Essex Heritage offers a wide variety of public programming to highlight the diverse heritage and unique assets of Essex County, Massachusetts. We are pleased to share this video archive of our recordings which cover many important topics and initiatives.

The Great Halifax Explosion – An Anniversary Presentation

Date: December 7, 2023

Essex Heritage President David Read presents “December 6th, 1917 Halifax Explosion and the Massachusetts Response,” a lecture detailing the events of the Great Halifax Explosion, the most powerful man-made explosion in history until the creation of the atomic bomb. Dave recounts the events leading up to the explosion, the devastating effects, and the quick response from Massachusetts, leading to our unique relationship with the City of Halifax.

Essex County in the Early Days of Revolution

Date: March 22, 2023

Join historian Alexander Cain as we explore Essex County’s role in the opening years of the American War for Independence. During his lecture, Alex will review the county’s response to the Stamp and Townshend Acts, the Boston Massacre and the Tea Act. We’ll also explore how the men and women of Essex County unified to prepare for war with England. Special emphasis will be given to the rise of Essex County’s “minute men”, the Salem Affair, the county’s response to the Battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill and the Ipswich Fright.

The History and Artistry of Wooden Boatbuilding

Date: May 2, 2022

Join experts Justin Demetri and Harold Burnham as they provide valuable background information on the history of boatbuilding and the evolution of the fishing schooner and its construction. This includes the chronological history, told mainly through the lens of Gloucester and Essex, of the famous two-masted schooners: from the colonial Chebacco boats to the mid-20th Century.

Researching Black Ancestry in Essex County: Resources and Methods

Date: April 29. 2022

Join our panel of experts as they present this special program for Salem Ancestry Days to educate on resources and methods for researching Black ancestry in Essex County. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of research projects done to uncover and interpret records and resources that shed light on the Black residents of Essex County from the 17th century to the present. These resources have allowed historians, genealogists, and family history researchers to better understand the diverse communities in the region and build a more complete picture of our history.

An Introduction to First Period Architecture in Essex County

Date: September 29, 2021

Join us for Early Architecture in Essex County: A Field Institute in Preserving the Past. This in-depth multi-part series will give participants a detailed look at the stories and struggles behind stewarding some of the oldest surviving dwellings in the Essex National Heritage Area.

Wild Edibles at Bakers Island Light with Russ Cohen

Date: September 9, 2021

Naturalist and wild foods enthusiast, Russ Cohen, takes us on a tour of some of the edible species along the trails at Bakers Island Light Station in Salem, MA. Many of these species have existed on the island for some time, and Russ has planted others that would have been encountered in the past.

Discovering Your Salem Ancestry: How to Access Genealogical Records in Essex County and Beyond

Date: April 30, 2021

Join Essex Heritage with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds to get a “how-to” on filling in the Salem branches on your family tree.

Merrimack: The Resilient River

Date: April 13, 2021

Join local author-journalist Dyke Hendrickson for a presentation about this important part of the Essex National Heritage Area. In the talk, Hendrickson will explore why this river is getting more polluted, and will discuss plans to make it cleaner, as well as local and state lawmakers who are making progress in passing regulations that will clean the Merrimack.

Unsung Heroes: Black Women in Essex County

Date: March 28, 2021

Dr. Kabria Baumgartner and Dr. Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello discuss influential Black women in Essex County as part of Salem Women’s History Day 2021.

Beyond the Gerrymander: The Life of Elbridge Gerry

Date: November 7, 2019

Beyond the Gerrymander: The Life of Elbridge Gerry. Presented by Robert Allison, historian. Hosted by Essex Heritage and Marblehead Museum.