Description - Salem Massachusetts was once one of the most important ports in the nation. The historic buildings, wharves, and reconstructed tall ship at Salem Maritime tell the stories of the sailors, Revolutionary War Privateers, and merchants who brought the riches of the Far East to America.
Copyright: National Park Service
Salem Maritime National Historic Site
- The Salem Maritime National Historic Site was established to preserve and interpret the maritime history of New England and the United States. The Site consists of nine acres of land and 12 historic structures along the waterfront in Salem, Massachusetts. The structures preserved here date from the era when Salem ships opened trade with ports of the Far East. The park site documents the development of the Atlantic triangular trade during the colonial period, the role of privateering during the Revolutionary War and the international maritime trade, which established American economic independence after the Revolution. A Visitor Center is located in downtown Salem.
Recreation - This national Historic Site provides a variety of recreation opportunities for individuals interested in American history. A good place to overview the activities and programs available at this park is the Visitor Center in downtown Salem. It provides information on Salem and the Essex County National Heritage Area. In the visitor center you can view "Where Past is Present", a 27 minute overview of 400 years of history in Essex County.
The Heritage Walking Trail connects the visitor center with an orientation center on the waterfront. There visitors can view a film on Salem's maritime history, "To the Farthest Port of the Rich East." Scheduled tours (fee) of the park's buildings leave from the Orientation Center. The waterfront site includes three wharves, the U.S. Custom House complex, the Derby House, the Narbonne House and the West India Goods Store. Restrooms are located at the Visitor Center and Orientation Center.
Climate - Temperatures in northeastern Massachusetts can range from hot and sticky summer days to frigid, cloudy winter afternoons. The region experiences four distinct seasons. The summers are generally warm, but nights can be cool. Winters can be cold with wind, ice and snow. Spring and fall are pleasant with cool, mild temperatures.
Salem Maritime National Historic Site lies in northeastern Massachusetts on the coast north of Boston.