Newburyport - Custom House Maritime Museum

25 Water Street

About Us:
Designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument and U.S. Treasury Building, the Custom House was built in 1835 to facilitate growing overseas trade and tax collection of imported goods on the waterfront. The vaulted ceilings and cantilevered staircases are hallmarks of Mills’s work.

As Newburyport declined as a commercial seaport, the Custom House took on a number of new roles, from manufacturing site for heels of women’s shoes, to storage area of submarine parts (a function that left significant cracks in our marble floor!). The Newburyport Maritime Society was founded to restore the building to its nineteenth-century appearance.

Now the Custom House is an extraordinary maritime museum, an educational center, a research facility, and a meeting place for people seeking a unique venue for professional or social gatherings.

The Custom House Maritime Museum is managed by the Newburyport Maritime Society, Inc. The Society was established in 1968 for the purpose of protecting, preserving, and communicating the maritime heritage of the Merrimack Valley and its role in American history. We are connecting the past to the living history of today through new relationships with local artistic, business and environmental organizations.


Jarid Masiel

Saturday, April 7, 2018
I'm an intern here, so I'm gonna talk about it from a working standpoint. First, the environment is amazing. This place is run by nearly all volunteers. We always do our best to keep politics outside of our regular discussions, we care about each other, but most importantly for you guys, we try to make sure our tours are informative, engaging, and enjoyable for all of our guests, and we always incorporate the exhibits of the museum into our discussions. Second, hours. We're volunteers; we do this on our own time, and we're not necessarily bound by a certain amount of times we have to come in. I try to come in at least twice a month, if not more! Thirdly, the overall experience. I have met some very talented and smart individuals, some of whom I work with, some of whom I give tours to, and it's a great environment in which one can learn. So I am being honest when I say this: Stop by, ask for a tour, and trust me, when you're done, you'll say that you got a sweet deal learning about a bunch of local history for just $7, which is, in my opinion, worth a whole lot more.

TomLee Mullins

Friday, March 23, 2018
A small museum with a lot of interesting history. It is not expensive to get in.

Joshua Rosen

Monday, Nov. 6, 2017
We attended a Newburyport Chamber Music co cert here. Its a very nice venue for a concert.

George Bigaouette

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018
Fascinating experience, take advantage of the tour guides

Julie's bites

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018
Small but interesting museum.