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ESSEX BOARD OF TRADE MEMBERSHIP
Essex Historical Society
P.O. Box 123 - 22 Prospect St
Essex, CT 06426
The Essex Historical Society was formed and incorporated in 1955. According to news reports at the time, the town was about to announce its intention to sell Hills Academy. It was no longer useful to the Town for classroom space and had been rented to various tenants for many years. A concerned group sprung into action and the first unofficial meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Essex Town Hall on Friday, December 10, 1954. Edwin B. Pratt was nominated President, John A. Bjerkoe, Vice President, Elizabeth J. Mundie became treasurer and William H. Matthews, curator. The newly formed Essex Historical Society purchased the building from the Town for one dollar.
From 1955 to 1985, Hills Academy served as the Society’s meeting house, as home to its growing collection of Essex memorabilia, and as exhibit space depicting the story of Essex history. Then in 1985, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (known then as S.P.N.E.A. and now renamed Historic New England) deeded the Pratt House Museum on West Avenue to the Society and the focus of activity shifted to the Pratt family narrative.
Today, Pratt House continues to interpret 18th century farm life in Essex and the nine generations of Pratt Smithies, many of whom lived in the house. The barn houses changing exhibits and an early loom that is worked on by an award winning group of weavers. The beautiful meadow to the rear of the property is the site of the Community Garden and often the scene of antique car shows and old fashioned summer fairs.
Third Annual Fall Foliage Antique Auto Show and Tour
EHS and the Belltown Antique Auto Club are at it again! For the third year running, we will be gathering under the flaming foliage with a wide array of vintage vehicles. Cars will leave on a scenic autumn cruise and return for showing. Have an antique ride that is your pride and joy? Drive it over and show it off! But you don’t need to have an old rig to join in the fun. Come by foot, bike or modern motor! The event is free for everyone, regardless of transportation, and there will be refreshments for purchase provided by Valley Regional Football Boosters Club. So SHOW up to the Pratt House, 19 West Avenue in Essex, on October 20 at 10:30 am! For more information, call 860.767.5011, email firstname.lastname@example.org or browse www.essexhistory.org 3 VILLAGES. 2 RIVERS. I SWEET RIDE.
Major Disasters in the Town of Essex
Ivoryton Base Ball Classic
Believe it or not, there was a time when baseball was known as "base ball" and the game was played without gloves or strikes. We can't travel back in time to the 1860s to see the game played as it once was, however on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm we can catch a glimpse of the old days when the Ivoryton Nine host the Lyme Taverners in the first ever Ivoryton Base Ball Classic! Sponsored by Essex Historical Society and Essex Park and Recreation Commission, the game will be played at Comstock Field in Ivoryton by the rules of the 1860s. There is no admission fee and everyone is welcome, so bring your family, your friends, and your friends' friends. We also recommend that you bring a blanket and picnic basket to spread out and relax with. The Ivoryton Tavern and Cafe will provide base ball fare for purchase. The game is guaranteed to be a hit and an event not to be missed. So come on out and cheer for the hometown team! Parking will be at Ivoryton Congregational Church at 57 Main Street, Ivoryton. You will take the complimentary trolley service from the church to Comstock Field! For more information, email email@example.com or
School's Almost Out Strawberry Social
It’s that time of year again when the days are long, children anticipate the last day of school and strawberries start to ripen and ready for the summertime favorite dessert — strawberry shortcake. And what better way to celebrate the end of another school year and the beginning of summer than fun, games and strawberry shortcake? EHS is holding its Annual School’s Almost Out Strawberry Social Sunday, June 23, 2013 — mere days before the local children are released for summer vacation. We always have a fantastic time as well as more than enough servings of homemade strawberry shortcake to go around and we would love to have some hungry kids come help us eat it all. But first, build up that appetite with exciting activities and games fit for the whole family, including a childrens’ colonial obstacle course. It won’t matter who wins or who loses because everyone will be having a good time in good company. And as a special treat, the Sailing Masters will add to our
EHS Member Event! Composting Demonstration
The Regional Community Garden will be having a compost demonstration for members of EHS. Families are welcome and food will be served after the demonstration. Rain date is Wednesday, June 19th at 7:00 pm.
