Quaint and quiet, tucked away in the valleys of the river, Deep River is classic Connecticut. A sense of community, respect and volunteerism forms its cultural foundation; a bedrock as beautiful as its brick walkways and colonial architecture. As you walk through town, you pass by an assortment of mom-and-pop shops in the quaint old buildings that one can only find in New England. Should you look back in time, however, the history of Deep River is more sordid than splendid.
From 1840 to 1940, the U.S. was the world’s biggest buyer of ivory. Up to 100,000 elephants were killed a year, their bodies left to rot in the hot African sun while their tusks were hauled onto steamships and over to the US to be cut into ivory combs, piano keys, and billiard balls. The bulk of that ivory went to Deep River and the nearby village of Ivoryton in Essex. Deep River was dubbed the “Queen of the Valley”, due to the wealth from the ivory industry.
Today, Deep River does not hide from this shameful past. The dark history is woven into school curriculums to inform the younger generations. And many of the town’s citizens and local companies make contributions towards elephant and wildlife preservation. A statue of an elephant stands in front of Town Hall with a plaque to commemorate the past. The last line on the plaque reads, “Deep River remembers its debt to this majestic creature as it looks forward to a new future as ‘Queen of the Valley.’”
In keeping with our community culture, we at Deep River Soaps also volunteer a portion of all net profits to be donated to the SAVE THE ELEPHANTS, the world’s most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program.