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Revealing the Marvels of the Connecticut River for 38 Years

Published Jan 10, 2020 • Last Updated 07:38 pm, January 10, 2020

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Established in 1974 and opening as a museum in 1981, the Connecticut River Museum has hosted thousands through educational programs, boat cruises, corporate retreats, and museum visitors.

This year was full of adventure at the foot of Main Street in Essex. In August, more than 50 intrepid paddlers made their way down river to the museum's riverfront lawn from one of three starting points. The most determined began their journey in Portland, 26 miles upriver! Beginning in Haddam, the largest group of paddlers made the nine mile trek, and the last group started the paddle three miles north of the museum. This was the third Conquer the Current paddle regatta hosting any vessel with a paddle. Make plans now to join this adventure in August 2020!

From May through October 2019, the exhibit

Myths and Legends of the Connecticut River Valley offered visitors a chance to explore the history, mystery, and wonder along New England's Great River. This exhibit was funded in part by CT Humanities, The Kitchings Family Foundation, The Community Foundation of Middlesex County, and The Dryfoos Foundation. The Vermont Historical Society in Barre, VT is currently featuring this thought-provoking display.

The Onrust

spent its third season at the museum offering public or private cruises on the Connecticut River. Onrust, a replica of Adriaen Block's vessel, is one of the first western-style ships built in the New World, and the first ever to sail up the Connecticut River. When not cruising, museum visitors boarded the vessel for dockside exploration.

Still on Deck:

Holiday Train Show:

Trains run Tuesday through Sunday until Feb. 23, 2020. Steve Cryan's family-friendly Holiday Train Show exhibit is back on track at the Connecticut River Museum for its 26th year. A fully operational 26 foot train layout, "I SPY" scavenger hunts, and toddler sized viewing layout are all part of the fun.


Hands-on fun with exploration of art, science, and history creates wonderful experiences for children of all ages. The museum's education department offers onsite, outreach, and homeschool educational programs. College students seeking summer internships are encouraged to inquire.

Privateer Bash:

"Arr" you in? Prep your best pirate gear and show your swagger on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Relive riverfront history at the 14th annual Privateer Bash, a playful nod to the privateers who made their wealth by plundering foreign ships of their valuable cargo.

Summer Camp 2020:

Now is the time to register your child for one of the unforgettable Summer Adventure Camps! For more information and to register for summer 2020, please visit or contact Suzanne Burns at

This information was provided by The Connecticut River Museum, located at 67 Main Street, Essex. For more information, visit or call 860-767-8269.

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