Everyone’s invited to the EHS Membership Party! Members, bring your friends and your friends’ friends. Non-members, don’t be shy — stop by! If you love Essex, history or both, come join in on the fun; more is always merrier. We will be celebrating our community and springtime in Essex at the Pratt House on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm. We will have our party hats on rain or shine — because with people like you, no rain can dampen our spirits! For more information, call 860-767-5011 or browse www.essexhistory.org.
History of Essex Yacht Clubs - Take Two
Terry Stewart, Commodore of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club (ECYC), will host the Essex Historical Society (EHS) sponsored "History of the Essex Yacht Clubs - Take Two" to learn more about the six of the local yacht clubs. The maritime history of Essex is vast and includes evidence of early clipper shipbuilding to steamships, and ultimately to the past and present pride in the varied recreational boating opportunities for all ages. ECYC and EHS will bring together a distinctive panel of speakers who will each talk about the club they represent, how it has evolved over the years and where they believe Essex boating will be in the future. The panel: Dennis Walker, Essex Corinthian Yacht Club; George Graf, Essex Yacht Club; Jim Clarke, Essex Boat Club; Ed Birch, Frostbite Yacht Club; Toby Doyle, Pettipaug Yacht Club; and Richard Holliday, Essex Station of the Cruising Club of America. Last year, burgees were exchanged unexpectedly for the first time in the history of the yacht clubs, so anything can happen when you gather people together who share a common bond of
A Medley of Connecticut Folktales
Battlesite Essex with Jerry Roberts
New research into the British Raid on Essex during the War of 1812 will be the subject of a talk by Connecticut River Museum executive director, Jerry Roberts. Roberts will present the latest findings including newly uncovered English and American eyewitness accounts, spicy details about traitors and the role of the US Navy and Marines.
Falls River Flood of 1982 – A Second Look
Essex, Connecticut – January 24, 2013 – In 1982, Essex experienced one of the most devastating floods that it has ever seen. Within three days’ time that June, an astronomical amount of rain bombarded the state. Running through Essex, the normally innocuous Falls River soon became swollen, tearing away its banks with the houses upon them. The Ivoryton Library and the Essex Historical Society are hosting “Falls River Flood of 1982 – A Second Look” at the Essex Town Hall on January 24, 2013 at 7 pm. Attendees will hear the intriguing story and details as told by Essex Town Historian, Chris Pagliuco. There will be a slide show as well as photos, newspaper articles, plaques and awards from the time. Guests are encouraged to tell their stories of the event. Refreshments will be served and there is no charge for admittance. For more information contact the Essex Historical Society at (860) 767-5011 or the Ivoryton Library at (860) 767-1252.
The Spinners Show Their Stuff
Take a look at the clothes you are sporting. It is most likely comprised of hundreds of spun threads, woven together into fabric. “So what?” you may ask, “a machine does this in its sleep.” Yet, as you may recall, these mindless machines were created to make our lives easier. Before the mass manufacturing of textiles, the processing of raw materials into fabric was much more labor intensive. After the fibers are gathered and prepared, they need to be spun into thread. (Think Sleeping Beauty’s spinning wheel.) Spinning fibers into a strong and uniform thread or yarn requires skill, practice and patience. The Spinners will be spinning their stuff at Hill’s Academy on November 11, 2012 from 1-4 pm. Stop by, sit and chit chat awhile as you watch the rhythmic, almost hypnotizing process of turning rough fiber material into sleek strands. The Spinners are looking forward to sharing their passion with you!
Experience the Villages of Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.
Historic seaport charm: Unique restaurants, shops, attractions and more.