Essex Ship Building Museum

66 Main Street
Essex, MA 01929

978-768-7541

The Essex Shipbuilding Museum tells the extraordinary story of a small New England village that built more two-masted wooden fishing schooners than any other place in the world.

Managed by the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum, Inc., a tax-exempt, nonprofit Massachusetts corporation founded in 1937, the Museum was established in 1976 as part of the town's observation of the American Revolutionary Bicentennial. Preserving the history of the wooden shipbuilding industry, an integral part of the economy and culture in New England and the United States since the 1630s, the Museum maintains one of the best maritime collections in the region.

Museum projects have built or interpreted schooners, Chebacco boats, sailing lighters, dories and privateers. One of the last intact American fishing schooners, the EVELINA M. GOULART is currently being preserved and documented. Innovative, experiential educational programs teach concepts through a rich mix of content knowledge and hands-on activities for children, adults, seniors and educators from around the world.

Located in the heart of Essex, Massachusetts, the Museum is adjacent to an acre of land set aside in 1668 "for a yard to build vessels and employing workmen for this end" and is integral to the town's historic character, scenic vista and central river basin. Features include antique shipbuilding tools, photographs, documents, and exhibits portraying the shipbuilding industry. Tours include video presentations and hands-on activities. A gift shop offers ship plans, maritime books, and other nautical memorabilia.

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