Massachusetts

Maritime Museums | Image Gallery

Battleship Cove: (MA) Explore the world's most complete collection of historic fighting ships. Home of the Battleship Massachusetts and her sister ships, Battleship Cove is open daily, year round, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors get their hands on history as they work the 40mm guns aboard Battleship Massachusetts, explore the decks aboard Destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., dodge torpedoes aboard Submarine Lionfish, see the only two PT boats on public display in the world, and Hiddensee, the only Russian missile corvette on display in the world.

Beverly Historical Society & Museum: (MA) The Beverly Historical Society & Museum preserves and interprets Beverly's maritime, social, artistic, and cultural history. It fulfills this mission by maintaining historic properties; by collecting, exhibiting, and conserving artifacts and archival materials made, used, or associated with Beverly and by making available to researchers library collections.

Boston National Historic Park: (MA) "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution, oldest still-in-commission warship, major maritime museum with "gobs" of historic photos and information.

Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum: (MA) Over 200 years ago on a raw December night, a scraggly band of angry patriots, loosely disguised as Indians, crept along the darkened streets of colonial Boston. With fire in their eyes, they moved stealthily through the murky night to Griffin's Wharf and a rendezvous with history. Now at the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, experience the drama of the single most important event leading to the American Revolution. Discover for yourself what political and economic conditions caused the Boston Tea Party and how it changed history forever!

Cape Ann Historical Museum: (MA) The Cape Ann Historical Museum is a fine regional museum where thousands of visitors come to the quaint fishing town of Gloucester, Massachusetts to see our collections every year...the fine arts, decorative arts and furnishings, fisheries and maritime artifacts, the historic sea captain's house.

Cape Cod Maritime Museum: ( MA) The Cape Cod Maritime Museum in Hyannis, MA showcases the Cape's maritime history with a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits. Opened in 2004 the center is where the region's mritime history is celebrated and studied. And planning is underway for a new building and will establish its own permanent collection of artifacts and displays. From the clambakes of early native americans, to the heroics of 19th century sea captaiins, to today, the sea continues to play a vital role in the economic and recreational lives of Cape Codders and visitors. Ours is a coloful history captured in images, local historical societies, private

Captain Forbes House Museum: (MA) The Forbes estate is in the heart of the Milton Hill Historic District, three miles from the Adams National Historic Site in Quincy. The estate affords a sweeping view of Boston Harbor, where Forbes ships once docked with their exotic cargoes from the Far East. The mansion was occupied by the Forbes family into the 1960's, and later housed the China Trade Museum until 1984. It is now restored to approximate its Victorian appearance in the 1870's, when Alice Bowditch Forbes and James Murray Forbes raised their family here.

Charlestown Navy Yard: (MA) Discover the revolutionary generation of Bostonians who blazed a trail from colonialism to independence. Boston National Historical Park is an association of sites that together give the visitor a coherent view of the city's role in the nation's history. Near downtown Boston, in the Charlestown Navy Yard, is one of the nation's first naval shipyards and the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Also in Charlestown, visit the Bunker Hill Monument, the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. Seven of the eight privately, municipally and federally owned and managed historic sites that comprise Boston National Historical Park and are connected by the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile (4km) walking tour of 16 sites and structures of historic importance in downtown Boston and Charlestown.

Egan Institute of Maritime Studies: (MA) Situated in the historic Coffin School, the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies was established in 1996 to advance the scholary study and application of the history , literature, art, and maritime traditions of Nantucket Island. The Egan Institute seeks to perpetuate the legacy of the school's founder, Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, through its support of nautical training for the youth of Nantucket.

Essex Shipbuilding Museum: (MA) Essex Shipbuilding Museum, founded in 1976, honors the shipbuilders of Essex who built more two-masted vessels than anywhere else in the Western World — over 4,000 two-masted schooners. Museum exhibits at the 1835 schoolhouse, at 28 Main Street, portray the evolution of the American fishing schooner from the Chebacco boat to Schooner Gertrude L. Thebaud.

Expedition Whydah: Pirate Ship: (MA) Welcome to a Site devoted to the pirate shipwreck Whydah--the only documented pirate wreck discovered ever! Commanded by the pirate Sam Bellamy, the Whydah was wrecked off Cape Cod in 1717 by a howling nor'easter. She went to her grave with 144 men--and treasures from over fifty captured vessels aboard! Quickly swallowed up by the hungry sands of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic", the whereabouts of the Whydah's treasures remained a mystery for centuries. Now, ten years, and over 100,000 artifacts later, the work continues on the recovery of the treasures of the pirate ship Whydah--the world's only authenticated pirate reasure and are displayed in the Museum on the Pier in Provincetown, Cap Cod, Massachusetts.

