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The Raymond Boathouse Maritime Museum is Open!

Norwalk’s newest museum and the only maritime museum in Fairfield County is open! The Raymond Boathouse features permanent exhibits on the ecological history of Long Island Sound, Native Americans, oystering families and their businesses, gorgeous photographs of boats on the Sound from days gone by, a spectacular collection of model New England work boats, sail and ship making tools, and much more.


The Boathouse was built for publisher George Palmer Putnam who owned a summer estate on Rowayton Avenue from 1861 to 1867. Although a resident of Rowayton for only a short time, Putnam’s indelible influence can still be felt today. Along with his friend artist Vincent Colyer of Contentment Island, he was instrumental in bringing the train station and the Post Office to Rowayton as well as founding the first library here in 1867 and funding the children’s Sunday school at the Rowayton Methodist Church.

Following the sale of the Putnam property in 1867 to stockbroker Robert Barclay and his wife Mary, the gothic style boathouse was used for recreational boating by the Barclay family. An avid yachtsman, Robert Barclay was an enthusiastic supporter of the Norwalk Yacht Club.


The Barclay estate was torn down in the 1970s, and only its boathouse and barn are still standing today. The boathouse was moved to three separate locations within the Jenkins/Ely Boatyard before being donated to the Rowayton Historical Society by Grove Ely and moved to Pinkney Park in 1992.

The Boathouse was dedicated to the memory of Rowayton Historical Society founder Frank E. Raymond in 2000 and now houses a marine and boat exhibit highlighting Rowayton’s relationship to Long Island Sound. 

Enormous thanks to Pamela Proctor and Mike Mushak for their generous donations of design, energy, and time to create this beautiful new entrance to the Boathouse.

Boathouse night of.jpeg
Contribute to the new exhibit space at the Raymond Boathouse
Contribute to Our New Exhibit Space at the Raymond Boathouse

Historic Rowayton is seeking funding to add to the Frank E. Raymond Boathouse in Pinkney Park. We host exhibits on local oystering families, hurricanes, ship builders, sailing heroes, Native Americans and maritime disasters and much more. The space also features a permanent exhibit on the ecological history of the Five Mile River, highlighting the flora, fauna and marine life that flourish in our waters.

We invite our community to support this effort and share stories of life on the Long Island Sound. 


Donations towards the renovation of the Boathouse may be sent to HR at PO Box 106, Rowayton, 06853 or through PayPal:

Many thanks to these generous donors who have already contributed towards this exciting new venture:


Sponsors of the Boathouse Opening  

  • Classis Prep

  • Fairfield County Bank

  • Tammy Langalis and Judy Hyers of Raveis

  • Meg Douglas and Kelly Connelly, Pinnacle by Compass

  • DR Bank

Supporters of the Boathouse Renovation

Businesses and Organizations:

  • DR Bank

  • Emig Foundation

  • Fairfield County Bank

  • Friends of the Norwalk Museums

  • Rowayton Civic Association

  • Sixth Taxing District of Norwalk

  • Rowayton Turkey Trot

  • Darien Sail and Power Squadron

  • Connecticut Humanities Council


  • Terry Atkin and Dirk Kramer

  • Suzy and Michael Aubrey

  • Bruce and Cherie Burton

  • Ellen and Ray Duggins

  • Susan B. Edwards

  • Jean Ely

  • Donna and Frank Gauthier

  • Loretta Goeller

  • Jordan and Lisa Grant

  • Garth and Julie Griffiths

  • John Igneri and Chris Tierney

  • Dana Laird

  • Lesley Korzennik​

  • William Korzennik

  • Claudia Kretschman

  • Jack and Shelley Lepetich

  • Wendell and Tom Livingston

  • Terry Machette in memory of Tucker Machette

  • Walt and Lynn MaGinnis

  • Christine Penberthy

  • Lynne and Doug Pratt

  • John Pullan and Jody Bishop-Pullan

  • Mark Schonberger and Nadine Shaoul

  • Burt and Ethelle Shatz

  • Ashley Sheen

  • Don Wilson

  • Dick and Robin Woods

  • Woody and Andrea Woodworth

  • Maeve and Steve Zamsky


We’d also like to thank our interns Andrew Bergman and Erin White who catalogued the Museum’s maritime artifacts for future display and scholarship.

boathouse pics
Father and son at the tidal pool.jpg
Knot board by Dick Woods.jpg
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