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  • Address: 178 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts 01970, USA
  • Hours: Tours take place Weds-Sun at 1 pm and require a reservation.

Salem ATTRACTIONS See all

Custom House Tours

One of thirteen custom homes built in Salem in early America, the Custom House is known for its appearance in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlett Letter. As Salem was an important seaport for the United States at this time, custom houses were built to collect taxes on incoming cargo. At first collected for the British Government during the colonial era, the American Government began collecting the funds in 1789. The importance of the structure to the federal government is evident in its elegant design and impressive attention to detail, with its wide staircase, high ceilings, and exquisite wood carvings.

This was the last Custom House built to hold these offices. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne did in fact work in the house as a surveyor, and his time there inspired his masterpiece novel. Today visitors can have a look at his former office, as well as learn about the history of the customs process through various exhibits.

Practical Info

The Custom House, located on Derby Street across from Derby Wharf, is open by tour only. The house is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and free tours are run by the National Park Service. The tour lasts 30-40 minutes and is limited to 20 people. Visitors should make a reservation for a tour at the Visitor Center, which is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5pm.

Tours & Tickets

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Salem Witch City Day Trip From Boston, Boston, null
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Salem Witch City Day Trip From Boston

4 star rating: Recommended 239 Reviews

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Salem Witch Trials on this sightseeing day trip from Boston. Visit Marblehead -- the birthplace of the ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

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Historic Overview of Salem Walking Tour, Salem, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Historic Overview of Salem Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Explore Salem during this informative and interactive tour. You'll discover more than four centuries of history, including the infamous Salem Witch Trials. ...  Read more

Location: Salem, Massachusetts
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $12.00

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