December 6, 2022

Free Family Maritime Festival & Concert at Connecticut River Museum – August 13

The Connecticut River Museum’s Family Maritime Festival and Concert, scheduled for Saturday, August 13

Gather the entire crew and head down to Essex’s historic waterfront on Saturday, August 13 for a boat load of family fun and entertainment.

The Connecticut River Museum’s Annual Family Maritime Festival starts at 1 pm with maritime games, songs, and deck tours of special interest boats, all offered free of charge throughout the afternoon.  You can learn how to make rope, caulk a ship, sing a sea chantey or two, and stroll the docks for an up-close view of special interest sailing vessels and motor boats.

And for those who want to get out on the water, the historic schooner Mary E will set sail at 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 6:00 pm for a leisurely sail along the Connecticut River.  Tickets for the 1.5 hour afternoon cruises are $26 for adults and $16 for children age 12 and under.  Tickets for the two-hour sunset cruise are $30 per person, all ages.

At 5:00 pm, the Connecticut River Museum’s Annual Picnic and Concert gets underway with all invited to bring a blanket or chair and picnic dinner to enjoy while  listening to sea chanteys performed by the Freemen of the Sea and folk rock performed by Amalgamated Muck.  Wine, beer, and soda will also be available for purchase.

Festival activities and concert are free of charge thanks to a sponsorship by Guilford Savings Bank.  For more information on the day’s events as well as schooner cruise schedules and advanced reservations, call 860-767-8269 or go to  

CRM educators to lead a guided evening paddle in Pratt Cove Preserve

Essex, CT —  On Tuesday, August 16 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, the public is invited to join Connecticut River Museum educators on a guided paddle in Deep River’s Pratt Cove Preserve.  Bring your own canoe or kayak and explore this rare freshwater tidal marsh, recognized for its exceptional environmental importance.

Guides will discuss the natural and cultural history of the Cove and help identify the abundant wildlife that visit or call it home. Paddlers can also get an up close look at the wild rice that grows in the cove and is just becoming harvestable.

The fee is $5 per person, Museum members are free and pre-registration is required.  For more detailed information and driving directions, call 860-767-8269 or go to Museum’s website at .

The Connecticut River Museum is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the Connecticut River and surrounding valley region.

Local Artist Marian Dock Art Exhibition and Sale at Deep River Library

Example of artwork to be sold at Dec. 5 art sale

Marian Dock, longtime Essex resident, passed away Aug. 30 at the age of 99.  Marian and her late husband, Albert, were founding members of the Connecticut River Museum and owners of Fore Fathers Antiques.  Education was a recurring theme in Marian Dock’s life; so it was when she planned her estate she designated a portion be devoted to help further education. The Deep River Public Library was chosen as the venue for the final showing—and sale—of her oeuvre.  The opening of the memorial showing—more than 30 works—of the Marian Dock Collection will be on Sunday Dec. 5 from 3 till 6 pm, in the Community Room of the Library.

Marian grew up in New York City, where she received her primary and secondary education in the public school system.  She graduated from Pratt Institute, continued her education at New York University, which awarded her a Bachelor’s Degree, then received her Masters in art from Columbia University.  In the 1950’s Marian wrote a children’s show, “Time for Art with Marian Dock,” then staged (as well as produced and directed) the play, with herself in the starring role, at her former public school.

During her years in Essex Marian indulged her artistic endeavors and painted prolifically.  Her work was shown at the Essex Art Association and was included in the annual “Choices” show mounted by the Shoreline Alliance of the Arts.  Her works include local landscapes (which are identified), florals and abstracts, executed in acrylic, oil and watercolor. 

 The collection will remain on display and for sale throughout December.  Proceeds will fund educational programs at the library.   Contact Peggy Maraschiello at RiverWind Antiques, (860) 526-3047 for more information.

Connecticut River Museum Re-Opens For Annual Holiday Exhibit and Events

Essex, CT — With fire damage repair and restoration nearly complete, the Connecticut River Museum will re-open on Friday, Nov. 26 with the much anticipated 17th Annual Holiday Train Show. 

A new roof, new windows, and refurbished wood flooring original to the historic 1878 Steamboat Warehouse will enhance the third-floor setting for the family-friendly, locomotive extravaganza featuring a fully operational, HO scale layout with interactive components.  Designed by train artist Steve Cryan, the Holiday Train Show exhibit has become a popular outing for train fans and all who are young at heart.  The show runs through Feb. 13 and is sponsored by the Valley Courier. 

