October 21, 2021
New London
Maritime Society
Dedicating 2022 to
Lighthouse Preservation
38th Annual Meeting
November 7, 2021
New London, CT— New London Maritime Society will dedicate 2022 to the preservation of New London Harbor, Race Rock, and New London Ledge Lighthouses — the three historic beacons leading from the Atlantic into New London Harbor.
‘These historic structures –all active active aids to navigation — add so much authentic character to our waterfront,’ says NLMS president Christina Corcoran. ‘New London Maritime Society owns these beacons and takes responsibility for their upkeep.’
A 2022 theme of lighthouse stewardship will be announced at the 38th New London Maritime Society Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 7, 2021, a date that also marks the 260th anniversary of when New London Harbor Light — the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Long Island Sound — was first lit. The Annual Meeting will be held aboard the Cecelia Ann, a Cross Sound Ferry, at 2 Ferry Street, New London, CT. All are welcome to attend a brief 20-minute Annual Meeting (only) without charge. After the meeting ticket-holders sit back and relax on a ferry ride out by the three lighthouses. At each site, an authority on the specific lighthouse will explain current and future restoration projects. The ferry then will take a spin around Fishers Island and be back at the NL dock by 4:30 PM. There will be delicious cider and cake! The ferry trip is $15 for NLMS members, $20 all others, $5 children ages 7-18. You may register online 24/7 at https://3lights.bpt.me or call 860-447-2501. All COVID-19 protocols will be followed; everyone wears a mask.
Special guests onboard the ferry include Walter Sedovic & Jill H Gotthelf of Walter Sedovic Architects, who assessed and created a preservation plan for Race Rock Lighthouse in 2019. Their pubic presentation of this plan was delayed by COVID-19. Also aboard will be Bruce Buckley, president of the Ledge Light Foundation, to report on preservation work and other developments at Ledge Lighthouse.
The New London Maritime Society thanks the Cross Sound Ferry for generously providing the crew and boat for this event.
New London Ledge Lighthouse will receive some national attention in November. The sports TV channel ESPN recently filmed a segment at the lighthouse which will be used to promote the Veterans Day (November 11) football match at the USCG Academy. The game will pay tribute to the men of Pea Island, on the Outer Banks of North Caroline, which in the 1880s was the first life-saving station in the country to have an all-black crew. It also was the first in the nation to have a black man, Richard Etheridge, as commanding officer.
While NLMS owns and maintains the three lighthouses, the USCG still is responsible for the lighthouse lanterns. photo below from the ESPN shoot: @sandstoneaerialmedia
In 1983 the New London Maritime Society was formed by citizens who stopped an impending federal sale to keep NL’s US Custom House intact and accessible. Today, we run a local maritime history museum, provide a free education program in NL Public Schools, and preserve the custom house and three area lighthouses.
The Custom House Maritime Museum / New London Maritime Society is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.NLMS was closed for 63 weeks in 2020-21, due to the pandemic. None-the-less, while closed we presented:
  • new online exhibitions,
  • virtual zoom programs,
  • small, COVID-safe tours to Harbor Lighthouse,
  • the 11th year – Third-Grade Local History & Landmarks Program,
  • and the 10th Annual luncheon for National Maritime Day.
At this point, the museum is back open five days a week with new programs:
  • free admission for all New London students and their families,
  • monthly meetings of Jibboom Club #1 – free-of-charge for area seniors,
  • monthly community Open Mic Nights, admission by donation only,
  • supporting the City of New London’s Eat in the Street initiative with monthly Custom House Soirees,
  • and sharing our historic venue with other nonprofits, such as the Connecticut Early Music Society and SECONN Skin Divers.
  • Recently, the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, a National Park Service program awarded NLMS a project grant to enhance and reimagine the New London County harbor’s role in the fugitive enslaved people of color’s plight to freedom.
We believe in diversity and social justice, as well as strive to be a place where the entire community can learn from our shared history in order to build a more just and compassionate future.
The Mission of the New London Maritime Society (NLMS) is to protect and preserve New London’s U.S. Custom House, three area lighthouses, and Long Island Sound, and to promote, interpret, and celebrate the rich maritime life & history of the port of New London and the surrounding region through museum exhibitions, educational programs, and preservation initiatives.
New London Maritime Society – local friendly authentic
Telling the stories of New London’s waterfront
& preserving four historic maritime sites


Custom House Maritime Museum
150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320 | 860-447-2501
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AAQ / Resource: Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects