This last year, the city announced that an aggressive program would be initiated to provide visitors an opportunity to really appreciate Newburyport’s history. Under the enthusiastic guidance of Ghlee Woodworth, the Clipper Heritage Trail would be unveiled for 2013. This would include granite markers conveniently placed at historic sites, a website for detailed historic information and a cellular phone app which could be used all around the downtown.
Many of these ‘markers’ have not yet been installed and the app is still being worked on; but before the unveiling this spring it would be nice to access the history from the website.
One of the continuing problems with locals and visitors alike is the lack of focus on what actually is Newburyport’s important historic significance. All our architecture and beautiful homes are meaningless unless some significance can be attached to them.
If its clipper ships, where is the clipper ship moored on the docks or a clipper ship museum?
If it’s the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard, why is the RCS Massachusetts not moored behind the Custom House?
If it is the shipbuilding legacy, where is the Ship building museum (There’s one in Essex and one in Maine) or the exhibits?
If it is rum making, china trade, silversmithing, privateering and the underground railroad, where is the evidence that can be appreciated?
If it is the famous people and their significant deeds who passed through our place, where are their homes and monuments?
Most people in this busy time don’t have the time and inclination to rummage about our museums which are the logical repositories of all this significant history. They should take the time and the museums have offered a three for one special to make it happen but in this modern age so many (especially if small children are in tow) wish to see the important spots in a world-wind tour.
This is where the Clipper Heritage Trail comes into play.
So, long before the big unveiling and with many weeks of dreary winter before us; here is the preview link to check out the history*.