“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or watch – we are going back from whence we came.”

– John F. Kennedy

Our Galleries
The CHMM has multiple galleries, each focused thematically on historical narratives unique to the Custom House and its collection. In addition to those long-term exhibition spaces (below), the museum also features in-depth, changing annual exhibits in our Bushee Gallery. The Marquand Library room, named for the Marquand family whose familial roots connect directly to the Custom House, is in transition as an open collections workspace where people can get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to maintain the museum, with the goal of incorporating a fully functional research library in the future.

Collector of Customs Gallery

Focused on the purpose of the historic structure in which the museum resides, this gallery explores the roles and responsibilities of those who worked in and about the customhouse through historical documents and objects.


Brown Gallery

This exhibit explores historically interconnected themes related to the customhouse, the origins of the USCG, and life “on the deep” in the nineteenth century.


Coast Guard Gallery

As the official birthplace of the Coast Guard, Newburyport honors the men and women of the USCG through displays of Coast Guard artifacts such as ships bells, uniforms, medals, as well as photos and documentation of members of the service.


Moseley Gallery

The largest of our galleries, this newly renovated space contains historical vignettes from the museum’s collection. Topics currently include the Newburyport Marine Society and historical trades, as well as displays exploring the lives of some of Newburyport’s nineteenth century seafaring families, and curiosities from around world brought back by mariners of nineteenth century Newburyport.