Tunnels: Concentrated Romance

There is nothing that gets people more excited about Newburyport than hearing there are tunnels under the city.        And there is nothing more elusive than the mysterious tunnels when it comes to obtaining concrete information.

Frankly, I wish I could devote myself to this more.      Every time I turn around; I am finding more information, and more leads.          There are so many other challenges in town that beg my time; I just can’t justify much more spent on this subject.

It reminds me a lot about being a character in the movie, National Treasure.      No matter what clue I find, all it does is wet my appetite and leads me to another clue – but unlike the film; I’ve not found the Templar Gold!

Not yet!

But it doesn’t help when snide comments are made by so-called Doubting Thomas’ especially when they are politically motivated.       Reminds me of Byron Matthews attempt to hide Watts’ Cellar from the archeologists.      He probably stood there, pointing in the opposite direction and said; you can dig on the west side of the firehouse(which they did), but not on the east. (Which is where Watts’ Cellar is located according to Elizabeth Harris.)     In another example, concerning the Ale House; now, it’s no longer a tunnel.   It’s a ‘culvert’.       How clever!

Then you’ve got the biting pooh-pooh’ers claiming the tunnels are nothing but cisterns and ancient sewer lines.       The latest comment is typical of such nastiness:

“(Local lore indicates that wide tunnels or pathways running under riverfront streets were once used by rum-runners and/or citizens helping runaway slaves. Local historians, however, discount these tales and suggest they are just very old conduits that move runoff to the river.)”    Daily News, April 23rd, 2015, “Port Projects set to begin”.*

I’ve gathered a rather informal group of readers who are gun-ho to find these and explore them.      So, to these Indiana Janes’ & Jones'; I just found an article written back in the 70’s that contain eye-witness accounts plus pictures of the tunnels.     Unfortunately, the photo-stat copies are just blurred blackness when it comes to the photos.     It was painful to read but I made a transcript of the information so anyone with more time on their hands can do some research and report back to the rest of us!

Lo, and behold; its source is the very fountain of doubt: the Daily News.     It was from an old magazine its parent company sponsored that focused on the North Shore, rather than just Newburyport.     We need someone to track down an original copy of the article complete with pictures.

As I try to end every post on the tunnels, I put out an appeal: please, please, please – report what you find on your own concerning these underground structures.

AND FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, TAKE PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-P. Preservationist
http://www.ppreservationist.com

* Is Jay Williamson considered an historian?

 PS. So, even the Mayor goes down a ladder and gets to peer into the tunnel near the Ale House surrounded by the employees of the Department of Public Services – and no one has the forethought to take pictures!?!

 

 

Posted in Archeology, History | 1 Comment

2014 Master Plan?

I’ve had this feeling for a while that most of the citizens of Newburyport are asleep.     You know that feeling – in a real dream, the inconsistencies, the odd and the just plain wrong seem perfectly correct.       It is only when you wake and you still have that dim grasp of the night that you realize that nothing that happened,

Made any sense!

I saw the term, ‘2014 Master Plan’ for the last three months prominently displayed on the Minco website, and no one in town seemed to even stir.      I saw it again, boldly stated in the Daily News opinion page; and no one has said a word.     Even the city councilors who know better – not a peep.    Walked into City Hall, and printed in stacks is Minco’s expensive, brightly-colored propaganda piece to support the 40R with the same term clearly marked!

Apparently, most everyone is walking around in a fog, and everything makes sense, even falsities that appear real!

Hello!,   Slap! Slap!     Wake up everyone!

THERE IS NO 2014 MASTER PLAN.

 It is supposed to be a reflection of the community’s desire for a glorious future in 2025!        A properly implemented plan is presented to the citizens, vetted, discussed, wrung through a series of public hearings and finally stuck in a sub-committee where more input from the people is reviewed and then approved by city council.

As Mary Eaton said back in 2007 when a series of Mayors tried to ignore or trash our 2001 Master Plan (which is real by the way and still in effect):

“One of the things I like about the Newburyport Master Plan is it’s supposed to be a long term guide that was developed in a super-duper democratic process.”

We as a city have benefited greatly when the Master Plan has been implemented, and self-aggrandizing politicians and self-serving developers usually suffer when this occurs; hence the desire over the last fifteen years to, as Mary Eaton again stated,

“there seems to be a pattern, that with new influx of folks, that there is often a push for the goals for Newburyport to change.”

And if we allow it to be abandoned simply because we are oblivious, or as it seems now, asleep, our future will greatly suffer.

Right now, the Master Plan Steering Committee is composed of a wide range of citizens; and each of the components like Cultural, Economic development, Housing, Land Use, and Education, etc. have a healthy balance of representation in the community also.     But it is not the document in force.

Where’s the implementation plan?     Where is the strategies section?     Where are the action plans?      Where is the priority action and the concrete action steps?

Those are the sections that grate the dark siders nerves, the actual step-by-step process to get from here to 2025?      Where are the action plans that make exploiting self-serving developers grow pale?       Where are the concrete action steps that cage and minimize ego-driven politicians and City Hall bureaucrats?

The 2014 Master Plan hasn’t even got major sections completed and Minco wants to base its presence at the traffic circle on this?       Right now, that calls for an alarm to ring out.      We need to know what the 2001 Master Plan calls for, and then we need to have a good hard look at the section they are so excited about and check the difference.

Check out the sections they would be most concerned about in the 2001 Master Plan. (Land Use & Housing)

Here is the draft section they are all excited about in the ethereal 2014 Master Plan.

This is what Minco is happy to see – the draft Land Use Plan.

I am not saying that they are being devious.      I am not saying their intent is dubious.        More than likely, the plan they are offering needs to be amended, modified and tweaked so it benefits us, the Community of Newburyport.

But what right do we have to participate unless we are informed!?!

WAKE UP, CITIZENS, DOUSE SOME WATER ON YOUR FACE,

And read.

-P. Preservationist
http://www.ppreservationist.com

  “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.”

–Thomas Jefferson

Posted in Affordable Housing, Art & Culture, Developers, Heritage Tourism, News and politics, Open Space, Planning, Quality of Life, Waterfront | Leave a comment

Newburyport’s Patriot Day

423784_256938564390467_309445249_nNewburyport has a lot to be proud of when it comes to this momentous day of celebration.       It was here that George Whitefield, leader of the Great Awakening Movement, began his ministry to push the concept of God-given rights, which would be penned in just a few years later after his death by Thomas Jefferson in that momentous statement,

“they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Citizens, who in times past would have bowed their knee to their King, now believed the government should source its power from the people.        This powerful belief of “In God we trust” emblazoned the citizens of Newburyport to go to war to secure those rights as given by God.     In privateering, thousands went to sea empowered by such a principle and as many as 1,200 died giving the ultimate sacrifice.   On land, Newburyport featured prominently in the Battle of Lexington, Concord, April 19th, 1775.      Volunteers who hastily assembled at Market Square travelled rapidly down to assist the beleaguered minutemen at these key battles.        It was in large part the Newburyport militia that harassed the British as they Minuteman of Concord-Lexingtonstruggled to return to the safety of Boston.   Not only were they key at the first two towns but also participated in a major affront at Arlington.   Because of their participation, our local National Guard unit is one of the few units in the country that can display the Lexington-Concord battle streamer.

Ever since those momentous battles, our local engineering battalion has been known as “sappers”.     If you want to hear more about our patriotic unit and what it means to be a sapper, please look at this exhaustive history of their achievements.

Old South Mention of Coomb's AchievementAccording to the marble memorial that is located in the front right part of the Old South’s sanctuary; the very first division of the Continental Army was formed from the members  by Major Ezra Lunt on April 23rd, 1775 right after they returned from the battle, marking the very first division of the Continental Army which would eventually become the U.S. Army.

And as if some would think that war was the only thing inspired by the belief in God-given rights, shortly after the war, our Theophilus Parsons, supported by prominent men in Ipswich and Newburyport, began to codify these basic rights, and it was Parsons who first coined the phrase, “Bill of Rights” and insisted it be listed up front in the world’s first constitution, the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.      He later helped to be the author of three major amendments inTheophilus Parsons the National Bill of Rights.

This concept of God-given rights is the first principle of an American Patriot and as it may be alien to many of the secularists and atheists in our city today; Newburyport’s 18th century citizens, many hardy merchants and mariners, understood it all too clearly and were willing to die for it without hesitation.

Though today, the Marathon Race may gain the limelight; it ought to be a duty for every Newburyporter to visit the Minuteman National Park in Lexington and see how previous citizens of this little city literally changed the world.

The North Bridge at Concord

-P. Preservationist
http://www.ppresrevationst.com

PS. Castagna Construction did a great job renovating our local militia’s facility.   I just wished they had restored the exterior which is still very drab and hides the major significance of our local battalion!

 

 

 

Posted in Education, Health and wellness, History, News and politics | Leave a comment

The Cart before the Horse

So while I have been carrying on intellectually trying to explain how our City makes money; apparently Tom Ryan’s term, “Cannibal City” has become more and more an accurate label.       We’re not just devouring the very thing that has made our community prosperous, we’re busy devouring our own legs right up to the kneecap and beyond.Cart before the horse II

We’ve got an out of control building inspector who allows developers to believe they will have to gut our historical buildings if they ever wish to get an occupancy permit; a Zoning Board of Appeal’s who totally disregard community benefit or even the voice of dozens of abutters; with a basic line, “Show up with cash and a willingness to build, and you’ll get approved”, a Mayor who is addicted to building ‘things’ no matter if its harmful to the city or not.     Finally, we’ve got a directionless Department of Public Services that is busy destroying our heritage tourism by slathering concrete all over the Newburyport Historic District and if they can’t get their way, at least add concrete to each city corner; thus destroying the very ambience of our History and especially the most valuable of all, The South End.

Everyone will admit, and in fact, was just brought up today by Jean Doyle in the Daily News; that our city was turned around from a poverty-stricken deplorable position to its present day renaissance by Historic Preservation. (Yes, it’s in bold face and in caps!)

cart before the horse bad moveNow any small child can see with a simple illustration that if you put the cart before the horse then you are going to get no where.         A kindergartener would understand right away how absurd this is.          And even children in our elementary schools if given a crazy diagram as demonstrated below are going to understand right awayCart before the horse that putting the cart before the horse is just crazy.          The cart will just sit there and won’t be moved along until you get the horse pulling in front with the cart pointing in the right direction!      They would just look at you and say, “That’s just plain silly!”

And yet, our present administration has decided that gutting our historic buildings to the studs, ripping out anything of historic value; or better yet, demolishing our historic buildings is going to guarantee our future prosperity.      They see nothing wrong turning our historic neighborhoods into bland urban landscapes.    What we will end up is a soulless city with no history, no roots and a shallow Disney-ish feel to it – in other words, a cheap, imitation of real history.

This trend of generating Faux History can be detected by visitors a mile away – Newburyport will begin to take on the reputation of being  a shallow tourist trap in which people of any self-respect will avoid.

Las Vegas is the home of fake history: a fake Eiffel tower, fake Italian architecture and fake building icons.        And when they tire of it, they just demolish the fake and replace it with a classier fake.         And they have suffered for it over the years from a disease – I feel it every time I’m there visiting a business show – It’s called tackiness.     And it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

And then there is Disneyland – a lovely place to visit but even there, it’s an empty shell.     Nice to visit but living there?     Knowing that everything is  a put-on, people pretending in costume.    You start to get a different feeling – shallowness, emptiness, lack of reality.      Even Walt Disney  who unfortunately died before he realized the dream, wanted to make things more realistic and practical with a future city concept called Epcot.  (Today’s Epcot is not it.)

Eventually, the Faux History and the dog and pony show are seen through for what they are – cheap imitations of the real thing.   

Newburyport is mortgaging our authentic history for a fast buck now.      We think that we can generate huge tax rolls by putting in sparkling clean buildings with all the modern features and match it with all the modern conveniences that money can buy.

But the visitors, including the visitors who plan on buying real estate, can be fooled for just so long.     Eventually, those seeking an historic seaport are going to abandon us and go to Portsmouth.     Those seeking real historic architecture will leave us for Charleston and Savannah.       And we’ve traded quality for the cheap stunt of plastic A-signs and tourist trap gimmicks, it won’t be long before we’ll start to wonder why our tax rolls are dropping as the real estate market goes elsewhere.        And as the Daily News vividly described today, our city will be shrinking with a smaller population to take on the tax burden.

We, as citizens, have got to wake up and take back our city from the exploiters.     This ravaging band seeks none other than to devour our city for fast money now.          Not only will they devour for cash but they will also devour the two things that have made Newburyport affluent and a regional leader: Historic Preservation and our Quality of Life.

Cart before the horse III

 

Let’s stop City Hall and the Developers from putting the cart before the horse!

-P. Preservationist
http://www.ppreservationist.com

 

 

Posted in Architecture, Art & Culture, Businesses, Demolitions, Developers, Economics, Education, Health and wellness, Heritage Tourism, History, Landscapes, News and politics, Planning, Preservation, Preservation History, Quality of Life, Real Estate, Renovation, sidewalks, Streetscape, Streetscapes, Taxes, Tourism | Leave a comment

So how does Newburyport make money? Part II

At one time, Newburyport was solidly based on industry and servicing the employees of industry.     By 1960, we had shoe factories, hat factories, tanneries,  silversmithing, TV manufacturing and various companies in the automotive, defense and electronics fields.       We also had clamming, farming and fishing supplemented with some recreational boating services.

Those employed numbered in the hundreds and in some places, thousands – who in turn lived here, and spent their money here in our center.

And then, one by one; they all left town.

The citizens of this community dealt with this devastating situation by approaching it in two ways: (I am briefly summarizing)  One, creating Newburyport Area Industrial Development to bring back industry, and Two, restoring our downtown and turning it into a heritage tourism site.

Taking away the baloney and the happy promotional bluster, the end result was miserable.

First, the industry that came to Newburyport was largely low-paying, which meant that many who came to work here, could not afford to live here.      No more than 5% of the work force are actually residents of the city.     In addition, being too close to the border, the industrial park was caught in a tax well – too far from Boston and too close to the allure of the Live Free and Die state.

Second, heritage tourism was up against several walls.    There was The Curse, this strange condition that keeps the city being known around the world fueled by a native clientele that reinforces it.     Newburyport had at one time the reputation of being another Lawrence, a raunchy, bawdy place not to be visited by God-fearing families.     Since The Curse prevented anyone telling the world that the situation was now changed, the amount of quality tourists amounted to those who only over the years ‘accidentally’ stumbled into town.    Thirdly, not even those in town knew the historic distinctiveness of the city and by and large had the attitude that the chamber and the city’s efforts were based largely on making us a ‘tourist trap’.

The city was getting better but it was not affluent by any measure!

Then, this quirky little place  began to attract, very slowly at first, many who saw great potential in its tired old bones.       They bought the old buildings and began, often with their own money (if you were a bank, would you pour money into inner-city Lawrence?) to renovate and many times restore the houses all over the city.       They began to preserve these antique structures and created lovely historic, safe neighborhoods from which to live and raise families.       Quality of life issues perpetuated caring citizens who did what they could to make the community a great place to live.      Coffee shops and little sandwich shops like Middle Street Foods cemented this idea that we were a nice community; and our unique shops and our singular culture drew in artists and environmentalists and culture lovers.

Once the city began to shine with renovated and restored homes, to match our renovated and restored downtown and then as a late bloomer, the waterfront began to shine; the entire thing began to snowball.

The fact became clear: Newburyport is a great place to live.

If you made a lot of money, and you had the means to choose where you live, and could still get to your work (wherever that could be); would you choose Burlington or would you choose Newburyport?          Unless you’re a real masochist, the answer is obvious.

Unfortunately, to provide a financier from Burlington the same quality of culture and services of a larger city; we need to have a tax base that is bigger than what 18,000 people can support.    That means that The Curse has to be overcome or we will never achieve the total security of permanent affluence.

So you see, we need our eco and  heritage tourism to sustain our shops, and our historic downtown, but it is only part of the picture.     Once the New England weather enters into the picture, both of these sectors disappear from January almost to May.        The city desperately needs visitors year-round to keep our infrastructure healthy.

In comes the culture and restaurant scene.  

My wife and I braved the bitter cold this winter to visit the Museum of Science for a special exhibit on the Mayans.       We also did the same for an event at the Museum of Fine Arts.      Both times, we visited very nice restaurants to go along with our trip.

It is the same with Newburyport.        We need people to come for culture (that includes live music at restaurants) such as events, museums and our theaters, year round.    Then we need to see them explore our downtown and visit our restaurants and purchase at our shops, year round.

It is these visitors that will make our city solid as a rock in affluence.

The Mayor gets it when she established the paid parking downtown.     Let these outside visitors help pay for our services and our sidewalks and our infrastructure.       The Harbor Master gets it when he wants to raise our mooring fees so that outside-the-city visitors will pay for waterfront improvements.      The NRA and Waterfront Trust want that outside-the-city visitor to pay year-round, to support their goals for improvement.        Lois Honegger knows that our Cultural District is the key to our true affluence.

