• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

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?

An artist's depiction of an American privateer pursuing a British merchant ship.  Painting by Thomas Freeman.

During the American Revolution, Salem was the most successful privateering port in America. Salem's 158 privateering vessels captured 445 English vessels.