Falmouth Historical Society Museums: (MA) The Falmouth Historical Society has an excellent whaling exhibit At The Conant House Museum, 65 Palmer Avenue, On The Falmouth Village Green in Falmouth, MA. Spermaceti, a waxy solid taken from the heads of sperm whales, was used to make fine clean-burning candles. Whale oil was also used for lighting because it burned with a much finer flame than did the tallow candles of the times. The discovery of crude oil in Pennsylvania resulted in greatly reducing the cost of clean-burning lamp oil and replaced the more expensive whale oil and spermaceti candles. This clean-burning crude oil, a fossil fuel, eventually was responsible for the decline of the whaling industry in New England.

Gloucester Adventure: (MA) A bowspritless "knockabout," 121'6" from stem to stern, the Adventure was solidly built of oak and pine in Essex, Massachusetts in 1926. Carrying a full sailing rig, diesel engine and 14 dories, she spent the next 27 years fishing the North Atlantic's bountiful outer banks from her home port of Gloucester.

Hart Nautical Collections: (MA) The Hart collections began with a gift in 1903 of ship models, drawings, books, photographic materials, and marine art. Worth a visit.

Hull Lifesaving Museum: (MA) The Hull Lifesaving Museum -- the museum of Boston Harbor heritage -- preserves the region's lifesaving tradition and maritime culture through collections, exhibits, experiential and interpretive education, research, and service to others. The museum's open water rowing programs in Boston Harbor educate young people about themselves while developing a constituency that takes stewardship for its maritime history. The deeds, traditions, and ethic of the nineteenth century coastal lifesavers - Skills, Courage, and Caring -- are the foundation of the museum's exhibits and programs, and its underlying commitment to working to impact society, and individual lives, for the better.

Kendall Whaling Museum: (MA) A world-class collection of artworks, maritime artifacts located in a New England countryside where whaling history is a prime focus. Come visit.

Lowell's Boat Shop: (MA) Lowell's Boat Shop in Amesbury built the dory that was the choice of fishermen who entrusted their lives and livelihoods to these able craft. By 1870, the world's largest fishing fleet was located in the port of Gloucester in Essex County, Massachusetts. The bulk of its fishing was done from dories designed and built along Salisbury Point in what is now the Town of Amesbury. Founded by Simeon Lowell in 1793, Lowell's Boat Shop is one of the oldest businesses in America and the country's oldest boat building shop -- still building and repairing boats.

Marblehead Historical Society: (MA) Stroll through history! Located in the lovely seacoast town of Marblehead, MA., nestled among charming and restaurants, harbor views, historic homes and and stunning sea vistas from nearby parks. Maritime and artifacts; toys and children's furniture; historic gardens, are featured at the Museum -- Jeremiah Lee 1768 Mansion. The colonial Georgian mansion was owned by wealthy ship-owner and patriot Colonel Lee.

Maritime & Irish Mossing Museum: (MA) The Maritime & Irish Mossing Museum is a truly unique experience. Set in the 1739 residence of Capt. Benjamin James, a series of videos specific to each exhibit tell the stories of a community rich in the maritime traditions. Museum Designer Pam Martell, whose credits include the Norman Rockwell Museum, has created six exhibits: The Shipwreck Room, The Life Saving Room, The Shipbuilding Room, The Captain's Room, The Irish Mossing Room, and The Orientation Room contains artifacts from Scituate's treasure ship, the Forest Queen, wrecked in 1853 and various changing exhibits and an orientation video.

Martha's Vineyard Historical Society: (MA) Founded in 1922, the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society's Museum's mission is to preserve and share the history of Martha's Vineyard. Collections number over 25,000 items and iinclude the Fresnel lense form the Gay Head lighthouse, boats, carriages, costumes, household goods, tools, Native American artifacts, fossils, art, photography, films, oral histories, and much more. Open year `round, the Vineyard Museum is where you meet the people who have left us such a rich legacy.

Mary Celeste Museum: (MA) The Mary Celeste was launched in Nova Scotia in 1860. Her original name was "Amazon." She was 103 ft overall displacing 280 tons and listed as a half-brig. Over the next 10 years she was involved in several accidents at sea and passed thru a number of owners. Eventually she turned up at a New York salvage auction where she was purchased for $3,000. After extensive repairs she was put under American registry and renamed "Mary Celeste".

Massachusetts Lighthouses: (MA) Massachusetts Lighthouses website provides the visitor views of many of the important and beautiful lighthouses along the Massachusetts Atlantic shoreline.

