Thanks to the efforts of two mayors, Moak first and then Holaday; we have had the opportunity to see what our city has been missing.
When the idea of turning this tired old mill town into a heritage tourism site first was kindled back in the late sixties; the attempt to bring a tall ship to ‘Clipper City’ fell into place and an actual clipper ship was moored at our waterfront. Unfortunately, it came too early and there were no proper port facilities to take care of the vessel. First, you had to cross a lovely stretch of weed-choked construction debris to get to the ship and the rotting docks made the approach to the water’s edge hazardous. But what eventually happened was the winter ice came and did great damage to the hull of the wooden ship. It was sold and towed away never to return. I wrote about it in an earlier post.
But someone may say, “How can a tall ship moored at our waterfront benefit the restaurants and shops? Would it draw people away from Market Square or would it stand so remotely that it will be unable to generate a benefit for all of the Downtown and Waterfront?
I thought it would be nice to see that such ships are a GREAT BENEFIT to our historic city. The presence of a tall ship brings back the relevance of our historic wharves and all the romance that was present in our past. It literally binds our city together and makes the casual visitor understand how important Newburyport’s glorious past is to the larger picture of American history.
It would cost approximately 46 million dollars to build a clipper ship and have it stowed at our waterfront. The better tack until someone wants to invest in a ship is to have the Mayor initiate for more tall ship visits to Newburyport.