In 1996, the United States Congress recognized the national significance of the historic 500 square mile region north of Boston, Massachusetts, by establishing the Essex National Heritage Area. The Area is home to: 9,968 historic structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 400 historic farms, 86 significant museums, 26 important National Historic Landmarks,, 9 scenic State Parks, 2 notable National Park units, and 1 large National Wildlife Refuge. Collectively, these resources define a remarkable region where the present economy and quality of life are intertwined with its heritage. Maintaining the optimal balance between heritage and the economy generates success for all.
Essex Heritage is a non-profit organization that takes a community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Working through public-private partnerships, Essex Heritage uses the Area’s heritage resources in new ways to engage diverse audiences, from at-risk youth to trail enthusiasts, and, in so doing, Essex Heritage has successfully advanced recognition for the value of the historic, cultural, and natural resources in the region.