Historic Essex Walking Tour

Hosted By: 

Town of Essex
The Historic Essex Walking Tour is a self-guided tour (with a brochure and map to guide you) to 16 interpretive signs that highlight the historic significance of this New England village. Learn how 300+ years of shipbuilding produced close to 4,000 wooden vessels; find a 1797 Paul Revere bell; discover the birthplace of the fried clam; learn about the grave robberies of 1818; gain insight into how Essex became known as “America’s Antiques Capital”; and other interesting stories. Benches along the Essex Causeway provide a place to sit and relax as you take the tour. Antique and specialty shops, restaurants and views of the Essex River and Great Marsh are also along this one mile stretch in the Essex River Cultural District. Visitors can view additional history related to each site by scanning the QR code on each sign with their smart phone or tablet. The website, www.EssexWalkingTour.com expands upon the history related to each location through photos, videos, and audio stories that connect the past and present day Essex. Watch a 2011 traditional side launch of the Schooner Ardelle (a big event for the town in modern days as it was centuries ago). Hear the son of an Essex Clammer describe his family life in the Great Depression. Learn about ice harvesting on Chebacco Lake and a pioneering woman antique dealer and auctioneer, Cille Blackwood. The walking tour is handicap-accessible along the sidewalks that line both sides of the Essex Causeway. Brochures are available at 55 Main Street and at several signs along the tour.

Special Instructions: 

Bring your smart phone or tablet to view additional history related to each site. Simply scan the QR (quick-response) code on each sign for additional stories, historic photos, video and audio clips connecting past and present day Essex!

Facility Features: 

Event Telephone: 


55 Main Street, Essex, MA, 01929

Driving Directions: 

Essex is 30 minutes north of Boston: From Route 128, take either Exit 14 (Route 133), Exit 15 (School Street), or Exit 18 (Route 22. From Route 95 and Route 1, take Route 133 East and follow signs to Essex. Free on-street parking in designated areas along Main Street, and free parking in the lot behind the Fire Department at 24 Martin Street (Route 22).