In addition to serving as the seat of Marblehead’s town government, Abbot Hall contains the original of the widely reproduced Spirit of '76 painting by Archibald MacNeal Willard, the deed to Marblehead from the Nanapashemet tribe of Native Americans (dated 1684), a bust of native son and U.S. Vice-President Elbridge Gerry, a painting of Marbleheaders rowing Washington across the Delaware, a painting by primitivist J.O.J. Frost and a number of other historical artifacts. A plaque on display in the Selectmen's room, discovered in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, proclaims Marblehead to be the "Birthplace of the American Navy".
The clock in the tower of Abbot Hall is a Howard #2S installed in 1877 and is governed by a 10 ft (3.0 m) pendulum escapement, driven by an 86 lb (39 kg) weight. The clangor escapement is governed by a flutter vane assembly and is powered by a 292 lb (132 kg) weight. The Bell was cast by Meneely & Kimberly in Troy, New York. Every week the maintenance workers ascend the tower to wind the movements. There are many stories about the clock from local authors.