Lowell's Boat Shop
A NATIONAL LANDMARK & WORKING MUSEUM
Dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the art and craft of wooden boat building
BOAT BUILDING - EDUCATION - EXHIBITS - ROWING
Established in 1793, Lowell's Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating boat shop in the United States and is cited as the birthplace of the legendary fishing dory. Lowell’s is the only remaining survivor of the area’s world-renowned dory manufacturing industry that produced in excess of a quarter of a million dories over a period of two centuries. Building more than 2000 boats in 1911, this business was one of the first in the Nation to employ a seminal form of assembly line manufacturing.
With the founding of his company, Simeon Lowell made radical innovations to traditional boat design. Known for their efficiency, durability and sea worthiness, Lowell dories became the heart and soul of the Gloucester fishing fleet. In the waning days of the great fishing industry, recreational boaters turned to Lowell dories for the same qualities that attracted the fishermen. Rowing clubs, hunting camps, the Boy and Girl Scouts and the Lifesaving Service all sought Lowell dories and skiffs for their maritime experiences.
Conveyed through seven generations of the Lowell family, Lowell’s Boat Shop was passed to the Odell family in the 1980’s and then to the Newburyport Maritime Society in the 1990’s. In 2006, Lowell’s was purchased by Lowell’s Maritime Foundation, an independent non-profit group with the mission of leading this National Landmark and Working Museum through its third century of wooden boat building.