The Salem Maritime National Historic Site in Salem, Massachusetts was designated as the first National Historic Site in America on March 17, 1938. Not to be confused with landmark or monument, a historic site honors a site where a historic event took place. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site, while not the oldest historic site, is the first to be designated as a National Historic site.
The site consists of nine acres of land and twelve historic structures along the Salem waterfront, as well as a downtown visitor center. The site has the following structures Derby House (1762), Derby Wharf (1762, extended 1806), Friendship of Salem – a replica of a 1797 East Indiaman, Hawkes House (1780, 1800), Narbonne House (1675), Pedrick Store House, a three-story building, constructed around 1770, Salem Custom House (1819), St. Joseph Hall (1909) and the West India Goods Store (1804). Located in the urban setting of Salem, the park preserves and interprets over 600 years of New England's maritime history and global connections. It interprets the Triangle Trade during the colonial period, in cotton, rum, sugar and slaves; the actions of privateers during the American Revolution; and global maritime trade with the Far East, after independence.
The National Park Service manages both the National Historic Site and a Regional Visitor Center in downtown Salem. The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. In 2014, the National Park Service, which runs the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, released figures and statistics for 2012: there were 756,038 visitors to Salem who spent an estimated $40,000,000. The National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016.
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