Border to Boston Recreational Trail and Essex County Scenic Byway
Bill Steelman, the Director of Heritage Development for Essex Heritage in regular briefings has kept me informed, of the effort and energy that has been contributed by many in the region to make certain that these two regional projects continue to move forward. The recreational trail project became slightly “bogged down” when the distribution of the funding that was obtained for this project by Congressman John Tierney was held up due to a jurisdictional debate. Bill and many members of the regional committee that has been established and managed in part by Essex Heritage have been working on a solution to the funding issue, and is confidant that a plan will be in place soon to start the process moving again. On the Scenic Byway front, a comprehensive regional meeting was held in June, and the consultant that has been secured to mange this effort is in the process of setting up several local meetings that will allow community input into this program. It is expected that over the fall season these local community meetings will be held, and local elected officials and residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on what is important to their individual community and from those interactions a regional plan will emerge.
Essex River Cruises
One day last week, the staff of Essex Heritage spent a morning on their annual outing, and used the occasion to sample the scenic cruise offered by Essex River Cruises. The morning that the staff picked was a little cool, but the late summer sun soon warmed the day, and the experience was a most pleasant break from the normal routine of the office. Essex River Cruises are located on the salt marsh estuary in Essex, Massachusetts and is a wonderful opportunity to escape for a time to the unspoiled natural beauty of the Essex River. The cruises begin and end from a location in Essex that is surrounded by fine restaurants, antique shops, working museums and other cultural attractions. The cruise offers spectacular views of scenic salt marshes rich with unique wild life. The boats offer the chance to view the marshes, rain or shine, and are available through the fall season. The marsh itself is part of the Essex river that was formed 15,000 thousand years ago by melting glaciers of the last ice age, and serves as a feeding ground for many species of feeding birds and wildlife. It certainly is a trip worth taking, and the staff of Essex Heritage was most appreciative of the opportunity to sample some of the resources of the region first hand.
Andover Historical Society the Recipient of a Wonderful Grant
It was recently announced that the Andover Historical Society has received a $137,000 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services to undertake the creation of a data base of their extensive historic collections. Essex Heritage who has long played a role in the work to recognize and catalog the superb records in this region is particularly pleased to see this grant in place. Andover Historical like dozens of their counterparts all across this region have collections of artifacts, photographs and period clothing that need to be preserved, recorded and cataloged. The grant that is now in place for this Historical Society is great news and will allow one Society in the region to make substantial progress in their preservation effort. The data base that will be created in Andover will record information about each artifact, including its location, a photograph and a brief history of the item. When Andover completes their project hopefully they will share the process with others in the region, and possibly some kind of format could be set up for others to follow. Once again, Essex Heritage congratulates the Andover Historical Society on the perseverance and the wisdom that went into the decision to seek such a grant to accomplish this task. The completed project will certainly be a model for others in the region to emulate when complete.
St John’s Prep and Bishop Fenwick High Schools Celebrate this Fall
In my past, I have served both St John’s Preparatory School, and Bishop Fenwick High School as a member of their respective Boards of Trustees. I have always been particularly proud of those associations as I am very aware of the wonderful work that the two schools do in furthering the education of the youth of this region.
St John’s Prep in Danvers will be holding their annual Homecoming Weekend on the final weekend of September and will offer campus tours, most competitive sporting events and other activities for alumni. One event of great interest to me will be a luncheon where a presentation will be offered where opportunities for Prep Alumni to participate in a planned giving program for the school will be outlined. The school has established the 1907 Society and membership is available to all who make a planned gift of some kind to help continue the wonderful efforts to provide financial aid to worthy applicants at the Prep. I encourage all Alumni attending Homecoming weekend to consider attending that luncheon to learn more about how they can participate in the Planned Giving Program...
Bishop Fenwick High School will be “kicking off” a year long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of that school with a very special event next weekend at the school in Peabody. A special breakfast and liturgy is planned with Sean P. Cardinal O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston at the school on September 13, 2009. Those events is private, but please watch for other events all throughout this year that will help celebrate the golden anniversary of the Peabody school.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to offer observations on the work of Essex Heritage and other activities that impact our mission. I welcome and encourage any comments, questions or suggestions that you may have on this posting or any other matters of interest to the region. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.