Maritime Museum

Abbot Hall contains the Dr. Ray Cole Maritime Museum on the first floor, adjacent to the Gift Shop. The Maritime Museum has displays of Marblehead’s Naval History, including:

  • Marblehead – Birthplace of the American Navy.
  • General John Glover’s Marblehead Regiment rowing Washington’s Army across the Delaware for the famous Christmas night surprise attack on the British and their Hessian mercenaries.
  • The USS Constitution’s visits to Marblehead, with a video about the Constitution and her 1997 visit to Marblehead, when she sailed under her own power for the first time in over 100 years.
  • Marblehead’s many naval heroes and the US Navy ships named for them. It is believed that no other town or city has as many ships named for its naval heroes.
  • The three USS Marbleheads
    • The Civil war gunboat
    • The Spanish American War cruiser C11
    • The WWII light cruiser C-12
  • Marblehead – birthplace of Marine Corp Aviation and home of early aviation pioneer W. Starling Burgess and the Burgess airplane factories.

The Dr. Ray Cole Maritime Museum was opened by the Marblehead Historical Commission in 2012. Dr. Cole was a Marblehead dentist who served in the US Navy during WWII and the Korean War, and who was enamored with Marblehead’s maritime history. He was the founder, collector and curator of the Marblehead Maritime Collection which resided in Abbot Hall for many years. Upon his death in 2010, Dr. Cole left his collection and a substantial fund to the Historical Commission. The Historical Commission decided to create a permanent Maritime Museum of Marblehead’s naval history based upon Dr. Cole’s collection. Designed and built by museum professionals, the Maritime Museum has displays telling the stories of some of Marblehead’s key naval, maritime and early aviation related history.

Maritime Museum Photo Gallery


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