On Sunday, Nov. 28, the Museum will remain open until 7:00 pm to present the annual Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Boat Parade in partnership with the Essex Historical Society and the Essex Board of Trade. 

At 4:30 pm, a traditional, lantern-lit stroll will kick off at Essex Town Hall.  All are invited to join the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife & Drum Corps, along with a parade of antique cars, as they wind down Main Street stopping to sing carols along the way.  Once the foot parade reaches the grounds of the Connecticut River Museum, a parade of festively-lit boats passes by the waterfront in review and ends with Santa and his elves arriving on one of the boats for visits with children on the Museum lawn.  First, second, and third place prizes are awarded for the best decorated boats.   The rain date is Sunday, Dec. 5.  Admission to the Train Show exhibit is reduced to $5 for all ages with children under age 6 free from 5 pm to 7 pm that evening. 

The second floor gallery will also reopen in December with a sneak preview of the exciting new exhibit The River That Connects Us, bringing to life the evolution of the River as a great resource for transportation, recreation, and inspiration.   Made possible in part by the Connecticut Humanities Council, the exhibit will illustrate the environmental impact and its importance to our heritage and to our future and include a hands-on children’s discovery trail.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to the CRM website

Connecticut River Museum Plan Fall Ball

Fall Ball committee members and honorees finalize plans for the October 23 celebration at the Connecticut River Museum. L-R: Marc Iacobellis of the Shiny Lapel Trio, Sponsor Greg Shook of Essex Savings Bank, CRM Trustee Jennifer Caulfield, Essex Deputy Fire Chief Andrew Kressley, Honorary Chairman Doug Paul of the Paul Foundation, CRM Executive Director Jerry Roberts, and Sponsor Maureen O’Grady of Rachel Thomas Associates.

Essex, CT – With the repair and restoration of the fire-damaged Connecticut River Museum now underway, committee members are finalizing plans for Fall Ball, the Museum’s most important fundraising event of the year that takes place on Saturday, October 23. 

This special evening of cocktails, dinner, dance, and auction will celebrate community spirit and all those who help make the River Valley a vibrant, welcoming place to raise and educate children, enjoy friends, conduct business, and experience the beauty of the Connecticut River.  Members of the Paul family, who have made significant contributions to help preserve the community’s cultural heritage, have been named as honorary chairmen.  Volunteer fire department chiefs from Essex, Deep River, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook, who exemplify the ultimate community commitment and dedication, will be honored guests.   

Festivities will begin at 5:30 pm with cocktails and dinner on the waterfront grounds of the Museum.  The swinging sound of the Shiny Lapel Trio will keep guests moving while a silent and live auction promises tremendous opportunity to purchase luxury items and unique experiences at exceptional value.  

Presenting sponsors include Essex Savings Bank, Essex Financial Services, and Rachel Thomas Associates.  Net proceeds will help fulfill the Museum’s mission to increase public awareness, education, and access to the rich heritage and natural beauty of the Connecticut River.  All are invited to attend and lend their support by either purchasing individual tickets for $175, patron tickets for $250, or a sponsorship.  Those who can not attend but want to recognize fellow community members can make a financial donation starting at $100 to the Community Pages of the Fall Ball program book. 

To find out more and to purchase tickets, go to or call (860)767-8269.  The Connecticut River Museum, located at 67 Main Street in Essex, is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley.

Connecticut River Museum Lecture Series Returns

Historian and author John Laurence Busch of New Canaan, CT will present Steam Coffin, a special program at the Connecticut River Museum on Thursday, October 7.

Essex, CT – Now in reconstruction after a severe fire in August, the Connecticut River Museum has re-opened the Boathouse Gallery and Education Center and  announced the return of its monthly lecture series.

On Thursday, Oct. 7 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, the fascinating age of steam power comes back to life with a provocative program presented by historian and author John Laurence Busch. 

Steam Coffin: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break The Barrier will transport you to the experimental days of steam-powered boats and show why the proposition of making the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on a “steamship” was met with a mixture of skepticism and fear. 

Based on extensive research done by Mr. Busch for his new novel of the same name, the program will highlight the significant role played by New London Captain Moses Rogers, one of the first steamboat captains in history. 

A book signing and light refreshments will follow the program.  Admission is $5 for the general public but free for Connecticut River Museum members.  Please call (860)767-8269 to reserve a spot or go to for more information.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street on the Essex waterfront.