Essex Shipbuilding Museum
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., 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.
Avast there, ye little swabs and come aboard for a fun-filled, hands-on adventure! After exploring the Museum’s replica 18th century fishing schooner (if in port), kids will build wooden models of it!
Work at our Kid’s Bench to build and rig your own boat under the supervision of museum staff. After a stop at the paint station, give your boat a sea trial in our large water tank. The boats make a great souvenir to take home –and explore new worlds in the bathtub!
Great for schools and scout groups or pirate/birthday parties for kids ages 4-10. $150 for up to ten pirates, $15 per child additional, includes toy wooden boats plus rental of the Museum’s Waterline Education Center. Contact our Education Director at (978) 768-6441.
Summer & Fall (June - October) Hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Winter & Spring (November – May) Hours are Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 5:00.
Adults, $7; Seniors, $6; Kids over six years of age, $5. Kids under six years free, Members are always admitted free. Call for appointment for research or group tours.
66 Main Street, Essex, MA, 01929 map
Phone: (978) 768-6441
I-95 South to Rt. 133 Exit. Left at ramp to Ipswich. 133 merges with 1-A. South of Ipswich, take left for 133 Essex. Museum and Shipyard are on left just after intersection of 133 and 22.
I-95 North. At fork bear left for Rt. 128 Gloucester. Take Exit 15, School Street, Manchester/Essex. Turn left, School Street becomes Southern Avenue. Take Left onto 133. Shipyard and Museum are on right after causeway and bridge.
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