this Tuesday, August 15, 1:30PM

JIBBOOM CLUB #1, with author Mark Borton

Join us this Tuesday when author Mark Borton returns with his fascinating, expansive tale of Quoddy and the nation’s quest for hydroelectric power in the early 20th century.

Was Franklin Roosevelt’s plan to use 26-foot tides in the western Bay of Fundy to generate electricity a “Moondoggle”—a wildly impractical scheme? Or was it visionary thinking and brilliant engineering—a clean source of perpetual power? Either way it was going to be the world’s biggest electric power plant—and require seven miles of dams to enclose an incredible 150 square miles of coastal Maine and New Brunswick.

Moondoggle is about the Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Project, “known affectionately or otherwise, as ‘Quoddy.’” Quoddy was designed in the Roaring 1920s by Dexter Cooper, who with his brother Hugh, built the world’s four largest hydroelectric power plants. Construction of Quoddy began during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” in the 1930s. Then “Quoddy was killed.”


Quoddy exemplified the challenges faced by inventors of disruptive technologies versus the status quo. Quoddy was tremendously controversial because it highlighted the contest for control of America’s rivers by privately-owned “public utility” monopolies versus trust-busting “public power” advocates. The arguments over Quoddy became confused and vicious as tidal waves of “fake news” overwhelmed the facts. Cast as a life-or-death contest between Communism and Capitalism, Quoddy became a national issue in Republican versus Democrat political fights and the 1936 presidential election. 

Quoddy’s genesis and fate were in fact entangled in global armed conflicts, including World Wars I & II. Quoddy’s ghost lurks in the shadows of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

About the Author: Mark Borton created the Embassy Boating Guide series (Maine to Florida, >40 printings). The New York Times said, “Embassy Guide is all that most skippers will want or need to know,” and Sail magazine called it, “The ultimate guide in copious content and style.”  He also created the Maptech Waterproof Chart series (USA, >100 printings). Mr. Borton’s book, The Tide-Watcher’s Guide to the Bay of Fundy, will be published in 2023/4 by Boulder Books of Canada.

every Saturday & Sunday at 11:45 or by appointment.

Visit Inside New London Harbor Lighthouse

Sign up now for tickets for all Harbor Light tours through September, 2023.

Harbor Light visits take 40 minutes. Book a tour for up-to five people: click to sign up online, or email to schedule a custom tour during the week. Tickets are $35, $30 for NLMS members, $25 youth through age 18.

Thanks to a grant from Veolia – the NL Water Authority, we again can offer $5 tickets to visit inside both Harbor and Ledge Lighthouses to New London public school children and their family members!

Photo: Visitors from Albany on Saturday.

Photo, above: Harbor Light ca. 1854, before the keeper’s house and enclosed connecting corridor was constructed next door.
Photo, above: Harbor Light ca. 1920, with a connecting wallkway between the keepers house and the light.


Photo, above: the Tercentenary symbol of the Historic Whaling City: Harbor Light 1946.


a new campaign

Help restore the magnificent iron door at New London Harbor Light.This massive door, installed in 1833, is rusting. The rust is making the door difficult to open, and the iron is starting to spall along the edges.

Harbor Lighthouse is the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Long Island Sound. Established in 1760, the current tower dates from 1801. Repairs made in 1833 included the installation of this door. (This was an exterior door until the lighthouse keeper’s house was built thirty years later and connected to the tower by an enclosed walkway. The connecting walkway was removed in 1930. ) The iron door was repainted as a part of our ‘Restore the Lighthouse’ work in 2014, and we repainted the door again just last year. However, at that time we recognized the metal door and its surroundings were beginning to flake.

We have asked Wrought Ironworks to do the restoration. This week we received their estimate: $4,041, which sounds doable — but only with your help! Four hundred-&-four donations of $10, one hundred donations of $40.41 each, or forty-one donations of $100 would do it! Every gift is appreciated.

We’ll need 50% to begin the work, which then is estimated to take from 5-6 weeks.

Harbor Lighthouse — still an active aid to navigation — has defined the character of New London’s coast for 263 years.

The lighthouse door’s restoration not only ensures its physical longevity but also connects the present with the past. Let’s keep the door open at this beloved landmark.

Please help Restore the Door.

Photos, from left: Harbor Light

door ca. 2012, repainted in 2014 during our restoration, examining the current condition in 2023.


Weekday dates & most weekends this summer

Explore Inside New London Ledge Light

Come on — climb up into the lantern room at Ledge Lighthouse!

Take a 15-minute boat ride from the New London waterfront to reach the lighthouse, explore the light for about one hour, then return home.

Photo, above:Saturday’s New London Ledge Lighthouse visitors.

Next tour: this Thursday evening, 5:30 to 7 PM!

Land at New London Ledge Light and explore inside all the way up to the top.

Book your tickets today! $50 adults, $35 NLMS members and youth through age 18.


Thursday, August 31, 7 to 8:30 PM

new Sunset – Super Moon Tour

with the New London Maritime Society

— a fundraiser

Twilight is a magical time to be on the water.

Watch the sun go down and the full moon rise on our 90-minute Sunset – Super Full Moon cruise. This is our last opportunity for a Blue Super moon this year.

This is a special & necessary fundraiser for the custom house! All funds raised will go to our Custom House New Roof Campaign — to launched soon, and a goal of NLMS’s 40th anniversary celebration.

Tickets: $100. We’ll bring the sparkling wine and treats!

Rain date?: There are no more super moons; we’ll host the party at the museum!

Ride out to view the picturesque lighthouses of New London Harbor: New London Harbor ‘Pequot’ Light – a classic octagon, the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Long Island Sound; the stately 1909 brick New London Ledge Light; and Avery Point Light, the newest and smallest lighthouse in Connecticut.

With freedom, books, flowers, and the Moon, who could not be happy? — Oscar Wilde

Please join us for the Sunset SuperMoon cruise.



AAQ / Resource: Townsend Manor Inn

Old Fashioned Hospitality