Explore the coastal New England village of Essex, Massachusetts – known for shipbuilding, its estuary and pastoral landscapes, distinctive architecture, antique shops, outdoor recreation, restaurants and its clams.

HISTORIC SIGNS ALONG THE TOUR

TOUR OVERVIEW

An introduction to our small, coastal New England village and the interesting historic sites you will discover along the walking tour.

ESSEX TOWN HALL AND T.O.H.P. BURNHAM LIBRARY

This exuberant Shingle Style building with a working clock tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

MEMORIAL PARK

Named as a place to honor our war veterans and used for recreation for over a century since the land was purchased by the Town in 1893.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Housed in the steeple is an original Paul Revere bell, cast in 1797. The first minister, Reverend John Wise, was one of the earliest to speak out against the Salem Witchcraft Delusion of 1692.

OLD BURYING GROUND AND HEARSE HOUSE

Laid out in 1680, the Old Burying Ground was the site of the notorius grave robberies of 1818. The Hearse House still stands and is believed to be one of only three left in America.

CENTRAL SCHOOLHOUSE, VETERAN'S HALL AND MUSEUM

For 55 years, this building was a two-room schoolhouse for 60 pupils in grades one through eight. It later became a meeting hall for veterans and today house Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum exhibits and archives.

SHIPBUILDING IN ESSEX

For over 300 years, close to 4,000 wooden vessels - more two-masted vessels than any other town in the world - were built and launched in Essex. The majority of vessels were fishing schooners. At its peak in 1851, sixty vessels launched from 15 shipyards.

ESSEX SHIPBUILDING MUSEUM

Preserving American maritime history in the heart of Essex at the site of the historic Story Shipyard, established in 1813.

THE ESSEX CAUSEWAY, "GREAT BRIDGE" AND SPAR POND

This main roadway served the needs of Essex shipyards and brought together two parts of a town. Upstream, a spar pond held logs used for masts and booms so they would not dry out.

THE ESSEX BRANCH OF THE EASTERN RAILROAD

Built in 1870 to transport ice cut from Chebacco Lake, the railroad later carried Boston picnickers to Centennial Grove.

OLD SOUTH ESSEX ENGINE HOUSE

In the mid 1800's, this building was the second firehouse built in South Essex.

ESSEX RIVER AND CLAM FLATS

This tidal waterway is central to Essex's economic vitality - from the early days of shipbuilding to shellfishing, boating and recreation today.

THE GREAT MARSH AND ESTUARY

The largest contiguous acreage of salt marsh north of Long Island, extending from Cape Ann to Salisbury, Masssachusetts.

ESSEX ANTIQUE SHOPS

Regarded as "America's Antique Capital", Essex has long been a collector's, dealer's and decorator's paradise.

BURNHAM'S CORNER

This part of town, South Essex, was home to several small shops and one large shoe factory at the end of the 19th century.

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

This Federal-style structure was the gathering place of several different congregations - spanning nearly 200 years.

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Plan your trip to Essex, Massachusetts: www.VisitEssexMA.com

The Historic Essex Walking Tour is sponsored by the Historic Essex Walking Tour Committee, Essex Community Preservation Committee and Essex Merchants Group.

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