In late 2015 Wayne Wheeler, U.S. Lighthouse Society president, was asked to join a team of advisors in designing the National Coast Guard Museum to be constructed in New London, Connecticut. The group meets twice a year. To date they have met in Washington, D.C. , New London, and most recently in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Museum Exhibit Advisory Panel (MEAP) consists of Coast Guard officers, staff from the Coast Guard Historian’s Office, and representatives from 20 non-profit organizations such as the U.S. Lighthouse Society, the Coast Guard Lightship Sailors International Association, U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, and the Foundation for Coast Guard History to name a few.
Their purpose is to develop a museum that reflects the history of all phases of the Coast Guard, present and past. Today’s Coast Guard evolved from several different agencies: U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, U.S. Life-Saving Service, U.S. Steamboat Inspection Service, and the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment. These various entities form today’s Coast Guard, and the museum wants to salute and showcase each. Wayne’s role is to ensure that the story of the Lighthouse Service is adequately and correctly presented.
The projected cost of the 100,000 sq. ft. museum is $100 million. The museum designers are noted for their design of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C, and the World War II Museum in New Orleans. The National Coast Guard Museum will be located in New London across from the old train station and next to Long Island Sound. An adjacent pier will facilitate mooring the Coast Guard Eagle as well as other service vessels.
Based on submission by Wayne Wheeler, President, U.S. Lighthouse Society, January 2017
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Candace was the US Lighthouse Society historian from 2016 until she passed away in August 2018. For 30 years, her work involved lighthouse history. She worked with the National Park Service and the Council of American Maritime Museums. She was a noted author and was considered the most knowledgable person on lighthouse information at the National Archives. Books by Candace Clifford include: Women who Kept the Lights: a History of Thirty-eight Female Lighthouse Keepers , Mind the Light Katie, and Maine Lighthouses, Documentation of their Past.