Get to Know Your CT Towns – Deep River

By Simply Local CT
Founded in 1635 (as part of the now-defunct Saybrook Colony), Deep River is a small Middlesex County town with a character and style all its own. While the center of town has always had the name designation of Deep River, it wasn’t until 1947 that the town as a whole took on that name, as it was the last remaining part of Saybrook colony and residents wanted to move forward with a new identity. Within the past decade, Main Street in Deep River has become a destination for great dining, grocery shopping, unique specialized shops and boutiques, and even a center for nightlife with such options as the Red House and the Ivory Restaurant & Pub.
The Red House and The Ivory are fast proving that Deep River still has plenty to offer to young people who are looking for a fun night out on the town. With excellent food, live music, full bars, karaoke nights and more, both of these establishments are helping Deep River to take back the night. By day, there are also many great small eateries to stop at, such as:
• The Whistle Stop – a small diner on the North side of town serving breakfast and lunch
• El & Ela’s Fine Foods – a deli and bakery serving sandwiches, soups, and take-home prepared dinners
• Hally Jo’s Corner Restaurant – a friendly little breakfast and lunch stop on the corner of Main Street and River Street
• Pizzeria DaVinci – an Italian restaurant serving thin crust pizza and subs (with 11 other locations throughout CT)
• Deep River Pizza – a restaurant serving Greek style pizza and several other Greek specialties
After you’ve eaten, you can indulge in some unique and sophisticated shopping at some of the town’s revamped stores, boutiques, and even a cozy bed & breakfast. Some of the most notable ones include:
• Celebrations – a family-owned gift shop that has been on Main Street in Deep River for 30 years and has withstood the ups and downs of the economy through it all.
• Anchor & Compass – a men’s clothing store and gift shop that prefers to bill itself as a “Store for Guys”
• Chaos- Unique Boutique - a unique designer clothing and jewelry store,
• Ideal Skate Shop – a specialty store catering to the extreme sports crowd
• Deep River Hardware – an old fashioned full service hardware store equipped with all the tools you could ever need and a knowledgeable staff always willing to lend a helping hand
• Fine Line Tattoo Parlour– a great place for anybody living on the edge and looking for some skin art. Just make sure you hit here BEFORE you go out for drinks
• Leah’s Bella Vita – a professional salon that’s fast becoming a hit with local women and the place to go for prom hairstyling
• Riverwind Inn – a historic bed & breakfast with luxurious inns and suites that harken back to a time where hospitality was a more personal thing
• Main Street Sweet Shoppe – an ice cream and dessert shop filled with scrumptious sweets and friendly faces
• Deep River Toy Company – a toy store with toys, games, and educational fun for children of all ages
While Main Street’s new attractions are certainly bringing more people in to town and making for a bustling downtown area, it is truly a mix of the old and the new that make Deep River such an appealing and enjoyable town in which to visit, live, work, and play. Since 1954, Deep River has played host to the Deep River Ancient Muster, an annual July event that has become the largest single gathering of fife and drum groups in the entire world. If delving back much deeper into history is more your style, the Deep River Historical Society at the Stone House has several fascinating exhibits that display the special and proud local history that our town has enjoyed. In addition to this, Deep River’s Town Hall is one of the only flat iron municipal buildings left in America.
Deep River also has several beautiful spots where you can just relax and take in the wonders of nature. The Deep River town landing is a great spot to stop and view the Connecticut River and to see some breathtaking foliage during fall. The Essex and Riverboat make a stop at this location on their tour and on any given day, you can expect to periodically see an authentic steam engine pass by filled with waving hands and smiling faces. You’ll also be able to see the Becky Thatcher, an old fashioned paddle-wheeler riverboat that makes regular runs up and down the lower Connecticut River.
The next time you find yourself cruising Route 9 or Route 154, take the time to stop and pay a visit to Deep River, the quaint little Connecticut town that has both a rich history and a bright future and tons to offer to anyone willing to stop and take a look.
163 Main Street
Deep River, CT
(860) 322-4327

161 Main Street
Deep River, CT 06417
(860) 526-5134
114 Main Street
Deep River, CT, 06417
(860) 526-6878

202 Main Street
Deep River, CT 06417
(860) 526-0818

159 Main Street
Deep River, CT, 06417
(860) 526-9377

1 Railroad Avenue
Essex, CT, 06426
(860) 767-0103

160 Main Street
Deep River, CT 06417
(860) 526-2011

165 Main Street
Deep River, CT 06417
(860) 526-8838

126 Main Street
Deep River, CT 06417
(860) 334-5277

162 Main Street
Deep River, Ct, 06417
(860) 526-9012

181 Main Street
Deep River, CT, 06417
(860) 526-0884

158 Main Street
Deep River, CT, 06417
(860) 526-2600

Deep River, CT, 06417

1 Kirtland Street
Deep River, CT, 06417
(860) 526-2528

209 Main Street
Deep River, CT, 06417
(860) 526-2014

108 Main Street
Deep River, CT, 06417
(860) 526-4122

Deep River Muster, a very old tradition around here

Folks around here know that the Deep River Muster is a local tradition and one of the largest musters in the country. The Deep River Muster has been known to make toddlers cover their ears and raise the spirits of onlookers, and this year was no exception when the event took place Saturday, July 21.

