Opening of the C.D. Batchelor exhibit on June 6th, 2015

Programs & Projects

The Society is always looking for new participants for its programs and projects. Anyone interested in being involved, please contact James J. Hogan III, Vice President, 860-391-2354.

Press Releases

DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS: The Political Cartoons of C.D. Batchelor

Viewed by millions daily, in The New York Daily News and syndicated in 1,000 newspapers across the country the work of C.D. Batchelor, was thought provoking and challenged the reader to draw his own conclusions.

Batchelor was hired by The New York Daily News in 1931 and his strong, graphic cartoons filled the upper-right columns of the editorial page, seven days a week for the next twenty-five years. He was the first political cartoonist to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and by 1947 his work was circulated to nearly three million readers. Funded in part by a grant from the Connecticut Humanities, the Deep River Historical Society invites you to step into his world, view a collection of his work that spanned 40 of the most turbulent years in U.S. history.

The exhibit will be open at the Stone House of the Deep River Historical Society at 245 Main Street, Deep River on Saturdays and Sundays from 2-4 pm through the months of July and August.

On June 6th a special opening day event tours of the exhibit and a rare opportunity to also tour the historic 18th century Deep River home of Batchelor.

Antique cars on the grounds added another historical touch to the exhibit for the day.

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives.


Historic Waterfront Tours scheduled in Deep River

Deep River's commercial connection to the rest of the world started at the end of Kirtland and River Streets in the early 1800's. What is now known as the Town Landing, was a shipyard and dock, which collectively, were the linchpin to Deep River's mercantile success. The shipbuilding provided the vessels and the dock provided the point of delivery of raw materials and the shipment of end products, that made Deep River an economic success.

A lecture and tour of Deep River's Historic Waterfront will be offered every second and forth Saturday morning, this June, July, August and September, in a tour sponsored by the Deep River Historical Society. The tour will start at the home of sea captain and ship builder, Calvin Williams, at 131 Kirtland Street, (immediately left of the Mt Saint John entrance pillars), starting at 10:00 AM each tour day.

The tour will include a discussion of the following historic waterfront sites and topics:

- The 1826 Captain Calvin Williams Homestead
- The c1871 John S. Lane Store
- The 1818 and 1837 Wahginnicutt Hotel
- The 1750’s to 1799 Williams/Kirtland House
- The 1793 – 1867 Southworth/Denison Shipbuilding Yard
- Kirtland Rocks
- The 1842 Obadiah Dickinson Homestead
- The 1883 “Lace Factory”
- The 1907 Mount Saint John School
- The 1871-1968 Railroad & 1915 Freight Depot
- The ivory trade
- The New Era newspaper prints the first ad for Steamboat Excursions 4/5/1907

Each tour is expected to be about 1 1/2 hour duration and will start punctually at 10 AM.

Reservations are recommended and tickets may be acquired at the door, or in advance, from the programs Director: James Hogan, by calling 860-391-2354, or at two convenient store locations:

1. Celebrations, 161 Main Street, Deep River
2. Old Saybrook Antiques Center, 756 Middlesex Tpke, Old Saybrook

The costs for tickets: $20 per family; $10 adults; $5 students and senior citizens

100% of all donations will benefit the Deep River Historical Society.

Ask for a membership application, while on the tour.

Tour Dates:
June: 13th and 27th
July: 11th and 25th
August: 8th and 22nd
September: 12th and 26th

All tours are rain or shine, as there is ample protection at the Capt. Calvin Williams site.

For more information call: James J. Hogan III at: 860-391-2354


Strawberry Social and Berry Basket Raffle

Please join us at Deep River Historical Society’s annual Strawberry Social, Sunday, June 14th from 2-4 pm at the Carriage House, 245 Main Street, Deep River. Donation at the door includes strawberry shortcake (with real whipped cream!) and a hot or cold beverage. There will be a Berry Basket raffle which includes gift certificates for local merchants. Contact Charlotte Lazor (860) 526-5979 or via email for more information.

