Shipbuilding and shipping have always been key elements in the life of Essex. Since the seventeenth century, the men and women of the lower Connecticut River Valley sustained maritime traditions that spanned the globe in splendid wooden sailing vessels. Their accomplishments include building the first warship of the Connecticut navy and the world's first submarine. They also served as packet ship captains, navigators and skilled crew members who crossed the Atlantic. The Essex area was also home to dedicated craftsmen who produced some of the finest yachts ever built. Noted historians Wick Griswold and Ruth Major detail one village's important role in American maritime history.