The James Babson Museum

A small one-story brick structure filled with early American tools and furniture. The cooperage shop is located midway between Gloucester and Rockport, built in 1658. It has been considered to be the oldest building and the first “factory” on Cape Ann. Originally known as the James Babson Farm, James and his wife Elinor Hill settled on these 32 acres above “the Mill”. At this stone shop James made barrels that were taken to Good Harbor Beach to be filled with fish and shipped to England, the West Indies, and other places around the world.

Babson Cooperage Museum

The plaque at the shop reads:


“Granted by special town act December 23, 1658 James and his mother, Isabel, were the first Babsons to reach America, arriving in 1632. James’ father died on shipboard while crossing. Town records show that Isabel was a very active kindly and beloved member of the community. She died in 1661. James was a cooper who made barrels, etc. From lumber obtained from the adjoining mill on cape pond brook. He married Elinor hill and they had ten children. He died in 1683.”


291 Main Street
Route 127
Rockport, MA

Cost of Admission


Hours & Dates

Open July – August
Tuesday – Sunday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
(978) 546-2958

Babson Museum Sign