Charlotte Lazor
19 Kirtland Street
Deep River, CT 06417
O: (860) 685-2994
H: (860) 526-5979


Deep River and the African Elephant Press Release

In 2011, 25,000 African elephants were slaughtered by poachers supplying illegal ivory traders and more were decimated last year. A study from the Wildlife Conservation Society shows that 60 percent of all African forest elephants have been killed in the last decade for their ivory, leaving about 80,000 in their primary habitats in Western and Central Africa.

Though we are half a world away, the town of Deep River has a long history with the African elephant, as well as a strong connection to these gentle giants, and growing concern about their continued welfare and survival in their natural habitat.

For this reason the Deep River Historical Society, the Deep River Rotary Club and the Town of Deep River will be presenting a special two-day program on Saturday, November 9th at 7 pm at the Deep River Town Hall, followed on Sunday, November 10th at 2 pm with a screening of the National Geographic film: “Battle for the Elephants” and an exhibit at 3:15 pm at the Society’s Carriage House chronicling both Deep River’s and Ivoryton’s history with the elephant including memorabilia from our collection of Ivory artifacts. Awards for the elephant program student art and history projects will be presented by Dr. Ruth Levy, Superintendent of Valley Regional Schools and Lorraine Penzara-Griswold, President of Deep River Rotary Club. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Save the Elephant Foundation in Kenya whose mission is “to secure a future for elephants and sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live, to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.”

Our speakers will include:
Dan Ashe, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Brenda Milkovsky, former founding Director of the Connecticut River Museum
Paula Kahumbu, Executive Director of the Kenya Conservation Trust and WildlifeDirect, and Chairman of the Friends of Nairobi National Park
Joe Courtney, US Congressman CT, Second Congressional District

For ticket information, call Nancy Cohn at (860) 526-4407.

Charlotte Lazor
(860) 526-5979


Historical and Architectural Resources Inventory of Deep River

Historical Society Extends Study of Historic Structures in Deep River

The town of Deep River is blessed with many beautiful and historic commercial buildings and homes. These structures serve as living testimonials of Deep River’s colorful history: center chimney capes from the settlement days, classic colonials, stately federals, and Victorians, from the days of the piano key factory. This heritage deserves to be documented and preserved.

The Architectural Heritage Committee, of the Deep River Historical Society, is proud to announce that it has completed a study, with a grant from the State of Connecticut, Department of Economic and Community Development, State Historic Preservation Office. This study, of historic structures in Deep River, is a second phase of the project and includes 241 buildings and will extend our earlier work described below. A third grant in the future will complete this landmark documentation of all historic structures in the town, serving as a resource for many generations to come, and serving as the basis for a potential future book, on Deep River’s architecture and history.

If you are interested in seeing the first and second phase documents prepared through these grants: Historic and Architectural Resources Inventory for the Town of Deep River, Connecticut, they are still available.

The first phase, 520 page document contains: an excellent Historical and Architectural Overview of Deep River, recommendations relative to establishment of National Register Districts, identification of "properties that may be individually eligible for the National Register,” and finally, 470 pages of documentation for 150 historic structures in Deep River. Each and every historic structure has a completed "Historic Resources Inventory" form and a photograph of the building.

The two studies may be viewed on-line, at the Deep River Historical Society web site, at Go to Programs & Projects and then select: "Click here to download (PDF)".
Both of the full reports are also available for review at the Deep River Library.

Click here to download Phase I - 2011 (PDF)
(Please refer to pages 47-50 to view the Index of the Inventoried Resources.)

Click here to download Phase II - 2013 (PDF)

To view the Inventory Forms, click here to download (PDF)


House Documentation Program

The Society will provide you with documented research of your house's deed history, including names and dates of ownership. You will also receive an official plaque to display with pride on the exterior of your house, which will state the name of the earliest owner, and the date that the house was built.

For more information and an application form, click here (PDF)