Museums & Galleries, Amesbury

A step back in time: Amesbury’s Industrial History Center

WHAT:The Millyard in Amesbury's center is the perfect location for this compact museum
WHY:An easily-viewed collection of historic artifacts displayed in an imaginative way

The Industrial History Center is located in the center of Amesbury, appropriately on the first floor of a brick mill building. It makes the most of its space, with exhibits that chronicle mill work, textile factories, bicycle manufacturing, hat-making and the carriage-building industry.

The exhibits are updated regularly and are easy to browse, with interpretive signage that help provide context. Displays include Amesbury-manufactured bicycles, a detailed model of the workings of an early grain mill, tools of the trade for carriage-making, photos of textile mill work, and a proud horse and carriage from their collection. My guide pointed out that school groups visit regularly and the children find the exhibits interesting.

It should be noted that the Amesbury Carriage Museum is part of the Industrial History Center. Amesbury was a center for carriage design and production in the mid- to late-19th century. It’s extensive collection is not currently on display but much of the town’s carriage-making industry’s history is accessible on the Museum’s website.

Not-so-fun fact: After the tragic 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, federal regulators prohibited factories of more than 4 storeys. Some mill owners in Amesbury removed 5th floors from their buildings, or that floor was simply left unoccupied.


Flatbread Company
5 Market Square, Amesbury | 978-834-9800
Wood-fired pizza in brick & stone digs next to the museum

Market Square Bakehouse
5 Market St, Amesbury | 978-792-5237
Fresh-baked goods, great coffee, soups, salads, paninis

Mel’s Record Shop
4 Water St, Amesbury | 978-792-5740
Vintage vinyl, CDs and cassettes for the non-digerati