Black and white photo of tools from Salems

History is all around us. Stories are the big picture…or a snapshot in time. They provide the basics–who, what, where, when, why, and how. Stories explore the human experience and society. They can complicate, maybe even upend, our understandings of history.

At Salem Maritime National Historic Site, we aim to engage visitors with the multi-faceted stories of Salem and maritime New England, and their place in a global society. We hope these stories inspire you to engage with your community and the world!

  • African Americans in Essex County, Massachusetts: An Annotated Guide..

    African Americans in Essex

    The rich history of Black people, cultures, and communities in Essex County, Massachusetts runs deep.

  • ii.	Grey military uniform adorned with golden buttons and golden shoulder pads with frills.

    Citizen Soldiers

    Learn about citizen soldiers and the birth of the Massachusetts National Guard—the nation's first.

  • Exterior black and white photo of brick buildings.

    History of Salem Maritime

    As the first national historic site in the National Park System, Salem Maritime is reflective of historic preservation in the 1930s.

  • Black and white photo of three girls dressed in pirate costumes.

    Salem's Polish Community

    In 1988, Salem Maritime acquired St. Joseph Hall, and thus became the steward of a piece of Salem’s Polish community history.

  • An image of a yellowed handwritten document form 1755.

    Slavery and Freedom

    The maritime history of Salem is deeply tied to enslavement and abolition. Learn about our collective process to uncover and share it.

  • Illustration of a faceless doll in a pink dress holding a basket in one hand and one on her head.

    A Caribbean Community

    Dominican faceless dolls invite us to tell our stories and explore our connections to each other.

  • Two-story brick building with white columns and 12 steps leading to an arched doorway.

    U.S. Customs Service

    In 1818, the U.S. Treasury purchased property across from Derby Wharf to serve as permanent headquarters for the Customs Service.

  • A large three-masted ship sailing on blue waters on a cloudless day.

    Voyages of FRIENDSHIP

    The original FRIENDSHIP was a large three-masted merchant ship used in global trade following the American Revolution.

  • Three Navy women dressed in traditional sailor uniforms, white with blue sash ties.

    Women's History

    Salem women—seen and unseen—shaped its history. Explore their stories and celebrate women's history.

Last updated: September 13, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

160 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970



Contact Us