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Located in the New London Custom House, the Custom House Maritime Museum includes period furniture and exhibits thanks to the New London Maritime Society, the organization that operates the museum. The building was erected in 1835, the peak of maritime trade for the city and a time when New London was the second greatest whaling port in the world. The grand architecture of the Custom House reflects the city's stature in the maritime trade and was designed by Robert Mills, the same architect who later designed the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.


  • The historic New London Custom House was built in 1835 and is now the headquarters of the New London Maritime Society and the location of the Custom House Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Society was established in 1983 to preserve the Custom House, which was under threat of demolition. The museum opened that same year. In addition to running the museum, the Society is also in charge of maintaining the three lighthouses in the area: the New London Harbor light, the Race Rock Light Station, and the New London Ledge Light. 

The museum features exhibits that explore the city's rich maritime history. Numerous items are on display including ship models, lighthouse lenses and models, and other maritime-related objects and memorabilia. The museum also offers a variety of exhibits that change throughout the year along with educational programs. 

"About Us." Custom House Maritime Museum. Accessed January 24, 2019.  http://www.nlmaritimesociety.org/contact.html.

Luyster, Constance. "New London Custom House." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. October 15, 1970.  https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/b13233fd-6523-4009-a188-4e042c6301b9.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_London_Customhouse#/media/File:New_London_Customhouse,_New_London_CT.jpg