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.