Located just minutes away from Boston proper in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the Custom House Maritime Museum continuously supports and preserves the history of the eastern seaboard’s first major commercial port. The custom house was built in 1835 to further overseas trade and to collect taxes coming in from imported goods. Over the years, the custom house took on several additional jobs including making women’s shoe heels and storing submarine parts. Today, the Custom House Maritime Museum stands as a tribute to the past and center for education.
Galleries include original historic artifacts and official, authentic replicas of famed objects. Tour the exhibits based on everything from navigation to maritime tools, the U.S. Coast Guard, shipwrecks, and more. Visit the Moseley Gallery to see the miniature replicas of tall ships including the famed Dreadnought, the fastest ship of its time, built right here in Newburyport. The Custom Collectors Office displays the office equipment, books, artifacts, and more used by the custom house’s clerical staff who ran the business end of the commercial seaport. Among the other exhibits, the Coast Guard Room is perhaps one of the most fascinating. Here you will learn that Newburyport is the official birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard and continues preserving its heritage by applauding the strength of the men and women who serve in its forces.
The Custom House Maritime Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from May to December and on weekends from January to April. Active duty military members and children under the age of 6 are welcomed free of charge. Come by with your travel group and learn about what it was like to work in a commercial seaport, how it was built, and more.