What are you doing for Make Music Month?

Photo, top: NLMS educator Christina Corcoran blows the Harbor Light fog horn for students in our Local-History & Landmarks program!

What's Up at the Custom House?

June is Make Music Month!

June 2, 2024

The Custom House is open

Thurs.-- Fri. 1 to 5 PM,

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

Students perform at Linda Hinz's end-of-the-year piano recital.

Photos above & below: Proud parents capture the moment.

Linda Hinz Studio had its year-end recital at the museum Friday evening -- it was a terrific way to usher in the musical season. Linda is toying with the idea of starting an Open Mic for Kids --a terrific idea!

Donations like yours make moments like this.

Your generous gifts sustain the Custom House museum, keeping it a friendly, open community center.

Please DONATE today!

This week, the New London Water Authority/Veolia approved a $2,800.00 grant to the New London Maritime Society, which with our Chelsea Groton Foundation grant, will co-sponsor discounted tickets to Harbor & Ledge Lighthouses ($5, each) for all New London residents! We want you out there!

Photo: 2023 visitor to Ledge Lighthouse!

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!

Now in the Shop - INSTRUMENTS for KIDS!

Photo, above: from France - Ukulele, Bongo Drums, Kalimba, Harmonicas, & Rain sticks!

By appointment year-round

a popular destination for more than a century.

Visit Inside NL Harbor Pequot Light

It's Long Island Sound's oldest and tallest lighthouse. Photo: Christina Corcoran.

Climb 116 steps up into the lighthouse lantern. The views are spectacular!​ Tours for up-to five people take approximately 40 minutes. We offer tours every Saturday at noon. 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 11:45, 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!

More information on the collection can be found at https://primitivepines.com/beacons-through-time/.

Opening & Artist talk: Saturday, June 15

Beacons through Time

From 2022 through 2024, artist Christian Fiedler placed several hundred solargaph cameras in situ at 31 lighthouses from Georgia to Maine, oriented specifically to capture the sun’s daily transit overhead. The resulting project, Beacons Through Time, highlights lighthouses in a novel manner, showcasing extremely long exposure times and constantly shifting environs. 

This collection of images focuses on lighthouses in and around the New London area, including two from New London Harbor Light, itself.

Tuesday, June 18, 1:30 PM


In June our speaker Historic Stonington executive director Elizabeth Wood will help launch our annual Lighthouse Summer with a talk about the Stonington Lighthouse Keepers, from William Potter to Louise Pittaway. It's a cast of characters who all have stories to share and who have kept the light for 184 years. Learn more about Stonington Lighthouse.

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 on May 21, 1:30 PM, and bring a friend.

Sponsored by the Maco Family Fund.

Photo: Byrd Stay Low performing in 2023.

Tuesday, June 21, 1:30 PM

Make Music Day

Join the worldwide celebration of music! Performed by anyone. Free for everyone.

We'll have the Custom House open from 11 AM to 7 PM -- with free performances all day long!

Want to perform at the museum? Contact nlmaritimedirector@gmail.com

June 30, 6-9 PM

Open Mic at the Museum

Or 37th monthly Open Mic welcomes music, poetry, prose, stand-up -- or you can just say what's on your mind. Come on, give it a try; it's a friendly supportive crowd.

Co-hosted by Kenny "Doc" Frazier and Christina Corcoran, Open Mic meets on the last Sunday of the month at the beautiful Custom House Maritime Museum. Sponsored by Kozmik Music Service.

Didn't make it downtown? Open Mic can be seen on the

Custom House Maritime Museum's Facebook page.

We're interested in seeing what you collect!

Custom House Community Case

What would you put in a museum?

Our new Community Case offers local groups/individuals an opportunity to showcase collections that are important to them.

We are keen to support local people to share their research on local topics, archives and artifacts. The Community Case will be open to the public whenever the Custom House is open and new displays will be installed every 2-3 months, as available.

Please email your idea for a display to: nlmaritimedirector@gmail.com.

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

Our building has languished long enough. 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 - be a Charter contributor to our New Roof campaign. https://gofund.me/c8238f7d

See 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.

This week at the Custom House

Make Music Day may be the best day of the year at the Custom House.

We open at 11 with performers back-to-back 'til 7 PM. Last year we had everything from classical song to soulful rap to a tuba/euphonium ensemble. (You'll remember -- the brass players came back six months later for a Tuba Christmas!) Plan to be downtown for at least part of the day. You'll love it!

Photo: Performers at Make Music Day 2023.

Before my talk to the Friends of Fort Trumbull Thursday evening, Kathy Walburn gave me a look around. The site just reopened for the season and the shop is has some great new items (a submarine pencil sharpener comes to mind). The Friends raise money for the site -- arrange the lectures, run the shop. Kathy is the shop buyer.

The talk let out at just as the sun was setting. If you haven't been there lately, you may have forgotten just how beautiful the park is, especially at dusk.


Maureen Plumleigh writes: Traditional music of the sea and ancient boats of the sea create a natural partnership, at least they will at the Connecticut Sea Music Festival. The four-day event will be held on the lawn of the Connecticut River Museum, in Essex, CT, June 7, 8, 9, and 10. Members of the New London Currach Rowers will be on hand to explain the qualities of the currach, to demonstrate its talents in the Connecticut River, and to invite interested adults who would like to give it a try at the adjacent Main Street boat launch.

Save the date: The New London Currach Rowers will host their annual regatta on Saturday, July 27 at the Custom House Pier, New London Waterfront Park.

Two day-trips to Fishers Island are scheduled for July 20 and August 8. We'll take the ferry over, visit the Henry Ferguson Museum, have lunch, and tour the island.

The museum's Annual Exhibition is BIRD’S EYE VIEW: Fishers Island from Above.

NB: There's just one spot left on the July 20 trip.

Nathan Hall resumed his Harbor Light groundskeeper duties last week. Two years in, the landscaping is doing well. I'm happy to report the grasses in our planters finally are thriving!

We're online & on Facebook!

  • 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.

Illustrations in this new book actually glow in the dark!

  • We're on Instagram! @nlmaritime.

Support the NL Maritime Society while protecting the earth. Easy - effective - earth-friendly. Tru-earth laundry detergent is sold in strips -- no plastic! Find out more at http://tru-earth.sjv.io/NewLondonMaritimeSociety --Thanks!

Photo, below: Longtime head docent Bill LaRoue visited his favorite piano last week.

Make Music!


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.

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