So what of our eco and heritage tourists?      What is their worth?       14% of them will end up trying to come back and live here, or at least wish they could and will return for more visits.       As more and more of them across the country seek to live here, the value of our real estate is beginning to skyrocket, and this is where we are dangerously close to being a boomtown.

Boomtowns draw conmen, crooks, exploiters, hucksters, thieves and whoremongers.     Get-rich-quick schemes abound and all that money lays the foundation for corruption in our society and our government.      Crafty consultants, giant developers, oily lobbyists and well-connected lawyers are not far behind. (or already here!)

It may be too late but it is worth the effort to try to prevent the negative side of a boomtown.

Boomtowns are preceded by an eventual Bust.

-P. Preservationist
http://www.ppreservationist.com

Posted in Businesses, Downtown, Economics, Education, finances, Planning, Taxes, Tourism, Waterfront | Leave a comment

So how does Newburyport make money? Part I

How do the bills get paid, employees get their paychecks, the schools stay open and the city’s infrastructure maintained?      Now Professor Tontar could explain it to us all, but we simply don’t have the space on this post to fit in twenty plus weeks of lectures.     So, I am going to try to simplify the discussion by breaking it down into two parts.    I’ll start off in this section by  defining what I mean by ‘make money’.

In other words, where does the city get the funds to pave the roads, pay teachers and provide services to the citizens?       There are two ways, and only two ways: fees and taxes.       Fees like parking fees, mooring fees and permit fees.      Taxes such as excise, income and sales.

Now when Newburyport was broke, they also had fees and taxes.       So, and this will make your head hurt thinking about this; how is it that the old Newburyport had them but was struggling and the present-day Newburyport is doing so well?

It begs a simple conclusion: something else is in play that is outside fees and taxes.

You can put away the aspirin and Tylenol now.

It’s because our economy is different than when we as a community were struggling.

I am belaboring this point because I have heard citizens echo a common myth, one that I heard a councilor echo just recently; that we must maximize the amount of property being taxed so that the city will be financially secured.

Years ago, Mayor Moak chased out an educational institution that wanted to move into the empty part of the Mersen Complex because he didn’t want to take that property off the tax rolls.        The main argument of those who want to build on every available space in the city is to generate more ‘taxes’.     They want to build on farm lands, forests, gravel lots, wetlands.    They are seeking residential empty lots and going so far as trying to seize park land.

The end goal as reasoned is that we will be financially secure by taxing all this land.

Unfortunately, this is a commonly conceived lie.     Once something is ‘believed’ by a person or a society; it is very difficult to convince them that what they hold true, isn’t true.      There are so many deep-rooted myths or preconceived ideas concerning economics.      As Mark Twain asserts, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

By practicing this lie, the only person or organization that will benefit in Newburyort is a select group of contractors, construction companies and developers and some happy realtors who broker the deals.       The community itself will suffer, and suffer for a very long time.

The truer principle is simple.      Every time you tax a residential unit, you must produce three to four times that tax to provide infrastructure, schools and increased services to cover it.      In contrast, every time you put in a commercial unit, you generate three to four times the income tax levied.   

This is why Seabrook, the retail Disneyland, is doing well – they’re focusing on commercial.     This is why Newbury has just rezoned the Route One corridor; they don’t have enough businesses to balance out the terrible pressure from excessive residential expansion in their town.         Towns that have focused on residential sprawl all across New England are close to receivership because the tax money is counterbalanced with a desperately needed increase in their infrastructure. (Of course, 40B developments make it even worse!)

But what about Newburyport?      Shouldn’t this principle work here too?

No, it doesn’t!       Take a look at this chart and you will see that most of the activity when it comes to fees and taxes comes from our residential neighborhoods.     Our industrial and commercial base barely make a dent and we have quite an expansive business park and a thriving downtown.        With this principle in effect: our infrastructure should be deteriorated, we should have dilapidated schools with bare bone curriculum, and waves of homeless or poverty-stricken people all over town.         Police with rusted guns in their holsters, fireman with malfunctioning engines; and the DPS driving around in rickety trucks.     There should be no free cash available and the city should be deep in debt just trying to keep its head above the financial waters.

Tax-Resource_thumb.jpg

Again, it begs a simple conclusion:  something else is in play here that is outside the simple application of fees and taxes.

In Part II, I will reveal the actual economic situation in Newburyport.      Why we’re an affluent city.      Why we are doing well financially.     And sadly, why all this will eventually, if the city planners are not stopped; will be coming to a fast end.

