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Please contribute to the New London Maritime Society.

Download our SUMMER newsletter.

We love our sponsors – Chelsea Groton Foundation – Community Foundation of Eastern CT – State of CT – CT Humanities – CT Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts – Eleven+ – Frank Loomis Palmer Fund – Maco Family Fund – Robinson+Cole – Veolia/NL Water Authority. Thank you!


your last chance to visit Little Gull…

last 2 tours Saturday, August 12

Rare & Special Excursion

to Little Gull Island & Lighthouse

This perhaps is the last opportunity to land at Little Gull Island and explore inside the Little Gull lighthouse (est, 1802, current tower 1867). Working with David Henry and the Little Gull Light Foundation, we are offering two more, two & one-half hour trips out of New London, CT, aboard the high-speed Silver Eel. This privately owned lighthouse is up for sale, so public tours may never be offered, again! Watch TV reporter Jim Altman’s video.

There are a few tickets left for each trip. Reserve your tickets now.

These prints show the 1869, and the 1948 keeper’s houses at Little Gull Light.

Photo, below, left: Long Island Sound: The Steamer ‘John Brahmhall’ loaded with arms and munitions of war for the Turkish Government, ashore on Little Gull Island. from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News, November 8, 1878. NLMS Collection. Photo, below, right: (detail) Little Gull Island rendering. 1948 Chubb & Son advertisement.


Tuesday, August 15, 1:30PM


Join us this month 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.”

“Who killed Quoddy?”—that’s been a mystery for nearly a century. Was it Roosevelt’s rivals and presidential wannabes? Or the man who caused the biggest bankruptcy in US history? Was it one of Maine’s leading citizens or elected officials? Was it sabotage by one of the US Army Corps of Engineers who was building it? Or did FDR himself quietly kill Quoddy?

Written as a “Who done it?”, Moondoggle lays bare the suspects’ motives and means. Moondoggle’s insights are based on exhaustive research, never-before published family letters, and formerly classified government documents. 

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.

Quoddy generated hundreds of articles in regional and national publications, including the Boston Globe, New Yok Times, Time, Newsweek, Saturday Evening Post, and National Geographic. It was fascinating reading then—and now.

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.


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 moon come up on our 90-minute Sunset – Super Full Moon cruise.

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

Tickets: $100. We’ll bring the champagne 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. Our sunset cruise coincides with the last 2023 super moon.

Please join us for the Sunset SuperMoon cruise.


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.

Thanks to a grant from the New London Water Authority, tickets for New London public school students and their family members are just $5, each, through September. Visit Ledge Lighthouse before summer runs out!


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: Axel, April and family by the lantern! Estlin Davies-Smith.


Happy Lighthouse Day – Aug 7!


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

Thurs. 1 to 8 PM, Sat. 10 to 5 PM; Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM.

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

Below: Upcoming lighthouse tours

New London Maritime Society
Custom House Maritime Museum
150 Bank StreetNew London, CT 06320


AAQ / Resource: Townsend Manor Inn

Old Fashioned Hospitality