Essex is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 6,683 at the 2010 census. It is made up of three villages: Essex, Centerbrook, and Ivoryton. Essex is one of the few American towns to ever be attacked by a foreign power; this occurred on April 8, 1814, and the economic losses were among the largest sustained by the United States during the War of 1812. Twenty eight vessels, with a total value estimated to be close to $200,000 (at a time when a very large two story home in Essex, then known as Potapoug Point, would have been worth no more than $1,000), were destroyed by the British. One historian has called it the "Pearl Harbor" of that war.