October Mystery Harbor: Essex Conn.

The harbor in the Oct./Nov. issue of Points East is Essex, Conn. The Connecticut River Museum, with its cupola and waterside deck, are dead giveaways. One of my first summer jobs was working for a yacht broker housed in the lighthouse on Pratt Street, around the corner from the Essex River Museum. Always love a trip to Essex either by boat or by land; it’s one of the best small towns in America.

Alan Brown
Branford, Conn.

No mistaking the museum

I recognized the Connecticut River Museum right away. I haven’t been to Essex for a few years, but visited many times in the late 1980s and 1990s. Just north (upstream) is Essex Island Marina, and Safe Harbor Dauntless Shipyard (formerly Dauntless Shipyard), where friends of ours bought their Nonsuch 36 back in 1985. I remember when “Soundings” magazine had their office at Dauntless Shipyard, too. This area is very quaint. Enjoyed riding the Essex Steam Train once, and had a great time on the river tour that accompanied it.

Rod Johnson
Plainville, Mass.

Join us for a drink?

Thank you, Points East, for featuring our wonderful home harbor. I will note that the photo is a bit dated because it doesn’t show the newest addition – Carlson’s Landing – built over the last year behind the Connecticut River Museum. Cruise up the river, grab a mooring, and join us at the Griswold Inn, Carlson’s or the Black Seal for a drink, and most certainly learn about our town at the museum.

Tom Klin
Commodore, Essex Yacht Club

Lots of eagles, ospreys

The Mystery Harbor in the Oct./Nov. issue is Essex, a town on the Connecticut River about five miles from where the river meets Long Island Sound. The white building is the Connecticut River Museum and the ferry dock at the end of Main Street is also visible. Essex is a great spot to stop when passing through. We live in Haddam and sail out of Noank, Conn. The trip up and down the Connecticut River is always beautiful and diverse. The topography is unique and nature abounds, including eagles, ospreys and other waterfowl.

Donna and Bob MacKenzie
Haddam, Conn.

PYC around the corner

The large white building is the Connecticut River Museum. Back in the 1990s I worked in Essex at what was then Dauntless Shipyard. Essex is also home to Pettipaug Yacht Club, home of Pettipaug Sailing Academy (PYC) for kids aged 8-15. I now live in Woolwich, Maine, but still belong to PYC. My daughter, Lucy, learned to sail there. She starts working for US Sailing next month.

David Devens
Woolwich, Maine

Brother works on the waterfront

It’s Essex Harbor. I recognized the Connecticut River Museum (larger white building) and the Essex Boat Works (red building barely visible to the left of the museum), as well as Safe Harbor Essex Island located on the upper part of the picture. Essex Harbor is the first freshwater port on the Connecticut River. My wife and I have visited Safe Harbor Essex Island on several occasions and my brother works part-time on the small ferry that brings people to this marina. Worth a visit.

Robert E. Lee
Plainville, Conn.

Hi Dad!

The Mystery Harbor in the Oct./Nov. issue is Essex Harbor in Essex, Conn. The former steamboat dock is a giveaway. I believe the picture was taken from the editor’s boat. I have sailed and motored there most of my life and also live there.

Robert Muggleston, Sr.
Ivoryton, Conn.

New England charm

The Mystery Harbor featured in the Oct./Nov. issue is Essex, Conn. We make a point of taking our boat there every year. It’s such a beautiful and scenic trip up the Connecticut River, with spectacular landscapes and numerous bird species to spot. The town also has tremendous New England charm and numerous shops to visit as well as the Griswold Inn, one of the oldest in the country. The Connecticut River Museum (the white building in the photo) is an interesting visit, with enlightening details on the importance of the Connecticut River and former boat-building industry in Essex.

Rai Muhlbauer
Branford, Conn.

It’s an old photo

The mystery harbor in the Oct/Nov 2019 issue is Essex, Conn. BTW, it’s a dated photo. At the old steamboat dock lies the Mary E. Built in Maine in 1906, she was brought back to Maine a few years ago by the Maine Maritime Museum, restored and is now berthed there. Currently the historic replica Onrust is docked at the steamboat dock. Thanks for a great publication.

John B. Amendola, Sr.
Essex, Conn.

Best bar ever

It’s Essex, looking north on the Connecticut River at the Connecticut River Museum with Safe Harbors Dauntless Marina in the background. I live nearby, and often run through Essex Harbor on my classic 16’ Brockway runabout (if you’re not familiar with Brockways, you should look them up). During the War of 1812, the British burned a sizable number of ships being built in and around Essex Harbor. Beyond its interesting history, Essex has a regional theater (the Ivoryton Playhouse) and it also has the best bar EVER, the Griswold Inn. “The Gris” dates back to 1776, and is a two-minute walk from the harbor. Once in there, it’s a hard bar to get out of . . . just sayin’.

John Dillon
Old Saybrook, Conn.

Hey, I recognize that schooner!

Happily I recognized the Mystery Harbor in the Oct./Nov. issue: It’s Essex, Connecticut. The big white building on the left is the Connecticut River Museum. The green schooner to the right of the building is the Mary E. I was on the Mary E many years ago in a schooner race in lower Manhattan. It was during a storm and the mast broke. We weren’t able to race but our crew got invited to sail on the Harvey Gamage, at least for a short while until the weather got too dicey and the race had to be called off. The Mary E’s mast was replaced and she’s still sailing today.

Last summer we were lucky to be able to spend some time in Essex. We stayed at Safe Harbor Essex Island, which is that group of buildings in the center of the photo. This marina is great! It has wonderful and attentive dock staff, a large pool, grill areas, clean showers and heads and a laundry (always a plus for the cruising yachtswoman). We had a wonderful meal at the Essex Yacht Club, which is on the other side of the waterfront. It was one of the best meals we had all summer. And, of course, we had lunch at The Gris.

Sally Small
Bronx, N.Y.

Oliver Cromwell was built there

That would be the harbor at Essex, Conn., and the large white building is the Connecticut River Museum. Essex is a great town rich in boating and naval history. Each year the town commemorates the British attack in 1814 with a parade. Also, the largest ship in the Connecticut State Navy, the Oliver Cromwell, was built there in 1775. It’s a fun place to visit for boaters, with lots of great restaurants and tons of boats. My wife and I have a Catalina 36 in North Cove in Old Saybrook, south of Essex, and cruise by quite a bit.

Tom and Julie Tydeman
Old Saybrook, Conn.

Bought his boat there

This is a photo of Essex, Connecticut taken from the Connecticut River. The big white building is the Connecticut River Museum. We purchased our Nonsuch, Whimsy, from Eastland Yacht brokers in Essex and have spent many happy nights at anchor there after an evening of food, drink and music at The Gris. Which just happens to be right up the street from the docks.

Stu McCalley
Brookline, Mass.

Sold his boat there

The photo is of the Connecticut River at Essex. Pictured in it are the Connecticut River Museum and Safe Harbors Essex Island. I know the harbor because I bought my last powerboat, a Tiara Sovran, from a seller on the Connecticut River, and later sold it through a broker at Essex Boat Works.

Bruce Marcel
Wareham, Mass.

Sea shanties, anyone?

The Mystery Harbor in the Oct./Nov. issue is Essex, Conn. The white building on the left is the excellent Connecticut River Museum. The benches on the bulkhead around the museum are a wonderful place from which to watch a sunrise. Essex is home to the Griswold Inn, which always features sea shanties in the pub on Monday nights. Essex has been my jumping off point for many a Connecticut River adventure.

Gaeton Andretta
Milford, Conn.

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