One of the most historic boating communities in the United States, Marblehead, Mass., dates to 1629 when the first European settler decided to call it home, although a Pilgrim from the Mayflower had arrived three years earlier and started fishing across the way. With its harbor protected by a deep peninsula, Marblehead was soon a thriving fishing village in its own right, and the locals were so successful that it was said that the streets smelled of cod.
By the time of the Revolution, Marblehead was one of the most thriving towns in the colonies, largely because its privateers brought their captured treasures back home. And the town contributed way beyond its size to the success of the Revolution, with sailors from Marblehead evacuating Washington’s army after the Battle of Long Island (carrying them across the East River at night to safety in what is now Manhattan), and a few years later ferrying Washington and his troops across the Delaware to win the battle of Trenton. But Marblehead suffered in the Revolution; by the end of the war, the town had 459 widows, out of a population of less than 5,000.
By the end of the 19th century, Marblehead became a summer haven for wealthy families from Boston, only 16 miles south, and after the Second World War it grew as a commuter suburb. But all the while it prospered as a boating, sailing and fishing mecca, a center for the America’s Cup and other sailboat races (the Marblehead to Halifax Race, for example), and the home to no fewer than four yacht clubs (Corinthian, Dolphin, Marblehead, and Boston) as well as Zurn Yacht Design (think MJM Yachts, Duffield 58 and Shelter Island Runabouts).
And it’s a wonderful destination, on the water or on land. Here’s a great story about Marblehead from Vogue, of all places, telling about the best places to visit, to eat and to stay. Read more: http://www.vogue.com/article/marblehead-massachusetts-new-england-getaway-travel-guide