Salem Maritime National Historic Site
  • Home
  • Downloads
  • Return to Portal
  • Introduction - Audio Transcript

    Welcome to Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

    Following the American revolution, Salem was one of the most prosperous communities of the early republic. Her daring and skilled maritime merchants traveled the globe, opening new markets to American trade. Her wharves were crowded with spices and silks, porcelain and cocoa, and other exotic luxury goods that ushered the city to a cosmopolitan peak. She was known as the Venice of the new world.  

    In 1938, Salem Maritime became the first ever National Historic Site incorporated into the National Park Service.

    At the time, this site was chosen to preserve the stories of Salem’s Golden Age of Sail. And while these are significant, they alone do not paint a complete picture of Salem’s fascinating history. Over the years, the National Park Service has incorporated other narratives to gain a better glimpse of Salem life over the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

    On this tour, we’ll visit historic buildings and wharves that span over 300 years of history. We recommend following the tour stops in order. However, if you would like to jump ahead you can click any of the links below.  

    And now we invite you to journey back in time with us, to 1626, the year the first colonial settlers arrived on the Salem shores.