Free Admission to the museum on July 13-15!
Through the generous support of Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, the Custom House Maritime Museum will be open “Admission-Free” this Friday through Sunday, July 13-15, while the HMS Bounty visits Newburyport's central waterfront. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Visitors are invited to take advantage of this FREE opportunity to learn more about Newburyport’s maritime history. The currently featured exhibition War of 1812: A New American Nation Under Fire, sponsored by the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, highlights specific Newburyport links to such War of 1812 events as the frigate Constitution’s ”Old Ironsides” nickname, and the burning of Washington D.C. by a revenge-seeking British expeditionary force – plus Newburyport’s Power House, Sea Fencibles and locally built ships that played an important role in the war. In addition, the museum’s unique collection of maritime art, model clipper ships, famous shipwrecks, the history of the Coast Guard, and more, will all be on display.
“This generous support from the Newburyport Five Cent Savings Bank offers a wonderful opportunity for visitors to our waterfront to familiarize themselves with Newburyport’s rich maritime history. Museum docents will be available to answer questions and provide guided tours through this historic Custom House,” said Michael Mroz, the museum’s Executive Director.
The current HMS Bounty was built as a replica in Nova Scotia for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty which starred Marlon Brando. The ship is scheduled to visit more than two dozen East Coast ports this year.
The HMS Bounty, originally a merchant vessel purchased by the Royal Navy for a botanical mission, is best known for the historic mutiny that took place in April 1789 when Sailing Master Fletcher Christian lead a revolt by half the crew which resulted in a bloodless mutiny. The ship’s captain, William Bligh, and several loyal men were ordered into an open boat. Bligh’s group sailed the small boat more than 3,500 nautical miles. Christian and the mutineers sailed to Pitcairn Island where they settled and burned the ship.
The Custom House Maritime Museum is managed by the Newburyport Maritime Society, Inc., established in 1968 to protect, preserve and communicate the maritime heritage of 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 and 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 until Christmas, from 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 4 pm on Sunday and holiday Mondays.