July 4, 2022

The Life of the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium 1893 – 2011

The Deep River Restoration Association announces the first historical exhibit on the Town Hall Auditorium.  The exhibit highlights the unique history of the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium with photographs, postcards, antiques and interviews.  This exhibition demonstrations the modest elegance of the Deep River Town Hall, built in 1893, it has held many events and is a major thread in the tapestry of Deep River history.

The Life of the Deep River Auditorium 1893-2011 is open at the Deep River Library for the month of November.  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday the exhibit will have an attendant to discuss the exhibit with from 12-2pm.  Bring your questions.

In this photograph of the 1931 production of College Flapper,  there are eighteen men in costume on the Deep River Auditorium Stage, many whom where prominent figures in Deep River.  Many more images will be on display, including the original 1893 dedicatory program for the Deep River Town Hall.

This exhibit is made possible by a generous gift in the estate of Charles Messerschmitt.  The Restoration Association has worked with local residents, town officials, the Deep River Historical Society and stacks of old newspapers to put this distinct collection together.

For more information please contact the coordinator Linalynn Schmelzer 860 304-8459 or Linalynnschmelzer@yahoo.com.  You can also find the Deep River Auditorium on Facebook.


Courtney Approves Iraq Withdrawal Plans by President

A message from Congressman Joe Courtney.

Rep. Courtney and Connecticut's Captain Frank R. DuVerger III in Afghanistan this month

Last week, President Obama announced that all U.S. military personnel will be out of Iraq by the end of the year. Many of our servicemen and women who have been away from their families for too many birthdays, milestones and celebrations during the war will be home this holiday season.

President Obama’s decision to protect U.S. military personnel from unacceptable exposure to prosecution in Iraqi courts and instead execute the final removal of American troops from Iraq is the right decision for both countries. This milestone was achieved through negotiations between our two countries that provided a clear path for the transition of responsibility to the Iraqi government. After eight long years, our brave volunteers have given that country the opportunity to create its own future with a sizable security force and the rudiments of democratic institutions.

With the Fifth Fleet nearby in Bahrain and U.S. bases in Kuwait and Qatar, our ability to respond to any threat to American national security in the region is more than adequate. As the President said, our two nations will continue to have a special relationship for many years to come, built on the sacrifice and effort of our troops. Now is the time to pay particular homage to all who served in Iraq and their families – the “one percent” who have stepped up and volunteered to wear our nation’s uniform through a difficult time in our history.

On the ground in Afghanistan

 Of course, even as American troops leave Iraq, our servicemen and women remain on the ground in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I visited the country, where I was briefed on operations, met with Connecticut troops and top commanders, and learned more about the training of Afghan police and military personnel. Most importantly, General John Allen, commander of U.S./NATO troops, gave an encouraging brief on the planned draw down of U.S. troops: 10,000 this year and 23,000 by the fall of 2012. 48% of the Afghan nation will be under the control of the Afghanis in the near future, and the transition will continue until full control of Afghanistan’s future is in the hands of the Afghan people.

This was my third trip to Afghanistan since coming to Congress, and the progress was plain to see. More girls and young women are traveling to and from school, the education system has improved, and security forces are better trained and better equipped to keep the peace. While there are substantial hurdles left to clear, these are encouraging milestones that demonstrate movement in the right direction.

But to have gotten to this point – a place where real progress is clear – is a testament to the strength, bravery and resolve our military. As the war in Iraq winds down, their hard work has brought us to a place where, after 10 long years, Afghans are on the brink of reclaiming their country and their future.

Love for Grown-Ups at Essex Books-Gather

Join Essex books at Gather in Main Street Ivoryton from noon until 1 p.m. on November 10 for a fun talk by author, Tish Rabe, Love for Grown-Ups: The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying For Life When You’ve Already Got a Life, co-authored by Ann Blumenthal Jacobs and Patricia Ryan Lampl, .  Who are the Garter Brides?  A sisterhood of women who all wore the same garter at their weddings and got married over the age of 35! This book is one-stop shopping for the mature woman who wants to meet, has met, or is building a relationship with a mature man!

Ms. Rabe will raffle an autographed copy of  Love for Grown-Ups at our event!

To register, simply click on Register Now below or reply to this e-mail.  Tell a friend… and catch the garter wave!  Register Now!

