Quality of Life: Historic Attractions
Historic Attractions

The entire Merrimack Valley has a rich heritage, which is evident in the many historic buildings throughout the region and the numerous museums preserving the past for future generations.

Amesbury and Salisbury Mills Village Historic District
The Amesbury and Salisbury Mills Village Historic District is significant for its associations with the 19th Century textile industry, and in 1812 was one of the earliest New England towns to establish a textile manufactory.

Bartlett Museum – Amesbury
The Bartlett Museum is housed in a former school building. It was built in 1870 and named after Josiah Bartlett, a local resident who signed the Declaration of Independence. Exhibits include an original schoolroom, with antique school desks, as well as children's games and toys; a Natural History room, featuring a large collection of preserved birds, as well as fossils, minerals and shells, and local history, including artifacts from Amesbury's once-flourishing carriage industry, old maps and mementos of the Town's history.

Lowell's Boat Shop – Amesbury
Lowell's Boat Shop, on the north bank of the Merrimack River in Amesbury, is dedicated to educating the public about a traditional American craft by preserving America’s oldest boatbuilding activity in its original workshop, the birthplace of the fisherman’s dory. Lowell's Boat Shop is operated by the Newburyport Maritime Society, which also maintains the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport.

Rocky Hill Meeting House – Amesbury
The Rocky Hill Meeting House is, by far, the best preserved example of an original 18th century meeting house interior in New England. It was built in 1785. George Washington paused here to greet the townspeople on his northward journey in 1789.

Salisbury Point Railroad Historical Society, Inc. – Amesbury
The Salisbury Point Railroad Historical Society, Inc. was established for the purpose of preserving and making available information pertaining to the history of the Amesbury branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad, the Boston and Maine Railroad itself, its predecessors and related materials pertaining to the history of railroads in New England.

Andover Historical Society
Visitors of all ages are invited to learn about Andover's rich history and culture by touring period rooms and changing exhibitions, delving into family or local history research and participating in educational programs and social activities.

Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology – Andover
Located on the campus of Phillips Academy, the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology is one of the nation's major repositories of Native American archaeological collections. Major collections include materials from the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Mexico and the Arctic, and range from Paleo Indian (12,500 years ago) to the present day.

Shawsheen Village Historic District – Andover
William Wood, president of the American Woolen Company, carefully planned Shawsheen Village, a model community of manufacturing, residential, commercial and recreational facilities.

Middlesex Canal Museum – North Billerica
The Middlesex Canal, in full operation from 1804-1851, linked Charlestown, on the Charles River, to the Merrimack River at Chelmsford (now Lowell). The Canal was built to develop a more efficient way to tap the natural resources and reach the markets of the Merrimack Valley.

Chelmsford Historical Society
At the Chelmsford Historical Society's Barrett-Byam Homestead, built sometime prior to 1663, visitors of all ages are invited to learn about Chelmsford's rich history and culture by touring period rooms and changing exhibits, delving into family or local history and participating in educational programs and social activities.

Georgetown Historical Society
Now operated as a museum by the Georgetown Historical Society, the Brocklebank-Nelson-Beecher House was built around 1668 by Samuel Brocklebank. A captain in the militia, Brocklebank was killed with his entire company during King Philip's War. The house was used as a tavern from 1754 until the mid 1800s when it was purchased by Reverend Charles Beecher, who was the pastor of The Second Parish Church and the brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Haverhill Historical Society/Buttonwoods Museum
The Buttonwoods Museum houses 10,000 objects from furniture, ceramics and glassware, to quilts, dolls and toys. Explore Native American artifacts from the Lower Merrimack Valley including stone tools, bone implements and baskets. Step into the Queen Slipper City. A large collection of shoes and shoemaking tools represent Haverhill’s role as a world leader in the shoe industry.

John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead
The birthplace of the Quaker Poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier. The Whittier Homestead is an outstanding example of the old New England farm and is the setting of his most famous and beloved poem, Snow-Bound.

Rocks Village Historic District – Haverhill
Rocks Village, in the easternmost corner of Haverhill on the banks of the Merrimack River, was settled circa 1643. In the 18th century, several shipyards were located here, and it was a center for trade of both imported and exported goods.

Washington Street Shoe District – Haverhill
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, downtown Haverhill’s Washington Street Shoe District is recognized as one of the finest examples of a complete street of Queen Anne industrial architecture in America.

Lawrence Heritage State Park
A restored boarding house with two floors of interactive exhibits tells the tale of Lawrence, one of the nation's first planned industrial cities. Along with stories of Lawrence's mill workers and industry, the workers' role in the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike is relived with images and sounds. Walk along the esplanade of a nineteenth-century canal and through a park created within the walls of an industrial-era building.