Middlesex Canal Museum: (MA) The old Middlesex Canal by the Merrimack River, ran from Lowell, MA, to Boston, a distance of twenty-seven miles, during the first half of the nineteenth century. The water link actually extended beyond Lowell, MA, to Concord, N.H., with the addition of a series of bypass canals around the rapids and falls on the Merrimack River in New Hampshire. Construction on the old Middlesex Canal was started in October of 1794 and was completed on schedule on December 31, 1803. Originally, the canal ran from Lowell to the Mill Pond in Charlestown, MA.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: (MA) The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, houses a collection of of 35 ship models and associated maritime artifacts. Also displayed are works by noted marine artists from the nineteenth century are on display including famous paintings by Fitz Hugh Lane and Winslow Homer.

Nantucket Life Saving Museum: (MA) This outstanding museum is dedicated to the human drama of man's efforts against the relentless sea and is testimony to those early Nantucketers who saved hundreds of lives in and near the island's treacherous shores and shoals. It tells the stories of people pitted against the angry demands of the sea...people who risked their lives to rescue others...people who knew and understood the little-known motto of the United States Life-Saving Service and the United States Coast Guard: You have to go out, but you don't have to come back. Waiting for you is one of the last four Mass Humane Society surfboats, its horse-drawn carriage, the only Mass Humane Society beachcart left in existence, two "Race Point" surfboats from the U.S. Life-Saving Service and early U.S. Coast Guard period, relics, artifacts, photographs of the early life on Nantucket's many life-saving stations, Lyle and Hunt guns, a Francis Life-Car, and a completely restored early U.S. Coast Guard beachcart that is still used to demonstrate the beach apparatus drill.

New Bedford Free Public Library: (MA) The main library in New Bedford, MA, has significant historical holdings including the third largest collection worldwide of American Whaling materials, early 19th century Quaker materials, and an extensive genealogy collection. Portuguese language materials are available at the Casa da Saudade branch and Spanish language materials are available at the Howland Green branch.

New Bedford Whaling Museum: (MA) Step inside to learn about one of the most adventurous chapters in our history -- the story of American whaling and its most prominent nineteenth-century port.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park: (MA) The National Historical Park and the adjacent National Register Districts in New Bedford embody the historical and cultural resources associated with and located in New Bedford where its role as the whaling capital of the world during the early to mid-19th century is evident. New Bedford was the world capital of the whaling industry during the decades leading upto the Civil War. The whaling merchants of New Bedford operated a complex business network of finance, shipbuilding, barrel making, insurance, ship supply, and rope and sail making. The sponsors and agents of the ships earned huge profits and for a time and New Bedford was considered to be the "richest city in the world." Today, the Park includes a broad array of business, residential and institutional structures exemplifying the Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian styles of architecture; museums, historical exhibits, and records. which convey the importance, diversity, and financial power of the whaling era

New England Pirate Museum: (MA) The New England Pirate Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, provides for the unique and little-known history of New England sea-robbers which comes alive at the Museum. Tour here first, then go to the Museum to learn about notorious pirate captains, such as; Kidd, Blackbeard, Bellamy and Quelch, who roamed the waters off Boston's North Shore, known as the Gold Coast, while so-called witches were being hanged at Salem.

Old Harbor Life-Saving Station: (MA) "You have to go, but you don't have to come back." Thats what the life- savers' motto was. Life-Savers were stationed on Cape Cod between 1872 and 1915 and its history is preserved in the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station at South Wellfleet, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.

Osterville Historical Society and Museum: (MA) The Cape Cod Boat Shop Museum highlights the boat building industry in Osterville. Even before the Crosbys, boats were built in Osterville since the early part of the 18th century. The Crosby family has been building wooden boats here since 1798. Our boat shops represent the only museum in Massachusetts devoted to the wooden boat building industry A recent addition to the museum is a 1960 Crosby Striper fishing boat. This new addition expands the reach of the museum to power boating, in addition to sailing and rowing craft.

Peabody Essex Museum: (MA) Salem, the seat of America's maritime prowess, can be explored here. Displays of over 400,000 objects are shown at the museum's several sites.

Pilgrim Hall Museum: (MA) Pilgrim Hall Museum was built and opened to the public in 1824. The Museum has been in continuous operation in the United States. A maritime exhibit is in the recovered and preserved lower half of the hull and frame of the Sparrowhawk, an ocean-going vessel sunk off Cape Cod in 1626. Sparrowhawk was found in May 1863; the timbers were excavated from marsh-mud and sand. Long after Pilgrim Hall Museum had been erected, respect for the indomitable spirit of the Pilgrims continued to motivate the Pilgrim Society, as it still does today.

Plimoth Plantation (MA) Brings 17th century New England to life in the 1627 Pilgrim Village and onboard Mayflower II where visitors find themselves transported in time by Pilgrims and the ship's crew speaking in period dialects as they perform the tasks of daily life.

