New London Maritime Society Presents Sentinels on the Sound
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 October, the New London Maritime Society took ownership of the Light, the oldest lighthouse on Long Island Sound, the 4th oldest in North America and still an active aid to navigation. 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, to take place Friday through Sunday, July 1-3, 2011. The lighthouse celebration is made possible by a generous grant from the Connecticut Humanities Council.
For the first time, ever, all Three Sisters of New London Harbor --New London Harbor Light, Ledge Light, andAvery Point Light, will be open for the public to tour inside the towers, with controlled access. Watch the Lighthouse Weekend Web page , or call 860-447-2501, for pre-registration information, specific times and fees for visiting each site.
Embracing all New London-area lighthouses , the weekend will include special lighthouse excursions (some by boat), exhibitions, a shoreline lighthouse bicycle tour, a lighthouse cake competition, two performances by sea shantyman John Roberts, and an all-day Sentinels on the Sound Lighthouse Symposium to be held at the Custom House Maritime Museum.
Partners in the weekend include area lighthouses: Avery Point Foundation, Ledge Light Foundation, Noank Historical Society (Morgan Point), Mystic Seaport, Stonington Historical Society (Stonington Light); and other organizations: Bike New London, Hygienic Art, the New London County Historical Society, Studio 33, the US Coast Guard and the USCG Museum among them.
On Friday evening July 1, at 6:30 PM, Todd Gipstein, signs copies of his new novel, Legacy of the Light, two new lighthouse exhibitions open, and a Lighthouse Cake Competition takes place at the Custom House Maritime Museum. Guests to the museum may sample cake-competition entries! Studio 33 will host a watercolor painting demonstration by Bob Hauschild, a New London artist known for his lighthouse paintings. Adding to the festivities, several downtown galleries will remain open until 8 pm.
Saturday features an all-day Sentinels on the Sound Lighthouse Symposium at the Custom House Maritime Museum. In the morning, the US Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, Aids to Navigation Team discuss the nitty-gritty of lighthouse tending. In the afternoon, representatives of Avery Point, Ledge and New London Harbor Lights, present overviews of their lighthouses. The afternoon concludes with the event's main speaker: New England lighthouse expert Jeremy D'Entremont. Registration for the symposium, including lunch, is $40. As an incentive to get people to sign up, the first six registrants will enjoy their lunch onboard a boat touring New London's lighthouses!
The Ledge Light Foundation is a major partner in the Weekend's festivities. Late Saturday afternoon, there will be an invitation-only, ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Ledge Light Interpretive Center, located at Ledge Lighthouse. Thereafter, beginning on Sunday, July 3, Ledge Light and the new Visitor Center can be visited through tours run by Project Oceanology.
For the lighthouse weekend and beyond, Bike New London has created a Shoreline Lighthouse Bicycle Tour brochure . On Sunday, July 3, there will be an official first ride of the route, which begins at Fort Trumbull and New London Harbor Light, crosses the Gold Star Bridge to Avery Point, Noank and Stonington Lights, and finishes up with an after-hours ride through Mystic Seaport. On Sunday at 5 pm, lighthouse bikers and weekenders are invited into the Seaport for an after-hours reception with sea shantyman John Roberts. John Roberts also will give a concert earlier that day at 2 PM at Hygienic Art Park in New London. The lighthouse weekend concludes with picnics and an outdoor concert of Opera Favorites, presented by Saltmarsh Opera and the Stonington Historical Society, at 6 pm on the grounds of the Old Lighthouse in Stonington.
Watch the Lighthouse Weekend Web page:
http://www.nlmaritimesociety.org/2011LighthouseWeekend.html to see additional events as they are confirmed!
This wonderful weekend is made possible by a grant by the equally-wonderful Connecticut Humanities Council. Thank you, CHC.
One of the largest humanities councils in the nation, the Connecticut Humanities Council (CHC) nurtures thoughtful exploration of history and literature along with the cultural benefits of both. CHC's reading programs benefit Connecticut citizens of all ages by opening up the world of books to children, encouraging reading as a family activity and engaging adults in thought provoking book discussions.
CHC's new $1.7 million Heritage Revitalization Initiative seeks to stabilize Connecticut's heritage organizations and position them for success while bringing the state's past directly to the public through an online encyclopedia of Connecticut history, the infusion of Connecticut history topics in the social studies curriculum and the creation of new media materials on our past. This year, CHC will provide more than $3 million in cultural programming and enrich the lives of residents and visitors statewide.