Essex, Massachusetts

Photo Credit: Fletcher6 on Wikipedia

A Brief History of Essex

Coastal Byway Miles: 4.3 Miles

Incorporated as a town in 1819, Essex was previously part of Ipswich. The first European settlers arrived in 1633 to what was then land inhabited by the Agawam tribe. The settlers supported themselves through farming, fishing, clamming, and most importantly ship building. In 1852, one out of every 28 American ships was built in one of Essex’s 15 shipyards. By the early 1900s, a quirky collection of local seafood restaurants provided a new destination all of its own.

Exploring Essex From The Byway

Essex is a must-stop off the Scenic Byway if you love seafood and antiques! In fact, Essex is often called “America’s Antique Capital.” The town earned this nickname due to the many antique shops, many within walking distance of each other. The town also features incredible views of the Essex River, including river cruises, charters, and views of the marsh. And, of course, be sure to stop in for delicious seafood.

Antique and Speciality Shops

Route 133 Main Street , Essex, MA 1929

Cogswell's Grant

60 Spring Street , Essex, MA 1929

Cox Reservation

82 Eastern Avenue , Essex, MA 1929

Crane Wildlife Refuge on the Crane Estate

219 County Road , Essex, MA 1929

Essex River Basin Adventures

1 Main Street PO Box 270, Essex, MA 1929

Essex River Cruises & Charters

35 Dodge Street , Essex, MA 1929

Essex Shipbuilding Museum

66 Main Street , Essex, MA 1929

Stavros Reservation

1 Island Road , Essex, MA 1929


121 Main Street , Essex, MA 1929