-P. Preservationist
http://www.ppreservationist.com

This is not the current but it hasn’t changed much since last year:

Tax Statistics

Posted in Businesses, Developers, Downtown, Economics, Education, Maintenance, Open Space, Planning, Real Estate, schools | 1 Comment

Hurry out to see these before they’re hidden!

Winter and early spring as noted by Robert Thorson, a New England stone wall preservation advocate, is the best time to observe them.   “Like a negative to a photograph, walls are most visible when life is most invisible.”

Stone walls in the forestBeing a city, we often forget that to the west and south of the center of town is a large swath of farmland within Newburyport’s boundaries.      Most of it is open land and presently being used by our farms, but further to the north, it is largely forest.

It is in this area, that you will find the Little River Trail System of which the Little River Nature Trail is but a small part.     A favorite place for birdwatchers, nature lovers and dog walkers; the paths meander through some absolutely stunning patches of woodland.      Further southwest is the Artichoke Reservoir and the breathtakingly beautiful Artichoke Nature Trail.

As heavily wooded as they may seem; there was a time when the area was mostly treeless.       This was an area (and of course extends for miles through Newbury and beyond) where subsistence farming occurred.     Families would grow just enough to feed themselves and perhaps, if lucky, had some left over to sell at the local market.       These first settlers lived just fine for a few years, but this type of agriculture can’t tolerate a high level of human population and it ends up depleting trees, stresses the soil until it is barren and it isn’t long before heavy erosion drives the families into poverty.       It was this lifestyle that drove large populations to migrate and colonize the western expanses of America.

Worse, the land was littered with rocks from the great glacier that had once covered New England.      Before they could plow the land, they had to do back breaking work to clear Stone walls cutting throug the forestthe stones. (many very large)   I have tried to move some of the stones in those same walls and could not believe their weight.        They must have been deliriously happy when so many arrived in Ohio with its flat, rich, stone-less, loam-filled, fields!

To appreciate this iconic New England feature and the  hard work of our ancestors; I pulled some statistics. (references below)      In 1871, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that more stone walls existed in New England than all the miles of railroad track laid down to that date.     A book written at that time indicated, “The work that went into them, according to one estimate, would have built the pyramids of Egypt (all of them) one hundred times over.      In 1939, the U.S. D. A. noted that at that time, as much as 240,000 miles of stone walls existed in New England and if placed end to end would have made it to the Moon at its closest approach.

So, this is the best time to go and see them before the trees are in bloom.   When you do, marvel at how small some of these farms actually were.

As you go through these barren landscapes and see the stones, I encourage you to go with a trained eye –     There are two main types.     First, walls that marked property boundaries are often times even in rock size.        As Robert Frost noted, “Fences make good neighbors”, and so they would try to keep these in excellent condition.       The second type of wall marked where the fields were.     These would have small stones jumbled in with big stones and often reflected the farmer tirelessly lugging another one out of the field.

Sadly, many modern property owners have absolutely no desire to sustain our New England character and will either remove the walls or put up some modern version.     ThisStone walls meandering stripping away of our romance is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the saddest things about living in the 21st century.       Taking away our native beauty and replacing it with a cultureless, senseless thug-like modern existence made up of aluminum,  plastic and steel.    No wonder there’s been an alarming rise in suicides!

Fortunately, most of us who have chosen to live in Newburyport; are here precisely because we value our local beauty, man-made and natural, and our high, uplifting quality of life.

So, head for the trails!     Get that leash for your dog!     Maybe grab some binoculars for bird watching.

And take some time to gaze with wonder at our uniquely-New England stone walls!

-P. Preservationist
http://www.ppreservationist.com

References:

“Stone by Stone: The Magnificent History of New England’s Stone Walls” by University of Connecticut geology professor Robert M. Thorson, 2002.

The Stonewall Initiative, (http://stonewall.uconn.edu/), dedicated to the preservation of New England’s iconic stone walls.

The history, science and poetry of New England’s stone walls, By John-Manuel Andriote, (http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/history-science-and-poetry-new-englands-stone-walls),

The Walls of New England: A Forgotten Wonder of the World, (www.field-notebook.com/?p=119), Posted on 11/10/2006 by Curtiss Clark

Posted in Agriculture & Farms, Archeology, Art & Culture, Businesses, Conservation, Economics, Education, Environment, History, Landscapes, Open Space, Preservation, Quality of Life, trails, Trees | Leave a comment