S. S. Nobska Steamer: (MA) The Nobska served the islands of Martha'a Vineyard and Nantucket from Woods Hole, from 1925 to 1973. She's now in drydock at the Charlestown Naval Yard in Boston being refurbished. Stop by and see her.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site: (MA) Derby House and the Custom House here in Salem is the site of great shipbuilding during the 19th century, now fully restored by the National Park Service.

Salt Pond Visitor Center: (Eastham) The Salt Pond Visitor Center of The National Park Service, built the Salt Pond Visitor Center in 1965 at Eastham, MA, and has served close to 500,000 visitors annually ever since. Wooden Ships and Men of Iron is a fascinating review of the maritime history of Cape Cod with emphasis on the whaling industry and the development of sea rescue activities that later evolved into the modern Coast Guard at the Salt Pond Visitor Center. It contains historical footage taken aboard sailing ships. It is Cape Cod National Seashore's main visitor facility, with orientation movies on the half hour, a well-stocked bookstore, a comprehensive museum and restroom facilities.

Sandy Bay Historical Society and Museums: (MA) The Sandy Bay Historical Society and Museum, organized in 1925 at Rockport, MA, is dedicated to the preservation of Rockport history. It was founded under the guidance of Dr. Marshall H. Saville, professor of American Archaeology at Columbia University. The Society was incorporated in 1926.

Schooner Ernestina Commission: (MA) Schooner Ernestina at New Bedford, MA, is a powerful place to teach and a compelling place to learn. On February 5, 1894, a single line in the Gloucester Daily Times recorded an addition to the Massachusetts fishing fleet: "The new schooner for J.F. Wonson and Co. has been named Effie M. Morrissey." This marked the commonplace birth of a schooner that would become famous not only as Grand Banks fisher, but also as arctic expeditionary vessel under the command of Capt. Robert Abram Bartlett and World War II survey vessel under Commander Alexander Forbes. The vessel's educational programs and seminars are tailored to meet the specific needs of schools, colleges and other educational and cultural organizations. The ship continues to make history as a cultural resource rich in tradition and diversity, often serving as a memorable setting for civic, social and corporate

Scituate Lighthouse: (MA) Scituate Lighthouses had their beginning in 1811 and moved through history being deactivated, relit, and finally a proper monument to the life saving it afforded. At the relighting ceremony in August 1994, Kathleen Laidlaw, one of the heroines of Scituate Light, said, "The lighthouse has become almost the symbol of Scituate. The light will bring it back to life."

SUBMARINE: X1B U-boat - PROJECT CA-35D: (MA) The Greatest find since the "Titanic". A Type X1B U-boat has been located off Cape Cod, MA and we are in the process of recovery!! Come visit and out the exciting details of this discovery!

Tugboat Luna: (MA) The Luna Preservation Society (LPS) is a non-profit preservation of the tugboat Luna, a National Historic Landmark moored in Boston, MA. The Luna was the first commercial diesel-electric ship-docking tug of its kind and played an important role in the development of Boston Harbor. She is the last surviving full-sized wooden tug on both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and isin need of major refurbishing.

United States Naval and Shipbuilding Museum: (MA) The United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum is located in Historic Quincy, Massachusetts. The USNSM is the home to the USS Salem (CA 139), the world's only preserved heavy cruiser. USNSM is also home to a large Military Archive and Ordnance Collection, housed aboard Salem. This collection covers many aspects of military history from the pre- Revolutionary War era to the present day.

U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association: (MA) The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association was formed in 1995 at a meeting on Cape Cod, sponsored by the Hull Lifesaving Museum and the National Park Service. It now represents individuals and museums across the United States dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting the rich heritage of America's early life-savers. These include, but are not limited to, the exploits of the Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, U.S. Life-Saving Service, U.S. Lighthouse Service, U.S. RevenueMarine and Cutter Service, plus the heroic operations of the U.S. Coast Guard.

U.S.S. Constitution Museum: (MA) Housed right next to the dock where "Old Ironsides" is berthed, the museum houses objects related to life aboard the ship and include objects removed during restorations of Constitution, examples of sailors arts, historic memorabilia, and decorative arts related to Constitution and the early sailing Navy.

U.S.S. Constitution "Old Ironsides": (MA) The oldest still commissioned warship in the U.S. Navy is now fully reconditioned and sails periodically from its berth in the Charlestown Navy Yard at Boston, Massachusetts. This web page for Old Ironsides is full of information.

Woods Hole Maritime Museum: (MA) Our General Collection includes ship's logs, numerous pieces of personal and business correspondence, including items related to shipping and whaling, diaries, bibles, business records, household receipts, newspaper articles, postcards and sketchbooks. In addition, a photograph collection with over 3000 photos of Woods Hole and Quissett going back to the 1850's, including family albums and photos, village scenes, boats, yachts, steamships, pictures of the early days of the scientific community starting in the 1880's with the U.S. Fish Commission and the Marine Biological Laboratory.