Place

Derby Wharf

Long, narrow strip of land that extends into Salem Harbor with the Derby Light Station at the end
The wharf extends 2,045 feet into Salem Harbor

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Scenic View/Photo Spot

Richard Derby and his son Elias Hasket Derby began construction of Derby Wharf in 1762. Over the years, as the Derby family’s trade expanded, they extended the wharf. In 1806, it reached its current length extending 2,045 feet into the Salem Harbor.

At one time, Derby Wharf was home to nearly twenty structures, including Elias Hasket Derby's counting house - the headquarters of his international trading empire. Today, Derby Wharf serves as the docking location for the Friendship of Salem.

In 1992, an archeological dig revealed how some of Salem’s wharves were constructed. The 1762 section of Derby Wharf was built by laying timbers on the mud flats at low tide, and then filling between the timber walls with dirt and stones. Later in the 19th century, the wharf was encased with large granite blocks.