Inside Abbot Hall Video Tour

Take a virtual tour of Abbot Hall with your guide, Chris Johnston, Chairman of the Marblehead Historical Commission.  Learn more about Benjamin Abbot’s gift to Marblehead and some of the special features of this historic building that you may not have noticed before.  Inside Abbot Hall was created by Jenna Comins-Addis and has been posted on the Marblehead Historical Commission’s new YouTube channel.  Take the tour!

Shipyard Survey Report

Shipyard Part 1 Survey documents are now complete and available for downloading.  Three documents have been posted: the Shipyard Part 1 Final Report, the Shipyard Part 1 Survey Property List, and the Shipyard Part 1 Inventory Map.

This project, the first of a two-phase effort, recorded architectural, historical and photographic documentation for 68 properties in the Shipyard District for individual properties and two areas on inventory forms provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC).

The objectives of the survey were to retrieve information relevant to historic properties, their owners and builders, organize it in narratives that are accessible and informative to a variety of users, and provide assessments of significance that contribute to local and state preservation planning.

Learn more and download the survey documents…

Marblehead Light Oil House Restoration

The Marblehead Recreation and Parks Commission has received a grant of $33,000 from the Shattuck Fund to restore the Oil House and various walkways at the Lighthouse. They have engaged Peter Rice to do the restoration.

According to the Inspection report of the 2nd District, Department of Commerce of February 12, 1910, who were in charge of all lighthouses at the time,  the Marblehead Oil House was built in 1907.  It was built of brick at a location 189” southwest of the Tower.  The inside dimensions were 8’ – 8” x 10’ – 8”, and it was designed to hold about 450 gallons of oil in 5-gallon cans.

Why oil houses? The Department of Commerce, after seeing multiple lighthouses burn down or blow up, decided it was time to store the flammables elsewhere rather than in the lighthouse. It was common to store the whale oil, kerosene, gas, and hard lard (for back up if everything else fails) in the light itself. So after the turn of the century you will see oil houses at almost all lighthouses.

A piece of Mary Alley Comes Home

Marblehead Reporter:  A piece of Mary Alley Comes Home.

Oct. 5th article on the Mary Alley fireplace surround and its future installation in the Widget Road municipal building.

Click here to see the article on the Wicked Local web site:

http://marblehead.wickedlocal.com/news/20171004/piece-of-marbleheads-own-mary-alley-comes-home

Read more Press clippings.

Presenting our New Web Site!

Welcome to the new version of the Marblehead Historical Commission web site.  Improving the look and usability of the site was important, but the key reason for change was to make it easier to search the archives.  As the stewards for an amazing archive of historical artifacts, images, and documents for the Town of Marblehead, we serve a range of researchers from the professional to the merely curious, but searching the archive was just too difficult.  Not anymore!

New software now makes it possible for the entire archive to be searched either from Google or from our Search page.  From the latter, you can search with just a word or two, or you can narrow your search by adding search criteria and categories.  Give the new search a try and let us know how you like it.

Another reason for updating the site is the increased use of smart phones and tablets to access the site.  More people are browsing and searching for information from their handheld devices with smaller screens, so the old designs for web sites just didn’t work as well.  Our updated site is designed to accommodate screens of all sizes and to show the information in a layout that is appropriate to your screen.

For those who want to stay current with upcoming events related to our Town’s history, we have also introduced a calendar that will show not only upcoming events for the Historical Commission, but also events to be held by other organizations that are likely to be of interest.  For those who like to look back, our calendar also contains highlighted dates from Marblehead’s history so you can learn Marblehead’s fascinating stories day-by-day throughout the year.

Finally, we’ve tried to provide lots more information for both residents and visitors who want to see and experience Marblehead’s rich history.  For historic structures and places and for Marblehead’s numerous museums, there are now maps to guide you there, pictures to show you what you’ll find, and descriptions to help you understand the historical importance.

While the renovation of the site was a large project, we plan to continue make incremental enhancements in the future. As you use the new site, please provide your feedback so we can add the right information in a way that you find usable, fun, and informative. Send us comments at mailto:historic@marblehead.org