Mapping Marblehead – from Founding to Freedom

Marblehead History Exhibit Continues in the Abbot Hall Selectmen’s Room

Free and open to the public – families are welcome!

The first drawn map of Marblehead from 1795

Marblehead is a town that is unusually rich in history. With five centuries of stories to tell, this is just the beginning. Explore the history of Marblehead in the 17th and 18th centuries in the historic Old Town House.

The Marblehead Historical Commission has created an innovative exhibit on the first two centuries of Marblehead’s recorded history.  The exhibit features highlights of the town’s early settlement, growth, and economy as it grew from fishing village to prominent port of trade and revolutionary stronghold.

Originally held in the Old Town House in June 2019, major portions of the exhibit have been reinstalled in the Selectmen’s Room in Abbot Hall.  There is no charge and the exhibit will be open during the hours that Abbot Hall is open.

The presentation includes interpretive panels and interactive maps illustrating Marblehead’s growth from Native American sites through 17th-century development, and 18th-century expansion. Unfortunately, the life-size representation of Emanuel Leutze’s iconic painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” photo opportunity could not be reinstalled in the space available.

This exhibit is the first of three that are planned to present Marblehead’s history from its earliest beginnings through the 21st century. Chris Johnston, chair of the Marblehead Historical Commission, envisions a long-range plan to establish a permanent Museum of Marblehead History where visitors will be able to learn about the entire timeline of Marblehead’s history in one location.

Funded by a grant from the Harold B. and Elizabeth L. Shattuck Memorial Trust, the exhibit in the Selectmen’s Room will as long as the Selectmen’s Room is available during the Abbot Hall renovations. A follow-on exhibit covering Marblehead’s history from 1800 to the end of the 19th century has been awarded a grant from the Harold B. and Elizabeth L. Shattuck Memorial Trust and is planned for 2020.

Beyond the Exhibit

If you’ve already visited the exhibit or just want to explore on your own, visit our Mapping Marblehead – Beyond the Exhibit web page for links to the Exhibit videos on our YouTube Channel, links to the iPad Kiosk Mapping Marblehead Interactive Map Exploration, and links to high resolution scans of maps used in the exhibit: Mapping Marblehead – Beyond the Exhibit

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