Unfortunately, a large section of our city doesn’t get it nor does the Daily News nor in a large part our banks and businesses and not many in the home improvement industry and yes, even some in the real estate market don’t “get it” It really surprises me that many who are townies or have lived here a long time don’t “get it” either.
Visitors, tourists and potential house buyers, are primarily attracted to Newburyport because of our historic setting and that setting is simply fraudulent and shallow unless we have real history behind the looks.
“People come to Newburyport to be attracted by the historicity of the community… we want to continue that.”
-Dick Sullivan, Sr, June 18, 2007, Renovators had rules to follow when rebuilding, Newburyport Daily News.
“I hear from prospective buyers that they are drawn by the historic charm of the city and that it offers a lot in the 21st century.”
-Sandy Berkenbush, Realtor, Stone Ridge Properties. Daily News, 22 May, 2012, “Interest runs high for Port Homes”
The unintended consequence of the restoration of downtown Newburyport has been its attraction for residency.
-Bill Plante, May 11, 2012, “Don’t turn backs on school needs”, Newburyport Daily News Opinion Page.
Those who think we’re some kind of Disneyland, don’t realize that all that aesthetic attraction is based on genuine history. We are an ancient city and by depriving ourselves of the knowledge of the past we kill any meaningful human culture and expression in our community. We might as well live in “Anywheretown” because anything special and unique about Newburyport will have been lost if we lose our history.
Tomorrow, a ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. in Market Square. It grieves me that most people will have to work and miss this event. Granite markers have bee placed around the city in front of our historic locations and now they will be supplemented by mobile tours that can be done from any I pad, smart phone and tablet. To access this information, one needs to go to the Clipper Heritage Trail Website and download the mobile tour.
Ghlee Woodworth has been the leader in finally answering that agonizing question by tens of thousands of our visitors over the years, “What’s the history behind Newburyport?”
As Mayor Holaday has stated,
“I am so grateful to Ghlee Woodworth for the extensive research and work she put into creating this wonderful, easily accessible mobile tour and website.”
Heritage Tourism pumps up our equity and property values, it creates the foundation for our high quality of life and makes us the highly desired destination for countless numbers of shoppers and visitors. But none of it can be sustained unless we have a genuine history behind our place.
So, though many won’t be able to get to this ceremony tomorrow, I’m still going to ask you if you understand the importance of history in our city and the preeminence of our heritage tourism.
So when I ask, “Get it?”
You can know respond, “Got it!”