And they are still here! Built upon or buried or paved over; they are most all here! If the archaeological departments of our higher institutions in New England could gather the funding, we would be their playground.
What historic discoveries would they find?
The recent discovery of Coombs Wharf opened up new information that had not been recorded by ANY previous historian. Newly found documents in City Hall uncovered by the ‘Catacomb Crawlers’ volunteers revealed how important Newburyport was to our Nation. If more wharves were uncovered, more clues and more opportunities for deep research would open a wealth of artifacts and history to reveal our importance!
I was talking this weekend at a party with a fellow guest who worked in the Highway Safety Commission. She revealed an answer to a riddle – Why is Route One like an arrow straight from Boston to Newburyport? She revealed that Boston considered our little city so important at one time that it was felt commerce itself would be threatened if not a direct route could be found and they were determined to expend great amounts of money to make it happen. This in a day when superhighways were the stuff of science fiction.
My first attempt at a documentary was on the wharves. (Okay, it’s no Measure of Change when it comes to quality but how many documentaries are out there on Newburyport!?!)
I invite you to watch the video and understand why the unveiling of the Bartlet Wharf timber on Friday at the First Friday Friend’s Night is such a big deal.
I am still shocked at how few Newburyporter’s are members of the Custom House. I could go so far as to expect it to be a requirement for city citizenship. (Or give you a choice: the Historical Society of Old Newbury or the Custom House Maritime Society!)
This is OUR history!