North Canal Historic District – Lawrence
The area is comprised of mills, factory boarding houses, locks, bridges, the North Canal, the Great Stone Dam and the Immigrant City Archives. The Washington Mills, built in 1886, was once the largest woolen mill in the United States.

Lawrence History Center
Immigrant City Archives and Museum

Lawrence History Center has collected and preserved documents and artifacts pertaining to the history of Lawrence, Massachusetts and its people. The collection contains the bulk of the records of the Essex Company that created Lawrence, as well as municipal records, historic photographs, records from local businesses and agencies, 700 oral histories with eyewitness accounts as far back as 1910, and an array of family and individual records that document the diverse and intellectually challenging nature of Lawrence.

American Textile History Museum – Lowell
An unparalleled resource for the study of American textile history, the museum's large collection includes thousands of books, manuscripts and images, millions of textile samples and hundreds of textile-making machines.

Lowell National Historical Park (Visitor Center)
The history of America's Industrial Revolution is commemorated in Lowell. The Boott Cotton Mills Museum with its operating weave room of 88 power looms, video presentations and displays illustrates the rise, fall and rebirth of Historic Lowell. The museum also houses the Lowell Historical Society, the Tsongas Industrial History Center, and the museum shop.

Center For Methuen History
The Center For Methuen History preserves and records the community's history and culture. Administered by the Methuen Historical Commission, it maintains a comprehensive research collection of photographs, documents and artifacts associated with the history of Methuen.

Methuen Memorial Music Hall and the Searles/Tenney/Nevins Historic District
Edward F. Searles built the Methuen Memorial Music Hall in 1897 to house the Grand Organ that had been built in Germany for the Boston Music Hall, the first concert organ in the United States. The Searles/Tenney/Nevins Historic District reflects the major influences that shaped Methuen's architecture and economy.

Coffin House – Newbury
The Coffin House chronicles the evolution of domestic life in rural New England over three centuries. The structure, which contains the family's furnishings, began as a simple dwelling built in the post-medieval style.

Dole-Little House – Newbury
Built around 1715 for Richard Dole, a cattleman, with materials salvaged from an earlier structure. Decorative carpentry and finish include chamfered edges, molded sheathing (especially in the great hall and parlor) and possibly original stair balusters.

Little Farm – Newbury
From the moment it was built near the end of the 17th century, this manor house has been the subject of folklore and legend. Its imposing size and costly construction - stone and brick in a region where wood was the customary material for houses - made it exceptional.

Swett-Ilsley House – Newbury
Built by Stephen Swett, the original portion of the house was constructed on a single-room plan with chimney bay and faced south. Passing through a series of owners, the house remained essentially unaltered until about 1720, when it was enlarged in an atypical fashion with the addition of a second unit of single-room plan to the north of the original block.

Cushing House Museum & Garden Historical Society of Old Newbury – Newburyport
Once the home of shipowner John Newmarch Cushing and home to his family for three generations. today, the Historical Society of Old Newbury opens the doors of the Cushing House to the public to offer a glimpse of life in 19th century Newburyport. Guided tours are available by reservation. The Historical Society of Old Newbury also hosts special events, lectures and children’s programs.

Custom House Maritime Museum – Newburyport
The Newburyport Custom House Maritime Museum was designed by architect Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument. Built in 1835, this building was originally used as a custom house in which the federal government collected taxes on imported goods brought home to Newburyport by ship captains from faraway ports.
The Museum maintains original artifacts from the prosperous trade era, maritime art, models of Newburyport-built vessels, trade routes and journals, and old maps showing the city's birth.

North Andover Historical Society
Exhibits chronicle the early history of the town from its incorporation as Andover in 1646, separation as the North Parish in 1710 and re-incorporation as North Andover in 1855, to the present day.

Stevens-Coolidge Place – North Andover
Owned by The Trustees of Reservations, the Stevens-Coolidge Place was the summer home of John Gardner Coolidge and Helen Stevens Coolidge from 1914 to 1962. Mr. Coolidge, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and nephew of Isabella Stewart Gardner, was a diplomat.

Pepperell Historic District
The Pepperell Center Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1994. The district encompasses the area immediately surrounding the Pepperell Town Hall, and includes both historic houses, mostly from the nineteenth century, and a number of important public buildings

Rowley Historical Society
The Platts-Bradstreet House, built in the latter part of the 1600’s, began as a four room, two story, central chimney dwelling. It is a treasured example of oak framing, chamfered summer beams, carved gunstock corner posts from the original dwelling, plus an eighteenth century cooking fireplace with rear bake oven and molded feather edge sheathing on the exterior of the fireplace, and many more original features.

Westford Museum and Historical Society
The Westford Museum is located in the original Westford Academy school house, built in 1792.