East India Marine Hall Block


East India Marine Hall

161 Essex Street

Salem, Massachusetts

Erected in 1824-25

East India Marine Hall was the headquarters of the East India Marine Society, a group of 22 sea captains and traders who sailed all over the world from Salem. In 1799, this is where they started the oldest collecting museum in America. The structure is the intellectual, historical and physical heart of the museum. Designed by Thomas Waldron Sumner, protégé of major Boston architect Samuel Parris, this Antebellum building is a two-story gable front structure in the Greek Revival style that was built using local Cape Ann granite. Over time, added gallery spaces have surrounded the building, further integrating it into the greater museum.

As they sailed around the globe, the original members of the East India Marine Society began to collect objects, which is PEM's origin story. To walk around this room, was to circumnavigate the globe. Visitors would have seen things brought back from all over the world - coins, shells, musical instruments, weapons, sculptures of Indian and Chinese merchants. Suspended overhead from the ceiling was a large whale skeleton and visitors would have seen their first penguin, a stuffed one from the Falkland Islands brought back about 1820.

"Salem has a uniquely rich architectural heritage. Every major American architectural style is represented within its borders."

Now you can tour PEM's historic homes from your own home! The museum's physical campus includes three city blocks and several off-site properties. We have collaborated with Cats Meow Village to recreate the museum's historic houses in their signature style. On the back of each is a brief description of the house and a QR code that will link to the PEM Walks tour, where you can find out more about the home's architectural history. 

East India Marine Hall is part of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

The back includes a PEM Walks QR code that gives you an audio postcard tour of the Marine Hall. You can scan at home and listen, too!

We handcraft the Marine Hall in 3/4" thick wood with colorful details on the front and history on the back. H4.75 x W5.25 inches.

At this time, orders shipped within the United States are shipped using USPS or UPS. Tracking information will be provided via email.

International shipping is offered on case-by-case basis. Please email us at contactus@pem.org to inquire.

PEM Shop is not responsible for lost or stolen merchandise.

For our local customers, we are pleased to offer an In Store Pickup option! How it works:

  1. Shop online at shop.pem.org

  2. At checkout, select Curbside Pickup as your shipping method. Place your order.

  3. Once we have prepared your order, you will receive an email that your order is ready for pickup.

  4. Follow the pickup instructions provided in your email. Arrive at our Store location at 161 Essex Street.

  5. Orders not picked up within two weeks of order date will be canceled and refunded.

Please Note: Please allow 2-3 days from purchase date for processing. In Store Pickup is available Thursday through Monday 10 am–5 pm.

We are pleased to accept returns within 30 days of the purchase date. All returned items must be in their original condition and packaging.

To begin your return process, please email us at: contactus@pem.org

Please note: Sale, clearance and personal use items, such as face masks, cannot be returned or exchanged for store credit.


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