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CBP Opens New Exhibit at Historic Boston Custom House

Release Date: 
October 3, 2017

BOSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in coordination with Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House officially opened a new exhibit yesterday showcasing historic items from the legacy U.S. Customs Service; this exhibit returns tools, measuring devices, field manuals, and uniforms to the location in which they were originally used. Representatives from CBP including some who worked at the Boston Custom House and from the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House attended the event to open the new display.

CBP Boston Director of Field Operations William A. Ferrara views one of the new displays at the Historic Boston Custom House.
CBP Boston Director of Field Operations
William A. Ferrara views one of the
new displays at the Historic Boston
Custom House.

CBP partnered with Marriott Vacation Club, located in the historic Boston Custom House, to create the exhibit.

“We are very excited that the residents of Boston, visitors, and our own employees can now have a glimpse of our past through the exhibition of these items that may now be obsolete, but were once critical to those who proudly served our nation at this location,” said CBP Boston Director of Field Operations William A. Ferrara. “Showcasing these artifacts allows us to highlight the people who used these tools, those who wore the uniforms, and laid the foundations from which we work today.”

“Since 1997, Marriott Vacation Club has truly enjoyed caring for this incredibly historical site and we’re reminded every day of its significance and value to Boston’s history. There’s something special about this place, and there’s something special about being able to share tangible objects that are part of the Custom House history,” said Ed Kinney, Marriott Vacation Club Global Vice President of Corporate Affairs. “Our Owners, guests and associates hold Boston’s history so dear and hope all others who visit the property enjoy seeing these reminders of our past as well.”

The Boston Custom House served as critical hub for commerce in Boston for 137 years. Today, the building continues to shine as a distinct marker on city’s skyline, functioning as a vacation ownership property, but from 1849 to 1986 it housed the U.S. Customs Service, now a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security was formed which included the creation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on March 1, 2003. U.S. Customs and Border Protection became the nation’s first comprehensive border security agency with a focus on maintaining the integrity of the nation’s boundaries and ports of entry.

Before CBP, security, compliance and facilitation of international travel and trade were conducted by multiple organizations. The consolidation of these roles and responsibilities allowed CBP to develop seamless security procedures while ensuring compliance with the nation’s immigration, health, and international trade laws and regulations. This included the role of the former U.S. Customs Service, which traced its original functions to July 31, 1789, and noted its role as the progenitor of numerous federal bureaus and agencies. The Customs Service closed with the dawn of CBP, but its commissioner became the leader of CBP and the majority of its staff and responsibilities came to CBP.

The immigration function was also incorporated into CBP, transitioning over immigration inspectors, who traced their responsibilities to the establishment of the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration on March 3, 1891.

For more on CBP’s border security mission at our nation’s ports of entry, please visit the At Ports of Entry section of the CBP website.

Last modified: 
October 3, 2017
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