A bird's-eye view of Essex, CT, published by O. H. Bailey in 1881. The town of Essex includes the two villages of Centerbrook and Ivoryton.
Today, some people call Essex "The Pearl Harbor" of the War of 1812, one of the few American towns to be attacked by a foreign power. During the war, when the area was still called by its Indian name, Pettipague, prominent Essex shipbuilder, Captain Richard Hayden, caught the attention of the British when he advertised his newly completed 315 ton sharp schooner, the "Black Prince", suggesting it would make an ideal privateer. The British launched a raid on Essex on April 8, 1814. The economic losses were among the largest sustained during the war, resulting in the loss of 28 vessels. It was after this raid that the village of Pettipague changed its name to Essex. A ceremony is held in Essex each May since 1964, commemorating the "Burning of the Ships".
As the building of wooden ships faded, Comstock Cheney & Co., producing piano keys and ivory products grew to become one of the largest producers of ivory and piano keys in the United States. The village of Ivoryton became the economic center of Essex.
Charming inset illustrations of notable buildings include:
Miner & Co's. Store
M. B. Hall's Store
Connecticut Valley Manufacturing Co., Augers & Bits
Comstock Cheney & Co., Ivory Goods Manufactories
Rose Brothers Store & Post Office, Ivoryton
Comstock Cheney & Co's. Piano Key Manufactory
N. Hayden, Undertaking Hardware Manufactory
S. W. & W. D. Ingersoll's Store
Essex Landing & S. Boat Store House, W. H. Parmelee & Co. Groceries
J. E. Redfield's Tap and Die Manufactory
J. E. Knowles Book & Stationery Store
G. F. Buckingham's Store & Residence
Complete reference list below.
Features numbered references to the following locations:
1. The Comstock Cheney & Co's. Piano Key Factory
2. The Comstock Cheney & Co's. Ivory Factory
3. Rose Brothers, General Merchandise & Post Office
4. G. E. Buckingham, Boot & Shoe Store & Residence
5. Centerbrook Manufacturing Co., Augers, Bits & c.
6. E. Kelsey Ivory Factory
7. Congregational Church, Centerbrook
8. Congregational Church
9. Methodist Church
10. Episcopal Church
11. Baptist Church
12. Hills Academy
13. Town Hall
14. F. Starkey's Sons, Groceries, Hardware & Carpets, & c.
15. Miner & Co., Groceries, Crockery & c., Odd Fellows Hall
16. S. W. & W. U. Ingersoll, Clothing, Dry Goods, Carpets, & c.
17. M. B. Hall, Watches, Jewelry, Pianos, Organs & c.
18. Union House, S. M. Morley, Proprietor
19. John Halliday, & Co., Drugs, Medicines & c.
20. J. R. Post, & Co., Meat Market & Provisions
21. Saybrook National Bank of Essex
22. Saybrook Savings Bank
23. J. E. Knowles, News Dealer & Stationer
24. G. W. Banning, Groceries & Provisions
25. G. H. Post, Stoves, Tinware & c.
26. N. Hayden, Dry & Fancy Goods
27. T. S. Hayden, Groceries & Provisions
28. F. Starkey's Sons, Groceries & Provisions
29. F. Starkey's Sons, Dry Goods
30. Jos. Harrington, Griswold House
31. W. P. Parmelee & Co., Groceries & c., Steamboat Store House
32. W. C. Hough & Co., Wadding Manufactory
33. J. E. Redfield, Tap & Die Manufactory
34. G. Conklin, Block & Spar Manufacturer
35. W. N. Robbins, Rope, Cordage, & c.
36. T. N. Dickinson, Ready Made Clothing
37. S. Tyler, Groceries & Provisions
38. C. H. Pratt, Boot & Shoe Store
39. F. W. Williams, Boot & Shoe Store
40. G. W. Swan, Furniture & Undertaking
41. David Andrews, Groceries & c.
42. N. Hayden, Manufacturer of Undertakers Hardware
43. Tiley & Pratt, Manufactory of Bone Goods
44. Sail Loft & Boat Shop
45. E. W. Pratt & Co. Blacksmiths
46. J. Minke, Boots & Shoes
47. F. G. Dickinson, Store and Masonic Hall