New London Maritime Society Presents Sentinels on the Sound

By: Mar. 14, 2011

From the lantern of New London Harbor Light, one can see an amazing number of lighthouses--perhaps more than from any other spot on earth, according to the United States Coast Guard. Last fall, the New London Maritime Society assumed stewardship of New London Harbor Light, the oldest lighthouse on Long Island Sound and the 4th oldest lighthouse in North America. To mark the first summer of their stewardship and celebrate New London's rich lighthouse heritage, the New London Maritime Society presents a weekend of lighthouse activities, Sentinels on the Sound: New London's Lighthouse Heritage, to take place Friday through Sunday, July 1-3, 2011. Working with a number of New London-area lighthouse and other organizations , the weekend will include lighthouse tours, special exhibitions, and a Saturday symposium to be held at the Custom House Maritime Museum featuring New England lighthouse expert Jeremy D'Entremont.

The Ledge Light Foundation is a major partner in the Weekend's festivities. On Friday evening July 1, at 6:30 PM, Todd Gipstein, the Foundation's president, will sign copies of his new novel, Legacy of the Light, at the Custom House Maritime Museum. On Saturday afternoon, there will be a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Ledge Lighthouse Interpretive Center, located at Ledge Lighthouse. Ledge Lighthouse can be visited through tours run by Project Oceanology, which will run special tours on Sunday, July 3.

In addition to New London Maritime Society and the Ledge Light Foundation, other partners include the Avery Point Lighthouse Society and the Stonington Historical Society, owners of Stonington Point Light, with other to come.

Watch the Lighthouse Weekend Web page:
to see additional events as they are confirmed!

Here is what we have listed so far:
Prior to the weekend
New London's light-pole banners will feature NL Harbor Light (New London Main Street)
Take a walking tour of area lights: up to a dozen downtown NL store fronts will have lighthouse displays during the months of July & August (Custom House with Frank McLaughlin). Each window will feature an area lighthouse; they will be lit until 10 PM .

Friday, July 1
Previews on Parade
will feature the Lighthouse Weekend (New London Main Street)
Friday 12 noon, on the Parade.

Friday evening
Opening of new Custom House Maritime Museum Lighthouse Exhibition,
Frank McGuire Maritime Research Library special exhibition of Lighthouse books & manuscripts,
and Book Signing, with Todd Gipstein, for Legacy of the Light
all three events starting at 6:30 PM Friday evening at the Custom House Maritime Museum
Todd Gipstein will sign copies of his new novel "Legacy of the Light." This historical thriller focuses on two generations of lighthouse keepers serving on Race Rock Lighthouse, off the tip of Fishers Island. The action takes places in 1907 and a generation later, much of it the day of the great Hurricane of 1938. The book explores the influence of the past on the present, family relationships, mysterious visitors to the lighthouse, love, guilt, redemption and the strange workings of fate. The story takes place in the local area: Race Rock, Groton, New London and even the Custom House. A mix of fact and fiction, the story moves briskly and is full of twists and turns that will keep readers enthralled. Todd will talk a bit about researching and writing the book, and copies will be available at the signing. More information at:

Saturday, July 2
Boat Tours of area lighthouses (Custom House)
Tours inside NL Harbor Light (Custom House)
Lighthouse Symposium, including author Jeremy d'Entremont (Custom House)

Ledge Lighthouse Interpretive Center Grand Opening
Saturday afternoon at Ledge Light
There will be a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Ledge Lighthouse Interpretive Center, located at Ledge Lighthouse. The New London Ledge Lighthouse Foundation has fixed up various rooms at the light and created displays and exhibits in them. These include: a gallery of photographs; exhibit room with displays explaining facets of the light's operation and history; a theater where documentaries and other films about lighthouses will be shown; a navigation & chart room; a keeper's room furnished in the style of the 1930s and including a figure of Ernie, the keeper whose ghost is believed to haunt Ledge Light; and other interpretive displays. The Interpretive Center is an ongoing effort that will change and evolve over time. Ledge Lighthouse can be visited through tours run by Project Oceanology, w hich will run special tours on Sunday, July 3. Project O is located at Avery Point in Groton. More information at:

Sunday, July 3
Public opening of the Lighthouse Interpretive Center at Ledge Light
(Ledge Light Foundation)

Concurrent exhibitions in New London
Spirit Gallery Tattoo 207 Bank Street New London CT 06320 (860) 443-0484 is putting on its second annual Skin to Canvas gallery show May 14 - July 8, 2011! Showcasing art in all traditional mediums created by tattoo artists, this exhibition promotes tattooists as artists and gives the public a chance to see what they are creating in their studios when they aren't tattooing. Many tattoo artists are exceptional draftsmen, painters, photographers and sculptors.

Gallery at Lighthouse Square
Our Silent Force - A Submarine Art Exhibit by local artist Liz McGee...June 3rd to July 18th. Opening Reception June 3rd 5pm. Honoring our submariners and their families through art.

Provenance Center 2nd Annual Photograph Exhibition June 25 ~ August 13, 2011
A World of Woman: Global Images It has been said that women provide the spiritual foundation upon which rests all of human life. Indeed, while historically given a secondary role to males, women have likely been the source of whatever fragile balance humanity is able to maintain. This Provenance Center exhibit seeks to display images of women from across the globe, highlighting strength, character and spirituality as seen and portrayed through the lens of our guest photographers. Come join us as we briefly travel the path of experience in the life of women throughout the world.

much more to come...

Watch the Web site: for details of special region-wide lighthouse exhibitions, events & tours.


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