A $5 admission fee may be put toward the purchase of a book.

Thank you for supporting authors, Essex Books, and Gather!

Essex Planning Commission Considers Resubdivision Plan for Toby Hill Road

ESSEX—The planning commission has begun its review of a proposed three-lot resubdivision of a 12-acre parcel off Toby Hill Road in the Ivoryton section.

Last winter, before a formal application was submitted for the proposed development, the potential need for improvements to the intersection of Toby Hill Road and Pond Meadow Road led the board of selectmen to consider the possible abandonment of the section of Toby Hill Road in Ivoryton.

Toby Hill Road is an old town roadway that extends from Pond Meadow Road north to cross the town line and intersect with McVeagh Road in Westbrook. While there has been residential development and road improvements on the Westbrook side, much of the road in Ivoryton is an unimproved gravel or dirt road.

The applicant, Paul Vumbaco of Meriden, owns a total of 34.7 acres on both sides of the Essex-Westbrook town line. Vumbaco has already received approval for a seven-lot subdivision of the 22 acres in Westbrook. He is now seeking approval for a three-lot resubdivision of the 12.38-acre parcel in Essex.

The lots in Westbrook are located on Joseph Circle, a new road extending off Toby Hill Road. The three lots in Essex would be located on an extension of Joseph Circle that would end in a cul-de-sac while also connecting to Toby Hill Road on the Essex side.

The section of Toby Hill Road in Ivoryton currently serves three homes, one in Essex and two located over the town line in Westbrook. The proposed development would also include a dedication of 6.38 acres as open space land. The resubdivision application also seeks a waiver of town regulations to allow one interior lot that would lack road frontage and be accessed from a driveway.

The planning commission opened a public hearing on the proposed three-lot resubdivision on Oct. 13. The commission discussed the need for improvements to the Essex section of Toby Hill Road and the intersection to Pond Meadow Road with representatives of Vumbaco, including an attorney and local engineer Robert Doane. According to minutes from the public hearing, Doane said the width of Toby Hill Road would be increased to 22-feet, and sight lines would be improved on the right side of the intersection to make a right turn.

The commission scheduled a Nov. 5 site walk of the property, with the public hearing continued to the Nov. 10 meeting. As the Westbrook subdivision was under review in that town last winter, the commission had urged the board of selectmen to abandon the 300-foot section of Toby Hill Road in Ivoryton to avoid the possible need for town-funded improvements to the intersection of Toby Hill Road and Pond Meadow Road. Town Planner John Guszkowski had described the intersection as difficult, with “a steep approach from Toby Hill Road, poor sight lines and unfavorable topography.”

After discussion at a meeting last March, the board of selectmen took no action on the planning commission recommendation to abandon the section of Toby Hill Road.


“The River From The Air” Offers Rarely Seen, Breathtaking Views

An aerial view of Lord’s Cove in Lyme, CT, featuring unique circular creek patterns, photographed by Tom Walsh for the “River From The Air” exhibit at the Connecticut River Museum.

Essex, CT – For the past two years, Captain Tom Walsh of Shoreline Aerial Photography has been traveling the 410-mile Connecticut River, capturing its natural beauty and unusual landmarks for the Connecticut River Museum’s new photography exhibit “The River From the Air: A Bird’s Eye View”. 

Opening on Thursday, May 26, the exhibit features over 150 images of rarely-seen aerial views of the Connecticut River Valley.  From the mouth of the River at Long Island Sound to the Canadian border in Vermont, the seasonal beauty and sheer expanse of River Valley waterways, towns, and historical landmarks offer a whole new perspective on one of our most precious natural resources.   Sunken ships, crop formations, and oxbows are just some of the unique views that can only be seen from the air and are featured in the exhibit’s Wonders of the River section. 

The exhibit runs through October 2011 and is included in general admission to the Museum, Adults $8; Seniors $7; Children age 6 – 12 $5. 

Captain Tom Walsh with his 1946 Piper Cub, one of two planes he used to photograph the Connecticut River for the “River From The Air” exhibit

   The Connecticut River Museum, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the cultural and natural history of New England’s Great River, is located at 67 Main Street on the historic Essex waterfront.  For more information on this and other happenings, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.