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

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ON GUARD! Exhibiton Extended Through October 8th

September 8, 2012

 ON GUARD! - Extended to October 8th



Custom House Maritime Museum
Extends Blockbuster Exhibition on the United States Coast Guard

Newburyport, MA (September 6, 2012) – Through the generous support of Institution For Savings, the Custom House Maritime Museum is extending their featured exhibition On Guard! Semper Paratus in Newburyport 222 Years, through the Columbus Day Weekend, until October 8th.  The exhibition has been host to a record-breaking summer of visitors.  Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Visitors are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to learn and celebrate the breadth and depth of the U.S. Coast Guard heritage and birth of this service here in Newburyport. The blockbuster exhibition on America’s longest continuously operating maritime service, sponsored by Institution For Savings, showcases all things Coast Guard from its inception 222 years ago. Starting as the Revenue Marine Service in 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard was formed by act of Congress in 1915 merging the Revenue Cutter Service with the U.S. Life Saving Service.  In 1939 the U.S. Lighthouse Service was added, followed in 1942 by the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Investigation, forming the basis of the modern day United States Coast Guard. Visitors can see the historic uniforms leading to modern attire, model ships of old and new vessels, the tradition of ship mascots – and much more.Newburyport - Coast Guard City

This opportunity, made possible by Institution For Savings, to give recognition to the men and women protecting our coastal waters, while imparting an appreciation of the evolution of the Coast Guard’s mission, is a tribute to their fine heritage, says Kevin MacDonald, museum curator.

An impressive large-scale model of the Eastwind helps tell the story of this WWII Coast Guard ice breaker that served in Greenland waters and operated against teams of German scientists and military personnel, capturing 29 German prisoners in a total of only 12 days.  Eastwind later served not only in Greenland and the arctic, but traveled across the globe on different missions, including the Antarctic where she participated in Operation Deep Freeze I, the mapping of the Ross Sea, scientific surveys, escorting supply ships with materials to be used in establishing McMurdo Station, including offloading thousands of gallons of heating oil to heat the base. Eastwind served 24 years before being decommissioned in December of 1968.Lighthouse Service Lightships

Extending this eye-opening exhibition, says museum docent, Bob Slagle, gives anyone interested in Coast Guard lore something new and exciting to see and plenty to talk about.


The Custom House Maritime Museum is managed by the Newburyport Maritime Society, Inc., established in 1968 to preserve, protect and communicate the maritime heritage of Newburyport and the Merrimack Valley and its role in American History. We are connecting the past to the living history of today through interaction and engagement with our unique collection of maritime art, model clipper ships, displays of famous shipwrecks, the history of the United States Coast Guard, and much more.

The historic Custom House building on Water Street in the heart of downtown Newburyport was designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Treasury Building.  It was built in 1835 to serve the growing overseas trade and to collect taxes on the imported goods in the waterfront. The museum is open year round for events and activities and daily now until Christmas, from 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday and holiday Mondays. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Museum members, active military members and children under 6 are admitted free.

For more information, visit the museum website at, or call 978-462-8681, or email                

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