Custom House Maritime Museum A View of the Museum from Water St.


RISK & REWARD - Masters and Merchants in the making of Newburyport

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May 25, 2011 – October 30, 2011
RISK & REWARD - Masters and Merchants in the making of Newburyport



Featuring a

FREE Walking Tour

through downtown Newburyport!

Just pick up a Risk & Reward brochure containing all the details at the Custom House Maritime Museum, the Ninety-Eight High Street Museum and Gardens or at many downtown businesses.




Presenting the essential Newburyport narrative

in a joint exhibition with the

Historical Society of Old Newbury

that includes a FREE Downtown Walking Tour


At the turn of the 19th century Newburyport was one of New England's busiest ports.  Young boys drawn from their family's farms in search of opportunity and adventure would find themselves on fantastic and often dangerous voyages, crisscrossing the Atlantic and the seven seas.

Rewards for shipmasters, sea captains and merchants alike could be enormous, as were their risks. Far too often an entire ship would be swallowed by North Atlantic gales.  In families of 7, 8 or 9 siblings, it was not uncommon for more than half to have been lost at sea.  Associations like the Marine Society of Newburyport, founded in 1772, were formed to help lower these risks.

FREE Walking TourOnce financially established, many captains became merchants, no longer risking their own lives at sea, but hiring others to do so. But life as a merchant came with its own risks, albeit not of life, but of fortune, fortunes likely hard-won at sea. Many came to discover they weren’t good merchants at all – and had to go back to sea to recover from losses.

Experience this essential story of Newburyport through an exhibition in three parts, taken in any sequence.  The first part is a FREE self-guided walking tour through the downtown State Street corridor between Newburyport’s two museums, highlighting major landmarks with tempting facts and details.  A single discounted admission covers the exhibition segments at both the Custom House Maritime Museum, and the Ninety-Eight High Street Museum and Gardens.

Members, residents, visitors and tourists alike are invited to celebrate Newburyport's rich heritage.  Pick up an exhibition brochure with its FREE walking tour at either museum, or at many State Street business, and enjoy a discounted admission to both museums as well!

This exhibition is proudly sponsored by

Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank

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