Connecticut River Museum

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Schooner Mary E at the Connecticut River Museum dock

















The Connecticut River Museum is your gateway to the river's 410 miles of cultural history and natural heritage. Located on the river in historic Essex, CT, the Connecticut River Museum offers exhibits, programs, workshops, tours and events throughout the year. The museum is housed in the National Register Steamboat Dock building. Built in 1878, it is the last steamboat warehouse remaining on the River. As you visit the exhibits, imagine steamboats pulling up to the dock and unloading goods and passengers onto the bustling waterfront. The Museum is open year round and offers long-term and seasonal exhibits exploring historic and environmental stories of the river and the communities along it.

When you visit you can: 

  • Board a 75-foot historic schooner and explore the River's heritage and natural beauty up close. Seasonal cruises and group tours are available.
  • Learn the mysterious fate of the Turtle, the world's first submarine. Climb aboard an interactive replica and pedal the pedals and crank the cranks! Would you have volunteered for the mission?
  • Discover the British Raid of 1814, when the British raided Essex and burned 27 privateer ships! Explore the exhibit, stand on the lawn where the action really happened and commemorate the event in May with the annual parade and family activities.
  • Explore the river in winter on an EagleWatch cruise as you watch majestic bald eagles and other winter wildlife.

The Connecticut River Museum offers workshops and tours for adult and youth groups. School programs are available for grades K-12 and are all designed to connect with common core standards. The Museum also offers 6 weeks of Summer Adventure Camps for children ages 6 - 12. Each week of day camp explores a different theme connected to the  river, including: Colonial Survival Camp, Digging Into the Past, Life at Sea and Wild River. Please contact the education department at 860.767.8269 x113 or for more information.

For specific information about current exhibits or programs visit: or find us on Facebook.