours every Saturday & Sunday at noon. The views are spectacular!​ Tours for up-to five people take approximately 40 minutes. To book a tour at other times, send us an email.

Thanks to our friends at Veolia-NL Water Authority and at the Chelsea Groton Foundation, New London residents may visit inside New London Harbor Lighthouse with a $5 ticket! Don't miss this opportunity. Sign up today!

Tours are available every Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon, or you may schedule a custom time during the week. Please provide a minimum of two day's notice for a custom tour. Tickets are $35, $30 for NLMS members, $25 youth 8 through age 18, and $5 for New London residents through December 2024.

Visit Harbor Light!

This week, Thursday through Sunday, July 14, is our SUMMER SALE in the SHOP!

Photo above: We have something for every everyone. What sailor doesn't need a Cure for Scurvy hot sauce! Photo below: Wooden blocks, boats, and pop-up otters & Dino Rex!

A New Roof for New London's 1833 Custom House Museum!

Water was reported 'leaking in buckets' through the then-new roof in 1836.

We need the roof replaced!

In fact, replacing the roof and once-&-for-all keeping the water out will be the most-significant repair we possibly can make!

Please donate & become a Charter contributor to our New Roof campaign.

Join the campaign!

What can you do with an NLMS membership?

You know us from museum visits, Jibboom events, and Lighthouse tours, but did you know NLMS members also have access to research materials, extra discounts in the Shop, and advance notice of special events?

Become an NLMS member - sign up today (download pdf) or Sign up online.

Renewal notices will be mailed out this week.

Donations like yours make moments like this.

We opened on Wednesday so that this family could see the museum while gathering in NL for the 4th! Please email us if you have a special request, and we'll try to accommodate you.

Please DONATE today!

Cheers to our sponsors

Anthony and Elizabeth Enders Fund - Charter Oak Credit Union - Chelsea Groton Foundation - Community Foundation of Eastern CT - Eleven+ - Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee - Kozmik Music Services - Maco Family Fund - Robinson+Cole - Veolia/NL Water Authority - Yankee Remodeler. Thank you!

This week at the Custom House

What would we do without volunteers at the Custom House.

Recently, due to the weather, a cruise ship stopped over one extra day. That last day we got some visitors in from the ship and it was gratifying to overhear one of them comment that the Custom House was their favorite stop so far. Our tours are enjoyable because our docents are enthusiastic teachers about our marine heritage. We're a real community museum and we are here for you.

To give you some idea how important the volunteers are, here is a partial list of help from the past week. Docent Christina Corcoran, left, founded and runs Open Mic at the Museum. Christina and Bob Tellier are giving the Harbor Lighthouse tours. (Our usual Sunday guide, Estlin Davies-Smith, is off fishing in Alaska this month.) Meanwhile new docent Ford Garrett is learning the Harbor Lighthouse ropes. Behind the scenes librarians, Laurie Deredita and Brian Rogers, and collections manager Denise Davies organize and preserve the museum's treasures.

We've already mentioned Steve Hambey taking on the museum yard. Steve, wife Susan & daughter Shiloh work as a docent crew Saturday mornings. Regan Morse, here Thursday and Saturday afternoons, oversees the Shop. She is responsible for our lighthouse shirts; she promises the new Race Rock t-shirt will be in any day now. Jim Flood (Sundays) and other trustees are getting plans in order for the new roof. Henry Savin is back giving tours after a brief absence. And we've got Dick Fraser and Joe Gareis, left, giving tours on Fridays.

New London residents can visit the Custom House for free through December, thanks to a grant from the Chelsea Groton Foundation. Come in, and while you're here please thank our terrific team. I hope to see you here soon.


film: Friday, July 26, 6 PM

regatta: Saturday, July 27, 12 noon on

Regatta of Currach Rowers

Custom House Pier, New London Waterfront Park

The New London Currach Rowers will host their annual Regatta on Saturday, July 27, beginning at noon, and continuing throughout the afternoon. Photo: New London Currach Rowers.

Teams from the currach rowing league, North American Currach Association, will attend, each team bringing their currachs and launching into the Thames River from the Custom House dock. These vessels are modeled after those used for over two thousand years in the strong currents of the Irish and North Seas, for fishing as well as transporting people, supplies, and even animals along the coastal Celtic towns. 

On the eve of the Regatta (July 26 at 6pm), the Currach Rowers and Ancient Order of Hibernians will host a showing of the film, The Camino Voyage, at the New London Custom House Maritime Museum, 150 Bank Street, New London. This story follows a group of Irish rowers in their currach as they leave the coast of Ireland for Compostela, Spain, a journey of over 1,500 miles. This is their sea-going version of the Compostela trek. The showing is open to the public, no charge.

For more information:

We're online & on Facebook!

Photo: poppies in the granite planters at Harbor Light.

  • 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: We spied fireworks from Ocean Beach the other night looking southwest on the NL HarborCam.

  • Facebook New London Ledge Light  for restoration updates, summer tours & other announcements. The LLF reports that in July, important restoration work will take place. For safety and insurance concerns, that means that visits out to the lighthouse will be delayed at least until August! Please watch this facebook page for news as to when tours resume.

  • We're on Instagram! @nlmaritime.

Don't Stop Believing in a Plastic-Free Future!

Support the NL Maritime Society while protecting the earth -- we receive 20%. Easy - effective - earth-friendly. Tru-earth laundry detergent is sold in strips -- no plastic! Find out more at --Thanks!

Photo, below: at Harbor Light.

Have a Sparkling Day!

The CUSTOM HOUSE MARITIME MUSEUM is open Thurs. 1 to 5 PM, Fri., 1 to 5 PM,

Sat. 1 0 AM to 5 PM, Sun. 1 to 5 PM.

Visit us on social media and our website | Facebook | Instagram |NL HarborCam