Members, Volunteers, Donors, Friends of the Museum

While launching symbolizes in many ways the end of a shipbuilders work, it is the time when responsibility for that work begins as people's livelihoods and lives depend on our craft. For almost four hundred years now the shipbuilding industry in Essex has continued and our vessels, like floating ambassadors, have brought us the respect of their owners, captains, crews and their descendants. Five of our vessels have been designated as National Historic Landmarks.

I bring this up because the importance of keeping this place where so much originated hallowed and available as a working shipyard for those who might need it is important far beyond the borders of our village, town and region. While shipbuilding is no longer a major industry here, The Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum has helped sustain the culture and history of our unique community, through its collection of archives and artifacts, amazing educational programs, and events.  Moreover, by buying our shipyard and providing programming around, and a staging area for, commercial boat building projects not only in my family’s yard but on the towns property that was set aside for shipbuilding, the Museum has helped to keep the industry going as well. 

It is a great honor to serve along with the rest of the board, the membership, community and the public, in an attempt to build upon the efforts so many have put into this great and worthy institution. I hope you will come visit the museum, learn about what we have to offer, get involved, and join us in our endeavor.


Thank you,


Harold A Burnham

President of the Board, 2012 National Endowment of the Arts Master Shipwright National Heritage Fellow