Monday, October 26, 2009

Scenic Byway Meeting, Senator Fred Berry Food Drive, Haunted Happenings, Pioneers in Partnership Award Winner

MONDAY, October 26, 2009

Scenic Byway Meetings

The Essex Heritage Scenic Byway program is continuing to be developed by the regional committee that has been organized to insure that the program has local input. A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday morning at the Ipswich Town Hall and members of the Essex Heritage leadership team along with the consultants that have been contracted to help in the management of this initiative will meet with local representative to continue the planning process. More information in the future as the planning progress

Senator Fred Berry Food Drive

The weather on Sunday certainly contributed to what appears was a most successful food drive organized by the office of Sate Senator Fred Berry of Peabody to benefit the food pantries of southern Essex County. I stopped by the site in Danvers where food was being collected on Sunday, to make a personal contribution to add to the gift already made by the staff of Essex Heritage and there was a big crowd making contributions of both food and cash. I know that the Danvers People to People Food Pantry, where my wife works as a volunteer received a substantial amount of contributed food later in the day on Sunday, and that gift was much appreciated. There is clearly a great need today at food pantries all over the region and Senator Berry should be congratulated for his initiative and the success of the effort. I would suspect that even now it is not too late to make a contribution and I know that between now and the coming holidays every one of the local pantries would welcome contributions of both food and cash to help them through this very busy period. Each month between now and the end of the holiday season, President John Hall of Salem Five Bank, and this year’s President of Salem Rotary Club is collecting spare change at one meeting a month for St. Joseph’s Food Pantry in Salem. I am certain that there are many drives like that being undertaken at organizations and churches all over this most generous region...

The City of Salem in the Homestretch of Haunted Happenings

Certainly the weather on Sunday was most conducive to events like Haunted Happening in Salem. I was not in the city on Sunday, but I have it on first hand reports that the crowds were large, as the sun was shining and the weather was warm for the season. For most of the month of October, crowds, even during mid week have been large and most orderly in the City as we close in on Halloween itself that will be celebrated this year on a Saturday. The numbers of visitors to the City being reported by both the Salem Chamber of Commerce and the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center are up substantially from past years, and it seems that the City id headed for a record October. I am certain that the city has planned well for this end of the fall season event and we encourage visitation as the season means a great deal to the merchants of this community, but like every one connected with the event we urge all the visitors to enjoy the festivities, but to retain levels of civility and to not infringe on the rights of others. This weekend I noted a posting on Face book from Kate Fox, the Director of Destination Salem that she attributes to the Boston Globe, that seems to say it all about Salem at this time of year. The quote was that “Salem owns Halloween like the North Pole owns Christmas”.

Another Pioneers in Partnership Winner from the Essex Heritage Annual Meeting

The final winner of an Essex Heritage Commission Pioneers in Partnership award that we will profile is the founder and chief curator of the Amesbury Hat Museum. This endeavor started rather modestly as after moving to Amesbury, Ms. Allison Kelly saw an opportunity to preserve a piece of local Amesbury lore that had largely been left forgotten. Ms. Kelly who is a retired nurse and library volunteer first began to collect hats that were once a staple product of the Amesbury economy manufactured by the Merrimac Hat Corporation that was founded in 1856. Over the many years that she has been pursing this endeavor she has collected hundreds of hats in her travels up and down the Eastern seaboard from the rocky coast of Maine to sunny Florida. That collection of hats is now exhibited in the old mill building at 9 Water Street in Amesbury, where after making an appointment this collection can be viewed. For all of Ms. Kelly’s efforts to help preserve the wonderful manufacturing history of this region, Essex Heritage Commissioner Deborah Carey nominated Allison Kelly to receive an Essex Heritage Pioneers in Partnership award at the Essex Heritage Annual Meeting. Accepting the award for Ms. Allison Kelly, who was unable to attend the meeting due to the health of her husband was Peter Bryant the Chairman of Amesbury Treasures.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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