• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

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  • Central Wharf Restrooms Closed

    The Central Wharf public restrooms will be closed on Thursday and Friday, September 18th and 19th for exterior door replacement. They are scheduled to reopen on Saturday at 9am.

  • Fishing Prohibition on Hold

    On 8/20/14 the park issued a rule change prohibiting fishing throughout the park due to concerns over water quality and visitor safety. The fishing prohibition is now on hold, pending further review - click for more information. More »

The Scale House

The Scale House is a brick structure about the size of a two story garage

The Scale House is where U.S. Customs Service equipment was stored.

NPS Photo

The Scale House, built in 1829, was used as a storage facility for the scales and other equipment required to weigh cargo that was unloaded from a ship.

The scales were never used in this building. Rather, they were carted to the wharf and assembled alongside a recently returned vessel. There, the goods were weighed and measured, and later duties were assessed on the cargo.

 

For More Information:

The Salem Custom House

The U.S. Custom Service in Salem

Issues of our occasional publication, Pickled Fish and Salted Provisions
A Large Scale Enterprise” Volume 4, Number 1 (143 KB pdf files)

Did You Know?

black and white compass rose from a recreated painted floorcloth in the Derby House at Salem Maritime NHS

The largest customs duty bill collected at the Port of Salem was $140,761 when the ship Sumatra returned from Canton in 1831.