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Essex, Connecticut | Could You Live Here?

Essex, Connecticut | Could You Live Here?
8 votes, 4.12 avg. rating (82% score)

The Reality: The history scene gets livelier the deeper you dig. The active Essex Historical Society keeps its fingers on the pulse of the town’s heritage. Rail buffs can ride the vintage Essex Steam Train through the Connecticut River Valley, then hop on the Becky Thatcher riverboat. In May, the Loser’s Day Parade presents a fife-and-drum extravaganza to commemorate the 1814 British raid on Essex and the burning of American ships in the harbor. (The Museum of Fife and Drum is a just a drumbeat away in Ivoryton.)Overheard: “Fweaky!” exclaimed a 6-year-old, from inside a 1775 submarine at the Connecticut River Museum.

First Impression: Put “French” on your shop sign, and I’m happy; thus the jazzy little French Hen and its faux treasures fit the bill. If you’re gift shopping, you can probably cover all the bases in Essex, from kids (Toys Ahoy!) to chocolate (Truffle Shots) to teapots (Weekend Kitchen) to reproduction antique games (Goods & Curiosities).

The Reality: If you want to put food on your table, you’ll have to travel a few miles to Centerbrook, where all amenities—super­market, pharmacy, gas stations—are tucked away.

Essex Board of Trade

Town of Essex

Middlesex Chamber of Commerce
393 Main St., Middletown. 860-347-6924;

Essex Steam Train
1 Railroad Ave. 860-767-0103;

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Annie Graves


Annie Graves


Annie Graves is a regular contributor to Yankee. A New Hampshire native, she has been a writer and editor for over 25 years, while composing music and writing young adult novels. Find out more about Annie at

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2 Responses to Essex, Connecticut | Could You Live Here?

  1. Jenny Tripp January 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    I DO live here. Have since ’01. A fantastic place to be; wonderful architecture and natural setting, but beyond that, great neighbors and neighborhoods.

    • Kim Romero February 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi Jenny- I was reading this article and didn’t think there would be such a “current” reply!

      My husband and I are thinking about making Essex our next home. We have lived in Westport for 25 years where we raised our twin daughters.

      Can you tell me a little about the variety of people that live in Essex? Why do people tend to relocate there? Interests?

      What do you think of the art, food/restaurants/ boating life of the area?


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