Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Name Change for Ipswich Museum. Essex Heritage Examines Revnue Opportunities, Water Woes in Essex County, and Golf Event in Boxford


Ipswich Historical Society Changes Name

Late last week, Essex Heritage received notification that the Ipswich Historical Society has decided to officially change its name effective on May 8, 2010 to the Ipswich Museum. The process by which they made this decision seemed well thought out and it would appear that their decision is a good one. Their analysis looked at the history of that organization that was first put in place in 1888 over 120 years ago and clearly identified all that had changed in that intervening time. As part of their study they looked at the changing needs of the public and recounted all of the other Ipswich organizations that were no longer relevant and had passed from the scene. In an attempt to remain relevant in 2010 and beyond the Ipswich group has updated both its name and its image. The study that was accomplished was not treated lightly and conversations with the members of the board went on for over one year before that change was put in place. They noted in their release that they were particularly indebted to talented Ipswich designer, Martin Sorger who designed the material that defines the new entity.

They believe that the new name as the Ipswich Museum defines them as a professional organization offering programs for all ages, featuring fascinating collections of fine and decorative art and well-preserved historic structures. Most of all they want to be certain that everyone on the North Shore and beyond these borders knows that Ipswich Museum welcomes and needs old and new members to help keep this newly named entity vital and alive. To help celebrate the name change the Ipswich Museum having a party on May 8, 2010 from 11:30 in the morning until late that afternoon at the Museum. At the end of the day at 5:00 pm at the Ipswich Town Hall on Green Street a benefit performance of “A Celebration of the Sea” will be held and tickets for that event and additional information about the rest of the festivities that day can be obtained by calling 978 356-2811. All of us at Essex Heritage wish the new Ipswich Museum well in their celebration and for having the courage to make a name change that brings them into the present century.

Essex Heritage Currently Examining Revenue Producing Opportunities

Several weeks ago in this space, we noted that the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees had approved a Long Range Plan for the organization that included finding ways to diversify core funding sources. This process is critical to achieve long term sustainability for the organization by leveraging time, money, staff, board and friends to bring more resources into the Area. In the last several weeks we as senior staff have been examining a number of areas to learn of opportunities to achieve this goal. We are examining the potential of developing travel programs to make this region even more accessible to residents and visitors, revisiting membership opportunities and exploring how the wonderful resources of this region particularly the recently developed Essex Heritage Scenic Byway can be used to develop additional revenues. This is a long term process and many scenarios are being pursued simultaneously.

Northeast Harvest Newsletter Available Now

Essex Heritage in conjunction with several other agricultural based organizations in the region and the Commonwealth produce a monthly newsletter on regional agricultural matters. The most recent issue covers a number of issues including the recently held Ag Day at the Topsfield Fair and how successful that day was for all of the participants. The current edition also notes how fast Massachusetts agricultural interests are growing from a financial perspective. Even in a down economy, many Massachusetts fames are weathering the downturn very well, and in fact some farms are expanding operations. The current issue identifies two farmers in Middlesex and Essex Counties, and highlights the work of Common View Farm in Groton and K and m Farm in North Andover. The features product this month is eggs, a recipe for an herb Omelet is provided. The newsletter is produced each month and anyone who wishes to be added to the mailing list can contact Mary Williamson, the editor at maryw@essexheritage.org to be added to the list.

Water Woes Having an Impact on Essex County

The current rupture in a major water distribution pipe at the MWRA in Weston has several Essex County communities scrambling to make alternative water distribution plans. Marblehead, Swampscott, Lynnfield and Saugus were still under a mandate to boil water out of the faucets in homes and businesses as of late yesterday. Work seems to be progressing with the required repairs to put the water systems in those and other MWRA communities back to normal in the very near term. Let’s hope that by the time we post again to this site the problems are corrected and the extra unusual steps to make water safe are eliminated.

Water woes seem to be pressing on this country up and down the east coast; with this water issue here in Massachusetts and the major oil spill that is threatening the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi and even Florida. I heard one report that noted that if the ruptured well off the Louisiana coast is not contained soon, the spreading oil spill that was recently described to be as big as the Island of Jamaica could find its way around the Florida Keys, get caught up in the Gulf Stream and even possibly have an impact the upper Atlantic coast.

Finish Today’s Posting with a Personal Note

One of the organizations that I serve as a volunteer is the Parish Council at St. Richard’s Church in Danvers. For several years the parish has run a golf tournament each spring to raise funds for a scholarship program. The program has been in place for many years and dozens of Monsignor Cusack/John Costello scholarships have been provided to young men and woman from this Danvers parish who want to continue their education at either Catholic High Schools or Colleges. The tournament this year as always will be held at the Far Corners Golf Course in Boxford on June 7, 2010 at 8:00 am. In recent years, attendance has been slipping and as the number of participants gets smaller so do that scholarship opportunities that can be offered, and we certainly want to reverse that trend. The event is unique as the entry fee for participation is one of the very best values anywhere in this region. The cost of participation, that is underwritten by the golf course management, as the owner is also a parishioner of St Richard’s Church is only $80.00 per player. The cost of participation includes the round of golf, a cart and a lunch at the parish hall on Forrest Street in Danvers immediately after the event. There are also prizes awarded at the lunch and raffles that will be available. Tee sponsorships are also available for only $100.00. Information and registration forms for this most moderately priced charity event can be obtained by contacting Paul or Patty Chisholm at 978 777 0999. So that we can make the proper plans, registration is urged by May 24, 2010. . I will be there that morning, and I hope to see you there as well. The price is right, the golf is fun, the cause is great and the day most collegial.

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 www.essexheritage.org. 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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