Deep River (formerly known as Saybrook) is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 4,610 at the 2000 census. The town center is also designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). Deep River is part of what the locals call the "Tri-town Area" made up of Deep River, Chester, and Essex, Connecticut.
Every year on the third Saturday in July, Deep River hosts the Deep River Ancient Muster. It is the largest one day gathering of fife and drum corps in the world.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.2 square miles (36.7 km²), of which, 13.6 square miles (35.1 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (4.30%) is water. The CDP has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.1 km²) of which 4.38% is water.
Saybrook Colony formally joined Connecticut in 1644. The portion of the original colony east of the Connecticut River was set off as a separate town in 1665. The site of the present village of Deep River was said to have been owned by John, Nathaniel, and Philip Kirtland in 1723 The village of Winthrop was said to have been settled by Baptists as early as 1729. In the early to mid-19th century, various portions of Saybrook broke off as separate towns, starting from Chester in 1836 to Old Saybrook in 1854. In 1947, the town of Saybrook changed its name to "Deep River", matching the name of the town center village.
Towns created from Saybrook Colony
Saybrook Colony along the mouth of the Connecticut River was one of the early settlements in the area. Several towns broke off and incorporated separately over the course of time. The towns which were created from parts of Saybrook Colony are listed below.
Lyme (originally East Saybrook) in 1665
East Lyme created from Lyme in 1839 (also partly from Waterford)
Old Lyme (originally South Lyme) created from Lyme in 1855
Chester in 1836
Westbrook in 1840
Essex (originally Old Saybrook) in 1852
Old Saybrook created from Essex in 1854