And the music of ancient fife and drum does have a colorful past.

Horses have nearly dropped dead from fright because of the noise. And when it was performed for President Chester Arthur, it cracked the White House plaster.

The high shrill of a wooden fife and the thunderous beat of rope-tensioned snare and bass drums have long inspired such fabulous folklore. The dramatic, plaintive music, whose roots trace back to Medieval Europe, has been preserved for centuries, especially in Deep River. For residents here, performing ancient fife and drum music has become a tradition enthusiastically passed down from generation to generation.

Devitt Field is home to the largest ancient fife and drum muster in the United States. The Deep River Ancient Muster, which originated in 1953, attracts at least 75 corps from all over the country, as well as Canada and Switzerland. The festivities take place every third Saturday in July and kick off with a torchlight "tatoo" the night before.

Musters are not history lessons. They are based in tradition, not fact, and have been called "folk music in military uniform." The musicians play patriotic tunes and wear uniforms reflecting the spirit of various historic periods: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

While musters were originally all-male and all-adult, now many women and children participate in the Deep River Ancient Muster. As they walk in "quicksteps," playing at 80-110 beats per minute, the uniformed corps brighten the streets of Deep River with a vibrant rainbow of scarlets, blues, grays and white and fill the air with infectious sing-along numbers.

The Deep River Ancient Muster is a recipient of the Connecticut Valley Tourism Commission Award of Excellence and the Connecticut Tourism Industry Event of the Year Award.

Perhaps General George Washington said it best. During the Revolutionary War, the General ordered the fife and drum corps to attend their assigned practice sessions so they wouldn't disrupt the soldiers at war. "Nothing is more agreeable and ornamental, than good music," the future president said. Tens of thousands of Deep River Ancient Muster devotees couldn't agree with him more.


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 02, 2012

Presidential Proclamation -- National Foster Care Month

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Childhood is a time for our young people to grow and learn, protected by their families and safe in their homes. But for almost half a million children who are unable to remain at home through no fault of their own, childhood can be a time of sadness, pain, and separation. These children need and deserve safe, loving, and permanent families who can help restore their sense of well-being and give them hope for the future.

During National Foster Care Month, we recognize the promise of America's children and youth in foster care, and we commend the devotion and selflessness of the foster parents who step in to care for them. We also pay tribute to the professionals nationwide who work to improve the safety of our most vulnerable children and assist their families in addressing the issues that brought them into the child welfare system. In communities across America, dedicated men and women -- in schools, faith-based and community organizations, parent and advocacy groups -- volunteer their time as mentors, tutors, and advocates for children in foster care. We all have a role to play in ensuring our children and youth grow up with the rich opportunities and support they need to reach their full potential.

My Administration is committed to increasing positive outcomes for every infant and child in foster care, and to promoting a successful transition to adulthood for older youth. We are working to increase permanency through reunification, adoption, and guardianship; to prevent maltreatment; to reduce rates of re-entry into foster care; and to ensure all qualified caregivers have the opportunity to serve as foster parents. Through the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, we are granting States more flexibility in supporting a range of services for children in foster care, including health care and treatment of emotional trauma. And through the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, every State will be required to extend Medicaid coverage up to age 26 for former foster youth.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Children's Bureau, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that carries forward a legacy of protecting our Nation's children and strengthening families through programs like the Permanency Innovations Initiative. Over 5 years, this initiative is investing $100 million in new strategies to identify permanent homes for youth in long-term foster care, including more than 100,000 children awaiting adoption, and to reducing time spent in foster care placements.

National Foster Care Month is a time to reflect on the many ways government, social workers, foster families, religious institutions, and others are helping improve the lives of children in foster care, and it also serves as a reminder that we cannot rest until every child has a safe, loving, and permanent home. Together, we give thanks to those individuals from all walks of life who have opened their hearts and their homes to a child, and we rededicate ourselves to ensuring a bright and hopeful future for America's foster youth.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2012 as National Foster Care Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month by dedicating their time, love, and resources to helping youth in foster care, whether by taking time to mentor, lending a hand to a foster family, or taking an active role in their communities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Plattwood Farm

River line 1980s(?)

Deep River From Above circa 1970

Devil's Rock

It was the custom of the Mattabassett tribe to hold powwows in the meadows of Portland along the Connecticut River.

During these events, the Indians boasted of war path bravery and sometimes, the bragging bordered on disrespect for high-ranking chiefs and medicine men.

At one powwow, a young warrior event insulted the gods. Boasters had been told by the elders that excessive boasting might result in being abducted by the great Evil Spirit (the devil), but the young brave scoffed at the notion.

The Native Americans believed the Evil Spirit lived in a deep hole in the nearby river. When this young brave boasted, the spirit bounded from the hole, like a geyser, seized the brave and sucked him back into the deep hole, leaving behind a footprint on a rock from which the spirit had jumped.
The brave was never seen again, and the footprint, hooved like a goat’s, is still there today. It is known as Devil’s Rock.