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Connecticut River Museum Celebrates 50 Years

October 12, 2023 @ 9:00 am - October 12, 2024 @ 5:00 pm

50th Anniversary Celebration

October 12, 2023-October 12, 2024


“The most historic property on the Connecticut River.”

It all started over a bowl of clam chowder at the Griswold Inn. It was 1972, and Tom Stevens—historian, former director of the Mystic Seaport and Deep River resident—was enjoying his usual Friday bowl of chowder when Bill Winterer, owner of the Griswold Inn, stopped at Stevens’ table to chat. Winterer and his wife, Victoria, had recently bought the old warehouse at the foot of Main Street known as Steamboat Dock. Winterer described his plans for the property. “That is the most historic property on the Connecticut River,” Stevens said. “It deserves something better than yet another commercialization.” Winterer mentioned the idea to Vicky, whose field is historic preservation, and got an immediate enthusiastic response. Thus, the idea of preserving the property and the rich history surrounding it became both a hope and an aspiration. It emerged as a considerable challenge but community support was strong. In 1974, Bill Winterer organized a group of active citizens at the Gris. Soon thereafter, the Connecticut River Foundation came into being. The story of the Museum and River are intertwined and ongoing. Share your stories of the Museum and the River and help of celebrate 50 years!


Oral History Project: Share Your Story

As the Connecticut River Museum looks back over 50 years and looks ahead to our next 50, we want to hear from you. Tell us your story! Use the link below to respond to one of the following prompts:

  • Why does exploration of the River’s history matter?
  • How are you a part of the Connecticut River Museum’s story?
  • How do you see yourself and the museum in the future as stewards of the River?
  • The Connecticut River Museum is a wonderful resource because…


Tell Us Your Story! 


Milestones in our 50th Anniversary Celebration:

  • October 12, 2023: Brenda Milkofsky Curatorial Dinner and 50th Anniversary Kick-off
  • April 18, 2024 – October 2024: Special Exhibit: Getting There: Wayfinding on the Water in the Pre-Modern Age
  • June 23, 2024: Environmental Symposium
  • September 2024: Block Party




October 12, 2023 @ 9:00 am
October 12 @ 5:00 pm
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