ESSEX HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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A black and white image of a large rock next to a tree.

The Rock Shelter at Saw Mill Ridge, Ivoryton

An excerpt from Follow the Falls: Ivoryton by James Powers. Archaeological evidence throughout the Shoreline and Lower Connecticut RiverValley shows that the region has been occupied by Indigenous people for over 12,000years. During those thousands of years, the area has constantly been transformed bydramatic climatic, ecological and environmental changes. From…

A photo portrait of Frederick W. A. Miller. He was a white man with thinning hair, wearing a suit jacket, shirt, and tie. The photo is in black and white.

Somewhere in France, 1918: WWI Correspondence from Private Frederick W. A. Miller

From the EHS Collections: Somewhere in France, 1918: WWI Correspondence from Private Frederick W. A. Miller By Karen Mazzarese The title of this blog is somewhat vague; however, the content is powerfully moving and concise. It contains the significance of a compilation of 27 letters which were received recently at…

Base Ball in the CT River Valley

From the EHS Collections: Base Ball in the CT River Valley By Theresa Sistare Baseball was such a big part of my childhood summer memories.  In the evenings after my brothers and I were ushered off to bed my Dad would often tune into whatever game was being broadcast on…

The Spencers of ‘Spencer’s Corner’, Centerbrook

By Steve Knauth It was early in the year of 1866, and the two young Connecticut business partners, Daniel Wilson “Wils” Spencer and Giles Bushnell, were on the horns of a dilemma. The Civil War was over and business at their little general store in the busy industrial village of…

Remembering the Essex Rope Walk

By Steve Knauth This is not a story of the wide sweep of history, but one of a moment in the past so ordinary that no one noticed or suspected at the time that it would ever be special. And yet the unknown writer who penned the recollection for the…

Wish You Were Here: A Sampling of Essex Postcards

Harriet’s Store & Soda Fountain, Essex EHS’ collections contain a wealth of paper-based objects that help inform our understanding of life in Essex’s three villages from the 17th century through the present. Letters, diaries, ledgers, ship manifests and probate inventories document this River Valley town, providing insight into the major…

Remembering Dark Days: An Heirloom Newspaper Details the Lincoln Assassination

Exhibit ideas often arise from unusual places. EHS benefits from two fine historic sites, but lacks a traditional gallery space for rotating exhibits. However, we are fortunate to maintain two large exhibit cases within Essex Public Library to host small scale exhibits on topical themes with guest curators, such as…

If Walls Could Talk: Essex’s “Concealment Shoe”

Essex’s “concealment shoe” may date back to the early 19th century. A recent discovery within the walls of a local home shed new light on folk practices in early 19th century life in Essex Village. Courtney Becher and Luke Patterson bought their 18th century home on Grove Street this summer…