Goods & Curiosities, which is one of my favorite Connecticut shopping spots.
Gift stores, especially when they try to stock a wide variety of eye-catching items and associate themselves with a museum or other historic site, can easily slide into the realm of the tacky and cheesy. But this one resists that fiercely (something Essex is not known for) and manages to offer something for literally everyone while still pleasing judgmental snobs like me.
There's a slight focus on Connecticut, New England, and history, but there's also plenty of stuff that has nothing to do with any that. There are candles, toys, cosmetics, accessories, cookbooks, glassware, tea, cards, games, magnets, and approximately 9,000 other categories of tempting things. Prices range from a few dollars to "I think I'll just put that back and pretend I didn't see it."
And even if you somehow don't enjoy this store, you can't complain, because you're in Essex.