Friday, April 16, 2010

Essex Heritage Photo Safari's Announced, Historical Records Council Update, Lecture Series in Salem, New Bishop Fenwick Trustee Named

Essex Happenings, Friday, April 16, 2010

Essex Heritage to Schedule Photo Safari’s Again

Over the last couple of years one of the most successful regional events that Essex Heritage organizes are the Photo Safari’s. These well attended events are offered in conjunction with and with the full support of Hunts Photo and Video. This is always a wonderful opportunity for camera enthusiasts to have access to state-of-the-art digital cameras and to visit four unique and stunning Essex National Heritage Area landscapes and historic sites and to then snap shots for your person photography portfolios. During the stops at some of the wonderful sites where we have established partnerships in this region, you will be equipped with all the latest camera gear from Canon, Nikon, Olympus or Tamron, provided by Hunt’s Photo & Video, and personally coached by Hunt’s technical experts and visiting professional photographers. This is a wonderful opportunity and we are most indebted to Hunts for the chance to test this state of the art equipment during our visits to our partner organizations.

This year’s schedule includes four opportunities to participate and begins at the end of next month and continues through the early summer. We are most pleased that Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Tamron have all agreed to once again participate in this sensational regional event and we urge photographers of all levels to visit the Essex Heritage web site at for more information or to sign up to participate, This years participating sites are some of the most photogenic locations in the region and as always we are most grateful for their participation. The first event will be held on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at Endicott Park and the Glen Magna Farms and Estate in Danvers where the formal gardens are among the finest in the area. Two weeks later on Saturday June 5th will visit the Rolling Ridge Retreat in the historic community of Andover. Then, three weeks after the Andover stop, a visit is planned on June 26th in the neighboring community of North Andover at the Stevens-Coolidge Place, and the series will come to and end at Long Hill reservation on the weekend after Independence Day on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Take advantage of these wonderful opportunities in the region and visit the Essex Heritage web site or call Essex Heritage at 978 740 0444 to make your reservations for the Photo Safari of your choice.

Historical Records Council

In the very early days of the Essex Heritage Commission one of the first initiatives that we organized was a Historical Records Council. The catalyst for that effort was a flood that occurred in the basement of Gloucester City Hall when some valuable critical historical records were damaged. We were asked by Congressman Tierney to see if we could both lend some assistance, and to look into the creation of a vehicle that could provide advice in this critical area. It became very clear that in basements all over this region that there were storage facilities that could also be in danger and from this awareness the Essex Heritage Historical Records Council was created. For several years, the staff at Essex Heritage engaged the many in the region that had an interest in record preservation and protection in a series of meetings and workshops that helped created programs and protocols to assist in this important work. The workshops were well attended and many organizations and individuals received much needed and critical advice. The most recent of those workshops was held just about a year ago when an evaluation of Library material was featured.

In the recent past another factor has impacted the Historic Records Council. The Massachusetts Regional Library Systems are consolidating. It is likely that when that consolidation effort is complete that there may then be a single organization to replace the six existing regional operations. The Historic records Council is an important and informative organization that has been running parallel to the Library organizations and we believe that this effort should continue. This would allow the Council to continue to do what it does best, bringing many together for mutual support and education. The Historic records Council will likely reconvene and offer an opportunity to reconsider the role of the council once the .consolidation of the regional libraries is completed. I certainly suspect that we will hear more of the plans of the Council in the not too distant future and Essex Heritage will keep all those that have an interest, “in the loop” when a determination of a strategy to continue to provide support and information is in place

House of Seven Gable Lecture Series

I recently received a copy of the spring 2010 newsletter from the House of Seven Gables and in that edition a series of seven lectures was announced. I am a little late providing this information, as one of the lectures has already taken place, but it is not too late to bring the other six to your attention. The remaining lectures take place from April 25th through December 2010 and to sign up and get a complete listing of the remaining lectures contact the House of Seven Gables at 978 744 0991 Ext 104. The series of lectures appears to be most entertaining and informative and range from Salem Trading by Sea provided by Essex Heritage Hero award winner Jim McAllister to a presentation on the 100 year history of the Gables. The House of Seven Gables is one of our most participatory partners in our mission to preserve and promote the historic, cultural and natural resources of this region that we are all proud to call home.

New Bishop Fenwick High School Trustee Named

As some of you might remember, I spent four years as a member of the Bishop Fenwick Board of Trustees. During that term of office much was accomplished at this private catholic secondary school in Peabody. The school continues to serve this region well, and in this its 50th Anniversary Year they have recently added a new Trustee to the Board that governs the school. I recently received a communication from Audrey Sullivan who serves as the schools energetic and enthusiastic Board Chair advising that Attorney Sally Calhoun from Danvers will join the Board before this school year is finished. I have had the opportunity to work over Sally the last several years on the Danvers Finance Committee and can certainly testify to her capabilities, work ethic and commitment to a program and she will make a wonderful addition to Bishop Fenwick’s governing body. Ms, Calhoun has had three children graduate from Bishop Fenwick High School and clearly has an understanding of the role that Bishop Fenwick High School plays in the life’s of their graduates as they move towards maturity and as participants in the work of this region.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thanks You. Tom Leonard

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