The Story of Paddling and Rowing the Connecticut River

By Press Release from the Connecticut River Museum.

River of Dreams: Paddling on the Connecticut River exhibit is on display at the Connecticut River Museum through October. At one time, the only way to navigate the river was with oars and paddles. Visitors to the exhibit will discover how these human-powered watercraft were built and propelled and learn of the importance and significance of the canoe clubs that can be found scattered down the banks of the river and how they interacted with neighboring yacht clubs and barge clubs.

The exhibit includes documentation, imagery, and tools used to navigate this waterway, from dedicated reenactors such as James Dina, who journeyed up the river following the route the Native Americans used, to a group of boys and teachers on a summer program following the Environmental Movement in the 1960s.

“We are honored to host an exhibit that resonates with so many people. Paddling not only brings you close to nature and solitude, but gives you access to adventure and the unknown,” said Museum Curator Amy Trout. “We encourage everyone to get on the river themselves and make their own memories that can last a lifetime.”

River of Dreams: Paddling on the Connecticut River is sponsored by WestMarine BlueFuture.

The Connecticut River Museum is at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum follows all state and local guidelines; masks are required. For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit