Save the Barn to Raise The Barn !

Please join the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum in its effort to save a historic 18th century barn and a piece of our community’s history. A premier example of pre-industrial workmanship, the barn features hand-hewn timbers and traditional mortise and tenon joinery. Once part of the historic Cogswell farm in the Town of Essex, MA, the barn has proudly served many generations, including the prominent female American architect Eleanor Raymond. It is a structure with both historic and architectural importance.

The barn is currently located on John Wise Avenue in Essex, on a site under municipal development. It was originally slated for demolition, but the Museum has an opportunity to disassemble and preserve the barn; however, the structure must be removed by mid-February 2020 or it will be demolished. There is a team of enthusiastic and skilled volunteers working at the site already, but your financial support is critical to the success of this effort.

Time is of the essence and we need your help!

“Speaking to their good stock and helpful demeanor, the contractors hired to construct the new Town Safety Building have no appetite for driving their steel buckets through the still sturdy, quite entirely intact original roof and walls of this long serving, still ready, good friend.” -David Brown, Vice President of the ESM Board of Directors

It is the Museum’s intent that the legacy of this historic structure not come to an end, and that – once successfully disassembled and removed – the barn be re-erected and preserved at the Museum’s shipyard, a National Heritage Site, where it can be used for desperately needed boatbuilding, educational programming, or interpretive space, and where the public can access and appreciate the craftsmanship and history of the structure for generations to come. The Museum has raised an initial $22,000 from private donors to kick off this effort, and has received generous donations of time and equipment from local firms.

However, additional funding is critical.

The Museum currently has a commitment to match dollar-for-dollar the next $20,000 of donations, to help reach an immediate goal needed to accomplish the removal of the barn from the site and avoid its demolition. Further funding will be needed to support the barn’s re-erection and re-purposing.For more information go to the EHSSM website: or to make a donation go here: and thank you!