This museum was established in 1976 as a local repository for all of the shipbuilding artifacts of Essex residents. The fascinating collections of photos, tools and ship models came from local basements and attics, allowing the village to preserve its history. Guided tours (10:30am, 1pm and 3pm) are well worth the extra time and money, as docents (many former fishers and shipwrights) are well informed and passionate about local history.
Most of the collections are housed in the town's 1835 schoolhouse (check out the Old Burying Ground behind it). The historical society also operates the Waterline Center in the museum shipyard, a section of waterfront property where shipbuilding activities have taken place for hundreds of years (and still do!). The historic Essex-built schooner Evelina M Goulart is moored here.