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

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Museum welcomes its 500th member!

December 21, 2016

500th member comes aboard at Maritime Museum

CHMM welcomes its 500th member

BRYAN EATON/Staff photo.  The Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport passed a milestone by welcoming its 500th member, Mike Parkin, left.  Receiving a gift bag at a meeting, from left, Parkin; Ken Jackman, chairman of the board of directors; Peter Tybinkowski, docent; Mike Mroz, executive director, and Jason Roberts, gift shop manager.

Newburyport Daily News

NEWBURYPORT — Leaders of the Custom House Maritime Museum recently announced they have  registered their 500th member, an organization high.

“We had about 225 members in 2012,” said Michael Mroz, executive director of the Water Street museum. “We’re very pleased to be growing, and this growth shows that there is an increasing interest in the history of this community.”

The new member is Mike Parkin of Greenland, N.H., who was a vendor last summer when the museum held events on its back lawn.  “I’m in the tent business, and got to know Michael and others at that time,” said Parkin, who was given a nautical goody bag of books and trinkets for his good timing. 
“In the future, my wife and I will be volunteering,” he said.

The Custom House Maritime Museum drew thousands of visitors to the waterfront last summer when it brought in a tall ship, El Galeon.
Students, residents and tourists alike toured the ship and walked the boardwalk.  Organization officials say they will host another tall ship this Memorial Day but are not offering specifics.

“We are going to wait until the contracts are signed and the schedules finalized,” said Ken Jackman, chair of the museum’s board of directors.
“Last year’s event went very well, and added to the interest in local history and in the museum itself. We plan to offer many educational programs around the arrival of the next tall ship.”

City officials recently hosted an event at the museum that marked the Coast Guard’s recognition of Newburyport as an important part of the organization’s history, and the officers thanked local leaders for their ongoing support.  Top officers from the regional headquarters in Boston recertified the city as a Coast Guard City, one of about 15 in the country.

Newburyport is the birthplace of the Coast Guard (1790) and the site where the first Coast Guard revenue cutter, the Massachusetts, was built in 1791.
Museum organizers have two rooms dedicated to Coast Guard photos and memorabilia, and officials say many visitors want to learn more about the history of the Guard  and the city’s role in early nautical American history.
Mroz said that Newburyport is going through somewhat of a golden era in maritime history.

“People are starting to find out how remarkable this community was in shipbuilding and in military service,” he said. “And they want to learn more.
“We’ll be having programs through the winter and spring to help make this history available to those who want to know more.” Jackman said, “The holiday season is a great time to join the museum.”  Individual memberships are $40 and family memberships are $75.

Dyke Hendrickson covers Newburyport. He can be reached at 978-961-3149 or at

Newburyport Daily News

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