Friday, July 31, 2009

Peabody Leather Museum and North Shore Vocational

New Attraction in Peabody
On Thursday evening a new attraction opened in Peabody as a part of the George Peabody House complex on Washington Street.   The long awaited Leather Museum opened to rave reviews and welcoming guests.  The Museum depicts the storied history and heritage of the leather industry in the City of Peabody.  The leather industry was a bell weather of the economy of the City of Peabody long before there were shopping centers and industrial parks in the city,  During the last century thousands of Peabody residents earned their living working in the dozens of tanneries in the city.  I suspect that families all over the city had someone that was connected to this important regional industry. My wife's dad worked for over twenty five years in one of the many leather facilities in the community after the mills closed down, and for one summer that I will long remember, I worked at the long ago closed Hawthorne Tanning Co,  I broke out skins for about 10 weeks as a summer job.   It was hard but honest work, and I was better later on for the experiece.  Peabody Mayor Michael Bonfanti and the rest of the City of Peabody municipal government can be most proud of their accomplishment in bringing this idea to life as a museum.  The new museum is part of the George Peabody House complex that also serves as one of the ten regional Visitor Centers connected to Essex Heritage.  The Leather Museum is open on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and certainly will make a wonderful destination for the residents of the Leather City as well as other from around the region.  The heritage of this region that ENHC is working so hard to preserve is most evident in this facility and all that it represents to such an important community in the Essex National Heritage Area. 

Area Mayors and Other Elected Officials Working to Secure Additional Funding
Between now and the end of this year very important votes to help assure the creation of a new North Shore Vocational School will be taking place at City Council and Town Meetings across the region.   Essex Heritage has long advocated for this important new facility to be located in Danvers and has sent letters of support at every step in the process.  We applaud recent efforts of Beverly Mayor Scanlon, with the help of Congressman Tierney and the North Shore Chamber of Commerce to seek Federal Stimulus funds to help make up financing shortfalls after the initial state educational funding had been secured.  The need to help out cash strapped member communities to meet their share of the required commitment is a wonderful initiative. All of the member communities that will have to share in the cost of completion of this much needed regional educational facility are in need of financial help and if this effort is successful it would a godsend to the local communities.  I am proud to be a member of the Danvers Finance Committee and any help that can be obtained to make the completion of this new school a reality will be appreciated by one group representing a local community.  The Essex National Heritage commission continues to offer its unqualified support to this urgent effort and urges all officials working on funding to continue their efforts, as the school is of great importance to the region.

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