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How to Get Involved with Essex Heritage This Summer in Salem, MA

Essex Heritage’s landing craft Naumkeag in Salem Harbor
by Cheri Grishin

As the non-profit management organization for the federally designated Essex National Heritage Area, the Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) offers many great ways to enjoy the unique history, culture, and nature of Essex County.

Get out on the water!

Essex Heritage Naumkeag

Cruises: Climb aboard Essex Heritage’s landing craft Naumkeag and cruise the waters of Salem Harbor. If you are looking for a relaxing day with family and friends, customizable private charters are available. You can simply enjoy a scenic cruise of the harbor or decide to stop and visit Misery Island or Bakers Island Light Station.

Ceremonies: Are you looking to celebrate your special day at a unique location? Look no further than Bakers Island Light! Mini-ceremonies are available for weddings or vow renewals beneath the historic lighthouse. It’s also a beautiful, private location for an engagement or other special occasion.

Overnights: If you’re looking to spend a little more time at Bakers Island Light Station, why not stay overnight? Camping is available at two campsites, offering special amenities and breathtaking views. Or, if you’d prefer something a little less rustic, you can stay overnight in the historic Assistant Keeper’s House. Both options allow for privacy and tranquility–perfect for relaxing.

Volunteer: If you are interested in helping with maintenance projects at the historic light station, consider becoming a volunteer! Essex Heritage has weekly volunteer days to work on a variety of projects. It’s a great way to enjoy the island and do some good!

Visit BakersIslandLight.org for more information.

Learn about the Heritage Area!

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the region, there are several ways to engage.

Redefining Heritage: This series takes a fresh look at what “Heritage” means and what stories we are telling. There are three free conversations in each series and they focus on either the history, arts & culture, or nature of the Heritage Area.

Salem Witch Trials: If you are interested in learning more about the Salem Witch Trials, Essex Heritage offers the “Myths & Misconceptions” walking tour, which seeks to debunk and false information surrounding the trials. There is also an informational film “Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence” that plays in the Salem Visitor Center (beginning May 22).

Trails & Sails: This event series offers 10 days of free events in Essex County at many local sites. Activities include tours of historic sites, performances, special exhibits and more! More information can be found at TrailsandSails.org.

Something for everyone!

Essex Heritage offers something for everyone. In addition to what’s listed above, there are teacher professional development workshops, educational programs, grant opportunities, an annual photo contest and more! Be sure to visit EssexHeritage.org and follow on social media (@EssexHeritage) for upcoming events and more information.

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