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The Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton Playhouse Opens – Today in History: June 17

June 17, 2021 • Arts, Essex

On June 17, 1930, the Ivoryton Playhouse opened with a…


20th-century photograph of shad nets

A Tale of Shad, the State Fish

This aquatic inhabitant has a long history of influencing foodways, income, and culture in the region.


New England burst its boilers off Essex, October 8, 1833

The Steamboat New England: “The shock was dreadful” – Today in History: October 8

October 8, 2020 • Disaster, Essex, Environment

One of Connecticut’s worst steamboat disasters occurred on the dark…


Richard Brooks, Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell Launched – Today in History: June 13

On June 13, 1776, the ship Oliver Cromwell, built by…


Katharine Hepburn’s Love Affair (with Connecticut)

One of the most popular actresses of the 20th century, Katharine Hepburn was born to prominent parents in Hartford. She lived much of her later life in Old Saybrook.


A worker cutting ivory

Ivory Cutting: The Rise and Decline of a Connecticut Industry

Ivoryton and Deep River boomed in the 1800s, along with the demand for piano parts made of ivory.


Ivoryton's Comstock, Cheney Co. produced a variety of ivory goods

Phineas Pratt’s Machine for Making Combs – Today in History: April 12

On April 12, 1799, Phineas Pratt of Ivoryton, Connecticut, a…


Detail from View of Essex, Centerbrook & Ivoryton, Conn. 1881

The British Raid on Essex

On a cold April night in 1814 a British raiding force rowed six miles up the Connecticut River to burn the privateers of Essex, then known as Pettipaug. The raiders torched 27 ships and took or destroyed thousands of dollars’ in other supplies.


Chester Bowles

Governor Chester Bowles Dies – Today in History: May 25

May 25, 2018 • Essex, Politics and Government

On May 25, 1986, Chester Bowles, a Connecticut governor, Congressional…


An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1776-1818

With its limited supply of fertile land either occupied or exhausted, one of Connecticut’s principal exports in the post-Revolutionary years was people.


Over Time: Essex’s Historical Population

April 6, 2014 • Hide Featured Image, Essex

Census data, from colonial times on up to the present, is a key resource for those who study the ways in which communities change with the passage of time.


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