All About: Essex

Population: About 6,500

County: Middlesex

Size: About 12 square miles

History: One of the few American towns to ever be attacked by a foreign power, Essex suffered the most economic losses during the War of 1812 in April of 1814. It’s been equated to the Pearl Harbor of that war. It was during this attack that the name of this town was changed from Pettipague to Essex. The British marched to the Bushnell Tavern (which is now the Griswold Inn where the Anti-Couric and Asian Persuasion have been known to drink heavily and sing along with sea chanteys on a Monday night), stole all the town’s rope, stole a crapton of the town’s rum (BASTARDS!) and generally ran a muck. We couldn’t find demographics for race, but having been there and knowing the rest of CT, we’re going to go ahead and say it’s mostly Caucasian…as in, like 99.8%.

Something Weird: Akin to Star’s Hollow on Gilmore Girls, Essex sponsors an annual Groundhog Day parade. A large paper mache groundhog named “Essex Ed” is carried through town and people cause a ruckus in order to wake him up and make Spring come earlier. The town also sponsors a “Loser’s Day Parade,” which celebrates the aforementioned attack by the Brits in 1814. Every spring they also have Shad Bake sponsored by the Essex Rotary Club. Now if we could get some Founder’s Day Punch…