Connecticut River Museum displays history of war, commerce in the state

The Connecticut River Museum gives visitors an inside look at the history of how the state used to operate.
Jennifer Carlson, executive director of the museum, says before there were highways, railroads and cars, commerce developed through waterways.
“Many of the towns and cities along the Connecticut River were really pivotal to the formation of Connecticut,” Carlson says.
The river goes from Canada all the way to Long Island Sound and provides 70% of its freshwater.
Visitors to the museum can go out on a historic ship called the Onrust.
Mark Fowler, of the Grace Farms Foundation, says the ship was used by a Dutch explorer who came to the river hundreds of years ago and traded with native people who lived in the area.
“As you explore this incredible town of Essex, you are going to see the history just surrounds this place,” Fowler says. “The Oliver Cromwell was one of the first warships of the Revolution that was built right here in Essex.”
He says the Griswold Inn was established in 1776 and is the oldest continuous pub in Connecticut.
Carlson says another major point in history displayed at the Connecticut River Museum is the War of 1812.
She says the British raided Essex by coming up the Connecticut River and attacking several boats in the harbor.
The museum also has America’s first submarine used for warfare called The Turtle.